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Internal beehive


I live in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, US. I have lost 2 other hives to weather and bears. Now we have an insulated metal building we use for our barn and I am planning to try a Flow Hive in 2018.

My question is what are your thoughts about the following plan.

We are looking at placing the hive inside then building with a tube to the exterior. This would allow the bees and people full access to the hive and exterior while protecting it from wildlife and weather extremes. The section of the barn we plan to use has a standard door and an equipment hanger door about 3 meters away. With these open on a calm day, I think we would be able to do inspections and any bees in the barn could find their way to its exterior door.

I appreciate your candid feedback and guidance.


Keep in mind that every time you work the hive bees will fly out in the building. They will need a simple way, that they can easily find, to get back outside to fly back into the tube. Their instincts are to fly up and towards light. In a small building this can be provided by having an opening at the top at one end. In a large building this is more problematic.


I don’t see why you couldn’t do it, taking into account the point that Michael makes. I don’t know how big your building is, but one beekeeper actually located her hives in the loft of a barn. Looks like a nice setup too:



Thank you. We expect they would, so we plan to have the hanger door open, which would provide the closest nature bright light and close proximity to the hive entrance.


Thanks! The concept is similar, but no need to hoist or climb.


Welcome to the forum. I just finished my second season as a beekeeper in Livingston, Montana. We have not had any problems with bears yet. We did have a black bear come check things out during the day two years ago but he hasn’t been back.

I am thinking of doing a similar thing to help protect the hives from the wind and snow drifts in the winter. My plan is to build a three sided building. The front would be wide open and the sides and back would be closed in. The entrances would be facing out of the front of the shed.



Looks like you have plenty of great feedback on the barn idea. I guess try it n see how it works n them improve or change a weee bit if needs.

One of our local gal beekeepers had a hive get trash that she’d moved to a new location … she was devistated !!

Just curious ! How many hives do you have ?! And how did you winterize to help stopping winter loss … I know several people on here like @John_Yeager deals with the issue n has commented too.

I’m lucky I think here in Western Washington. We deal with a long cloudy, very damp situation so deal more with evac of extra moisture n not the intense cold n snow.

My main looses have been varroa mites that really hit late summer into early winter because of our milder Wx allowing our bees to be reinfected again in the mouths of November n even December.

We even had one larger beekeeper loose a percentage to starvation. Since we have milder early winters the bee population can stay higher as well as the stores (amount of colony honey). The normal 60 to 80 lbs of honey was not enough n by the time he made his mid winter check the colonies were dead (real sad n costly mistake) …

That’s my thots, ideas n 2 cents worth. Good luck n keep us abreast to your progress. It helps us all learn ! :+1:

Cheers !


. These last pixs are my local mentor n myself working with his bees.


Hi John. We’ll have to connect. I get down your way a few times a year. And you might have some insight on a local source for bees.



Oh Gerald. That makes my heart hurt. I hate to see such bee devastation. I do not currently have any hives. I had 5 years ago and then got away from the ranch for many years for work. Now that I’m home, I’ve tried a couple times and lost the bees and hive to destruction. I only plan to have 1 and put in a pollinator patch beyond the garden. The weather and deep snow drifts are my worst issue. I promise to share the journey with all the great forum folks.

Thanks for your reply.


There are also Slovenian beehives:


It ouwld be nice to see someone experiment with Flow Frames in this style :slight_smile:

A search:

A Bee House In Busso

I have been wondering about those Slovenian beehives and how the beekeepers deal with the bees that get into the room where they work the hives from. In that photo it looks like the bees can fly out of that window in the attic. I havn’t seen a window like that on other Slovenian bee-houses I have seen. It seems like with frame that come out horizontally you wouldn’t be able to shake bees back into the hives very easily.

Despite these issues the mobile Slovenian hives look very interesting- looks like a very easy way to manage pollination and migratory beekeeping: no unloading of hives!


I’m currently building 2 prototype Slovenians that can be supered with the flow. Should be ready in time for spring. I’m also cutting the lumber for the beehouse that will hold 20 of them, but it will be another 2 years before that build takes place.


WOW! So impressive! I look forward to hearing how that goes.


For March break I got the kids a big set of paint and asked them to decorate my prototype Slovenian hive fronts. They are looking fantastic!


Oh my, those are fabulous paintings. You should sell them to a gallery and have your kids make more! :blush:


I look forward to watching this project!

Will you make the beehouse mobile like these ones:

It seems like that would make an amazing bee business for migratory beekeeping and pollination services. Much more fun than unloading trucks full of beehives all the time. Just drive up- and you are done! Ad with flow frames you can harvest right in the truck- and fill a giant tank with honey!

Edit: seems my memory might be failign… I already posted the same months ago. Need to eat more honey maybe…


Posted before or no thanks for the repost. :+1:
How do they harvest?


Well my prototype Slovenian hives are in the beeyard and 2 of them populated with NUCs.

I built a small stand and roof for the 4 prototypes to start with.

This fall I’ll pour the slab for the beehouse, and begin cutting the timbers for it. In the meantime I’ll try and overwinter enough bees on the new AZ frames to split them in the spring. Here are the frame routing and assembly jigs:

Here are the NUC hives ready for splits or swarms:

And here is the regular hive expanding nicely, hopefully ready for the next 10 frames in a week or two. Then if they fill those it can be supered with the flow hive.