Flow supers and Paynes polys!


I’m a new beekeeper in Surrey (UK), and am thoroughly enjoying almost everything so far. Apart from the occasional sting, my least favourite part of beekeeping is the honey harvesting process, and I thought that Flow would be the answer to my prayers…

I have 2 Paynes national polystyrene hives and wondered if anyone has the same and used a flow super with them?

If so, I have a few questions…

  • Do the Flow supers fit on top and work with the poly roof etc? Would I need to manufacture some sort of filler to hold the roof on securely to the smaller Flow super body? (Smaller as the wooden super wall is thinner than the polystyrene super wall, I assume?)
  • Is the weight of the wood, plastic and metal in the flow super supported well by the poly brood box? I am concerned that when full of honey there could be some compression of the polystyrene.

Thanks in advance,


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Hi there @suehkmet and welcome! I took a quick look at the dimensions of a Payne’s poly hive and it is a good deal smaller than the Flow super, which is essentially a Langstroth deep sized footprint. And, as you point out, will be weighty when full of honey.

So, I have doubts about making this work in spite of my inherent McGuyverism…:nerd_face:…I haven’t seen her here in awhile, but I’ll give @Dee a little nudge to see if she’ll have something more definitive to say - she uses a type of poly hive and lives in the UK too, last I heard :wink:

Sorry not to be of more help! I’ll be interested to hear how you sort it out though.

I think Flow make supers and frames to suit National hives, @Freebee2.
And yes, where bee @Dee?

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Hi @suehkmet
Thanks @skeggley

Yes we sure do, here is the link to the relevant page on our website.

Please let me know if you need any further info on these.


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Hi all, thank you for your help! I use a National not a Langstroth, and I’m aware that Flow make national supers… my concern is that they’re wooden and my nationals are polystyrene and therefore have a different outer dimension.

I was wondering whether anyone has used a polystyrene hive with a Flow super, and whether the polystyrene can support the weight? Also whether the roof of a poly will work with a wooden super…



Oh sorry Sue! I have no personal experience of anyone using polystyrene hives with the timber supers but will put this one to the team tomorrow. Meantime maybe some helpful Forum folk have tried this…?

Well, the frame sizes would be the same as would the weight be so if you like you could modify your poly box im sure ive seen someone do this. Personally I’d just put the woodenware on top, the poly is quite rigid and should hold the weight, then you could use a standard national lid.

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oops, had the idea all wrong! Box dimensions not a prob it sounds like :+1:

I have used a poly brood box with a wooden super actually (both Lang dimensions) and Skegs is right, the poly is plenty sturdy to support the wood edges. The only slight issue I would note is when you need to lever off the top box and you have unequal density so your hive tool can press into the poly more than you’d want if you’re hasty about it.


Hi Eva,
Thank you! This is just the sort of thing I wanted to know. Sounds like it’s manageable as long as I take care when manipulating. Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!


Dee has been really ill.
But still around.


Hello Dee! I’ve missed you & am so glad you’re still around :hugs: Get well soon!!

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So sorry @Dee. I have missed you greatly and thought about you this summer as I was spinning honey in my kitchen. :blush: What a lovely smell, but what an icky sticky mess. Wish I still had some scrubs - that would have been perfect. :wink:

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with lots of family giving you a good time. :heart_eyes:


Hi Dee, I have also missed you. It’s sad to read that you’ve been really ill. Ditto to what Dawn said.