Flow in the shed with external entrance

Had my ladies abscond last year. About half the hives failed here in western Washington due to extreme weather. To help with not getting too hot or wet, I moved them inside.
Got a Nuc last week and moved them in to a well finished and stocked home. They figured out the entrance in a day and are now bringing in the maple pollen.
I modified the brood boxes so they have the same windows as the flow super.


Good that the bees have figured out the entrance. You installed the nuc into that tower?

It’s a lot of space for them. You might consider condensing it down to a single box until they have that filled and going from there.


Actually only the lower 2 are active. The lid is between the top brood box and the half height box. The half box is a work in progress. Upper entrance/feeder./ place for Arduino. The flow super box is just there so I have lots of room for my current feed setup. Feeding pollen for buildup right now. They’re bringing in loads of maple polen themselves too.
I left them quite a bit of honey and empty drawn comb from last year too. There’s a few empty frames on the outside edges so I can observe. It’s an experiment.

Very interesting! Guess you’ll save on refinishing costs and possibly avoid some of the pest influx with this setup. I never thought to ask @Doug1 what his bees do about getting back inside the hive after inspections - his bees are in a shed too. I figure there’s a couple choices but am curious what the best way is :thinking::honeybee:


With my beehouses, I try to emulate what I’ve observed as successful natural survival of honey bees in tree cavities…i.e. feral swarms.

In the photo above, note the foil insulation on the walls and ceiling…and behind that foil insulation is another insulation layer of 3" fiberglass insulation…and behind that (outside surface of building) is 2 layers of plywood/finishing sheathing and vapor barrier. I’m trying to mimic what a thick walled tree cavity provides for the feral bee colony in nature. My interpretation is that honeybees respond well to an environment where temperature fluctuations during the day and night are kept to a minimum.

In this scenario, it’s imperative for the bees/beekeeper to provide adequate ventilation…i.e. screened bottom boards and totally open entrances to the inside of the bee house. The bees literally spill out to adjacent surfaces but are in total comfort. And the brood nests expand at an exponential rate as the daily/nightly contraction/expansion of the hive is minimized.

To my amazement, the summer time bee house inside temperature 24/7 doesn’t vary 1/2 of a degree…day and night…the temperature the bees prefer is 27C and they provide all the heating and cooling requirements to hold that temperature.

Inspections pose no problem with bees left inside the bee house but outside of the hive…remember the bee house is virtually dark inside with perhaps a bit of reflected light that enters through the flight entrance holes through the wall. Stray bees just fly towards that indirect tunnel light, go outside, and then back into the entrance they have fight orientated to.

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Your bee house is truly a marvel! Thanks for taking the time to explain - it is really special.

Please tell us more about this too:

I’m thinking @NeuManaHui might be intrigued. Can’t see how Flow tubes would fall out of this clever mod!

So what you see above is my version of a modified 10 frame Langstroth super to accomodate 7 Flowframes but I watched Stu Anderson’s Video (below) closely to get the idea…and yes, tubes do not fall out.

The photo you expanded just shows a summer time split that got strong enough to store surplus honey. These splits are stored on the top shelf…out of the way more or less. The larger honey producers are directly below on the floor level inside the beehouse

We also run Flowhive and conventional/traditional hives in the same beehouse. Inside the beehouse we have discovered that during our summers a proper hive lid is not really always required…just a layer of 6 mil poly and a piece of foil bubble insulation will do…or some other cover/lid combination.

To remove the honey from hives with Flowframes that are up high on the top shelf, the full box is removed and taken to a hot room/extracting area and drained normally or placed in a centrifugal extractor (Flowhive doesn’t recommend this but we haven’t experienced any problems so far). Because of the number of hives we run, often we don’t have the time to wait for Flowframes to drain out…just a time management issue.