Have I ordered the wrong thing? I'm in Scotland

I’ve ordered a Flow Hive Classic Bundle, and now googling where I could get bees in 2021.
I need to do the online courses, but do I need to be ordering the UK national unit too, so that I can get my bees to start with?
There’s a lot of hives around here, and I am planting more in the garden for bees.
Have a messed up?

Thanks Diana

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Hello Diana, and welcome to the Flow forum! You did the right thing to come here.

Don’t fret, everything will be just fine! You could order the UK National unit, and I actually love British National or WBC hives, because they are so much lighter than Langstroths (which is the Flow hive size). Having said that, you can easily adapt National frames to a Langstroth hive, using this clever trick that a very helpful forumite posted:

So if you can only buy a nucleus on National frames, you can adapt them to fit your Flow classic. Having said that, there are UK beekeepers who sell nuclei on Langstroth frames, so you may not need to adapt them. You have some time before next Spring (the best time to install bees in a new hive) to join a local bee club and ask around. I would advise you not to mention the Flow hive though - many traditional beekeepers are very suspicious and dismissive of Flow hives. Just say that you have a Langstroth hive, and if anyone else does too, you would love to buy a nucleus from them. :wink:

Keep asking questions, and we will help as much as possible. There are several other UK beekeepers here who may also have some advice for you, including @HappyHibee and @Paras.


Thank you Dawn, your reassuring words are very welcome and calming.

I’ll get myself organised, over the winter. We have a very tall hawthorn hedge, on the boundary and it was covered in honey bees earlier in the year (and now covered in haws), usually lots of oil seed rape fields in the vicinity. Thus beehives also placed.

Thank you, thank you!



How exciting to be starting your beekeeping adventure, Diana - welcome! You definitely came to the right place :cherry_blossom:


Thank you Eva. Back in my Dad’s day, at school, they were taught bee keeping.

Looking forward to learning loads over the next few months.



Hey Diana, fellow jock here :black_flag:󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. Originally from Edinburgh but living in sassanac land now.

Plenty of places in the UK sell bees on langstroth frames so don’t stress too much. I’ll dig up some that you can order from online and they post them to you.

Best advice is to source and join your local bee club and they should be able to help you with bees.

You can always get a package rather than a nuc and let the bees draw out natural comb you’ll just need to help them out feeding for a bit the help draw wax but duesnt take long.

Frederick Dunn’s YouTube channel and Flows have all the basics and then some plus there is thousands of others to learn from.

Use this forum as much as you can as it’s one of the friendliest and a wealth of experience and archived posts.

Best beginner advice I can give you is to invest in a second brood box or half brood as the winters in “sunny Perth” the stronger the hive numbers the better.

Trust me as a Scotsman forking out £700+ on a hive brought a tear to my glass eye but the joy its brought me, my family, neighbours is priceless.

Beekeeping isn’t hard. You just need to invest the time and ask ask ask for help when your not sure.

Slange :wink::+1:


Another thought on how the Flow hive can be received. When I joined my local beekeeper’s group I asked if the club had mentors etc. and said I had a Flow hive. They indicated some of the mentor members in the room.

One guy who came up to me quite quickly and said, ‘I’ve got a few opinions about Flow hives.’ That first sentence told me he’s probably not the one I want to spend time with - which he confirmed in other things he said.

Others I spoke with had no such thoughts and I found out that there were many club hives, including three or four Flow hives. Most people spoke to me with a ‘welcome to the club’ kind of comment to wish me well.

While there are still traditional beekeepers who dislike the Flow hive, they are probably on the wane. It’s been a few years since the Flow hive appeared and it has gained a good reputation.

I started this time last year and the beekeeper I got the nuc from had several of us picking up nucs that afternoon. All 5 or 6 of us had new Flow hives.


Hi Diana,

I am based in London, I started with FlowHive classic and now have 7 of them. You can easily adopt National frame into a Langstroth frame as per Dawn’s email.

On FB UK Flowhive group you can ask many question and may find someone near you. This is also a good source of information.

I have successfully harvested from the FlowHive for the last 4 years and have not found any issues with harvesting. The one thing I would recommend is do take an interest in learning about beekeeping, because that would give you potential become a better beekeeper.

If you need any help please do not hesitate to ask.


Thank you HappyHibee, and thank you all for your helpful advice which I will go through, watch, read and re-read. Still waiting for Parcelforce, perhaps it won’t come today.
I’ve looked up my local beekeepers association, Perthshire, and their registered address is only a few miles from where we are!

What sold me on Flow Hive was that it all seemed less traumatic for the residents!

I am so excited, and looking forward to looking for our bees, and settling them in and caring for them. The honey, when it comes, will be an insignificant bonus, for us, it’s supporting the bees - not just honey, but carders and bumblebees too.

Diana. :honeybee:

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Thank you Paras,

We had both talked about bee keeping, and there’s been on-going planting of more flowering plants and shrubs, as well as fruit trees. Having someone at home all day, benefits garden and the visitors as well as our dogs.

Next stop, the Facebook group. I am on there a lot with my Club work, although, not the only method of communication it certainly sends the jungle drums beating and gets to a lot of people.

Thank you, again, everyone, you’ve taken my immediate concerns away!

Diana :heart_eyes:

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Thank you for your personal story, KimM, all valuable advice.

I’ll get in touch with the local beekeepers association soon.

Still working, and the days are long before I get a chance to do my stuff on the computer, but not for much longer.

All the best for season 2 for you!


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A Flow Hive is no different to most other hives it’s the harvesting honey part that’s different.

You’ll need to do everything else standard beekeeping requires.

Negative Nellie’s tend to come from ignorance of the flow hive.

Your right it is way less traumatic for the bees when it comes to harvesting but inspections and husbandry doesn’t come without casualties.

Average lifespan is 6 weeks so don’t stress too much over the unavoidable death of some. Honeybees in the UK are not endangered it’s the habitats.

Flows YouTube channel has everything any beginner needs to help them and not much you can’t learn about beekeeping online.