Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Horizontal hive

Hi I would like to build a horizontal hive with the flow frames. I was wondering if anyone could send me some designs please.

There are a few members who have dined this successfully.


@AdamMaskew @SouthEastScarp @Semaphore

I did this three years ago. There is a basic flaw in Sharaskins plan you should be aware of. The bottom for the SHB as the original plans go does NOT work!. The plywood is not supported or reinforced along the back where you are supposed to place a hinged panel to access the trays. They ply will warp out of all shape, will not be level and make the oil trays useless. Also, it can not be removed for a good cleaning allowing buildup of wax and detritus around the perimeter that the bees ultimately do not like but pests love. I used mineral oil till the bottom became so warped that it was no longer possible to use it. Also had to place a “gutter” just over the access since rain came in and the solid bottom stayed wet. Bees like a dry place.
And yes, I altered one end to accept flow frames but the whole hive was so big the bees pretty much ignored the flow frames. Just emptied it out this month to rework the bottom. Solid bottom needs to be hinged for cleaning purposes and summer ventilation. I also made the top extra deep to accomodate a sugar board for winter feeding. You need to think about how you manage your colonies and adapt the long hive to your needs. Good luck.

It is worth having a search as there is a couple of good threads. I’ve been using mine successfully for a few years now. Have made a few more as well as non-flow ones.

@chau06 living in Western Australia without SHB or any other major pest issues the girls cannot manage themselves I can add little value on the pan, other than saying that if you make a plywood pan and then laminate an inner try using aluminium or stainless steel tray to hold the oil.

On the subject of management of long hive / flow frame hybrids my solution was to use adapters so that the FF’s can be placed at either end of the brood frames with a Queen excluder located between the brood frames and flow frames. When adding brood frames as the hive grows the FF’s are moved along. Using my solution you add and remove brood frames to manage the hive effectively. To ensure that the girls remained healthy I always allowed them to have a minimum of one full frame of honey either side of the brood for their exclusive use. It is by viewing how the girls manage the outside end honey stores in the brood area that you can determine if frames need adding or removing, I also learnt that using my solution you only need to have one FF each end as it is easy to harvest when capped. Having said all this I currently have all my bees in standard hives due to me accepting a position that required me to be away from the apiary for long periods. To obtain maximum honey being stored in the FF’s using a long hive similar to my solution you have to actively manage the hive on a weekly basis during flows. Standard hives are much more tolerant. Version two of a FF long hive hybrid will require the removal of full FF’s, for harvesting as it reduces the complexity.