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Horizontal Flow Hive - The South East Scarp Solution


I don’t use any landing boards unless they are on hives that were given to me. One flow hive for example.

I take it that you are joking when you say “My solutions are not public domain and I reserve all rights to my designs and intellectual property as far as they can be protected by law”.


It was a hook Jeff :wink:


Tempered glass by the look @AdamMaskew. The thermal properties of glass and perspex are very different, with plastic being a better insulator.

I may install some additional insulation in the winter, however, it rarely gets as cold here as it does down your way.


Hive all ready to go. The only delay is Jack sending me a message that my new queen is ready to collect.

I am sure she will appreciate her new home :slight_smile:

View South

View South

View West

View Southeast

View Northeast

View East

View from the bottom of the garden

It really is a Bee Palace on the Hill :slight_smile:


I thought that I would put up a couple of pictures of the hive entry

Looking from the back to the entry the bees will pass through the entry disks, only one is currently open, into the intermediate tunnel which opens to a mesh area which turns 90 degrees to the hives bottom entry.

Hive entry is vertical, It is possible to see the bottom of the frames through the mesh, just under the aluminum strip.

The bees can do their thing to maintain the hive temperature and humidity through the long vertical entry slot while the minimum number of bees will be required for entry protection. The mesh also provides another point of view to determine where the prime bee activity is occurring and possibly a guide to the location of the queen.

We have a big problem with feral bees trying to rob my current vertical hive during dearths and expect this to continue to be an issue in this hive. Bee wars are a part of life and my current bees get aggressive to everyone and everything during these periods. By using the entry disks I can help to control hive entry without interfering with the humidity and temperature inside the hive. By taking a peek underneath I can also determine if there is a need to open or close entry ports during the annual cycle of expansion and contraction in bee numbers.

We have very strong west, south-westerly, winter, and easterly, summer, gales blowing across the scarp. I have regularly recorded wind speeds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour during these events. My current vertical hive is located in a protected spot with the entry facing south, the new horizontal hive has the entry on the western side and is fully exposed.

This is, of course, an experimental hive and all my theories will be put to the test once I get some bees inhabiting the hive.


Brood frames need managing to keep the bees healthy and reduce the chances for disease.

One of the goals has always been to manage the horizontal hive so that all excess honey stores go into the flow frame and the only honey not in the flow frames is in the honey arch in the corners of the brood frames.

If only honey and no pollen or brood are being stored in the outer frames against the Qx then they should be removed and the hive collapsed to encourage storage in the flow frames.

If a full brood pattern and or pollen is being stored in the outer frames then new frames should be added to allow the colony to expand.

Being able to move the flow frames as brood frames are added and removed is an important design consideration to achieve the maximum utilisation of the flow frames and provide the greatest management flexibility.

New brood frames will always be placed toward the outsides against the Qx and then rotated toward the centre over time as part of the hive management process.

The old centre frames are removed and placed between the Qx and Flow Frame either side to allow bees to hatch, without the Queen being able to lay any new eggs in the old frame. The now depleted frame is then removed from service and the old wax removed and the frame recycled.


Cycling out frames?

Installed the Nuc today.

Thanks, @skeggley for bringing them down the scarp to my place, they really were a pleasure to transfer.

Back cover removed after installation for a look through the back window. The girls are exploring the bee space between the back wall and frames.

As I expected some of the girls are a little confused as to how to get back in. I expect that they will work it out over the next couple of days and then only potential robbers will be getting confused by the mesh under the inner hive entry.

As can be seen here the girls out the front are orientating quite well, there is a stream of bees exiting and entering correctly through the front entry.

This is a very long, boring and unedited video of transferring the girls to their new home. It is not narrated and has a number of shots with nothing happening as I wander around doing bits and pieces.

The girls really behaved themselves during the transfer, Greg was confident that they were gentle and as you can see, they were never even bothered by my rough handling.

Happy to take comments, criticisms and questions here or on YouTube.



See I told you that one that made me run like a sissy wasn’t from my lot…
Good to hear you got them transferred without a hitch. Did you spot the queen?


My other hive is a bit hot so I’ll accept that the cranky bee was from my hive, not one of yours :slight_smile:


24 hours on and most of the girls have worked out were the front and back are.

I would expect that over the next few days, the only bees outside the screen will be robbers.

I have the entry closed down to one point only while the colony builds up, when this entry becomes congested I will sequentially open up the entry points.


An internal view of the hive.
The vertical entry can bee seen at the bottom left of screen.
Note that it has a queen excluder, but does not have a cover to prevent workers entering and leaving the space.

The theory of leaving access is three fold:

  1. Any bees trapped in this space can escape.
  2. The bees will not worry about this space unless and until the encapsulated brood frames are full.
  3. When the flow frames are added it prevents the queen from accessing the flow frames.

I have a spare frame behind the camera and others on the opposite side of the brood area. I expect that when the girls start to get crowded they will move into these areas and start working the frames. At that time I will move the follower boards back and insert the frame into the encapsulated brood area.


How’s it all going Terry?


Hi Greg,

Thanks for asking :smile:

Via the video feed, the bee numbers look like they are increasing, that is to say, there is more activity on the outside of the outer drawn frames. I will be opening the hive up on the weekend to do a physical check.

While the hive is open I will be permanently mounting video cameras internally, to both ends of the hive, and changing out the current follower boards for an alternate design that hopefully will provide an improved view on the secret life of bees.

The current follower boards block the view of the bee space between the bottom of the frames and the floor, and the bee space between the front and back of the frames and the walls.

Currently, it looks like the bees are preferencing the top bee space over the bottom and I cannot confirm front and rear bee space usage due to the current follower board design. I would really like to be able to record the bee activity across all bee spaces.


The internal cameras have been mounted. I ran out of time to finish and install the new follower boards, no rush on these the cameras were the key items.


A view from the back of the hive with the rear cover removed and bees installed, showing how the back is 100% bee safe.

The rear plastic plates align with the back of the flow frames.


Hi Team,

I have the live stream up and running… sort of…
Please have a look and give me some feedback.

Thank you


When I hit play it started at the 21:37 point, seeming to indicate a 1hr duration overall. Not sure why this was.

Quality is great though. :+1:


You can rewind the feed which is probably why it lists a time limit.

I am waiting for the girls to start building comb on the empty frame in the foreground, but filling in the hole is a start.

I can also switch to the other side of the hive however the bees seem to be favouring this side at the moment.


What camera are you using?


I’m using this camera