Hi, my dad purchased a flow hive 2 for me and we have taken two courses for beginners on beekeeping. We were wondering if we needed to purchase a second brood box from Flow Hive directly, or could we use a locally purchased Langstroth 8 frame brood box? Will it fit? We have the Paulownia wood. We live in Canada and it is crazy expensive to ship the box…shipping actually costs more than the box itself! Wondering if anyone has experience with this. Thanks for any advice!
Hi Wickedqueen! I’m in Ontario too; near Windsor. If you look at Ontario based bee supply in google you will get several companies that are Canada based. If there is a local bee club where you are sometimes they know where the best supplier is and buy in bulk to get a deal for all their keepers. You should join the Ontario Beekeepers Association too and you’ll find lots of classified ads for beekeeping things around the province. I’ve used dancinbeeequipment.com, innisfilcreekhoney.com, amazon.ca, but there are a bunch of other choices like blbhoney.ca, Apihex.ca (they have an awesome store in Guelph). I have several flow hives and the brood box (the bottom one) can be swapped out for a standard langstroth 8 frame; there are some measurement differences but nothing too out of control.
FYI Flow claims they have a Mississauga Ontario shipping depot, but I agree, the shipping prices are ghastly.
What part of Ontario are you in?
Thanks for the info! I am in Ottawa, and with our harsh winters I figured we would need a second brood box for sure. I am surprised by the general hate-on for flow hives from some local apiary people. I don’t get it. Everything about hive maintenance is the same, just the honey extraction is simplified. Guess I will have to navigate this issue until I find the right resources and kind people to help. This forum seems awesome.
I single brood box winter my hives, and most of the people in my area do the same. I had a two brood box on one of my hives last summer and it was monstrously heavy during inspections with the flow on top so I’m not doing that again! Apihex is big in Quebec so you may find their website very helpful and delivery reasonable. I’m sure there is an Ottawa based beekeepers group on Facebook too. But yes, this community is the most supportive community all around. I am not shy about my use of Flow in my beekeeper community and don’t put up with nonsense claims that are all based in ignorance. I have 6 FlowHives and 1 traditional. I love Flow.
I had the fortunate opportunity to volunteer in the Flowhive booth at Apimondia…Montreal…last September. The response was overwhelmingly positive and one of curiosity…culminating in Flowhive taking the Silver Award for best exhibition with over 200 competitors coming from worldwide…quite an accomplishment. So just nodd and smile when you meet beeks like that…they are entiltled to their opinion and may have something to add to the conversation…if they have had actual experience keying those frames. It’s my experience that most of the critics don’t even know what a “key” is. And my position isn’t one that the FH technology is perfect…but importantly it gets new beeks into the industry…and provides a “desperately needed in today’s society” connection to nature.
May I humbly suggest… after a year of experience…you run two hives…perhaps the second being a traditional hive. Look at your first year as “getting your feet wet”. Running two hives allows you many more options especially when it comes to removing frames from the Flowhive brood box to allow the queen more room etc…there are many other reasons also to run two hives especially if you want to become self-sufficient in making your own extra nucs to replace colony loss. And as you’ve likely learned in your beekeepers courses, start with a foundation sheet in your brood frames.
Below is a photo of a 1kg New Zealand package being started on foundation…past experience has shown me that the probability is too high of acquiring brood disease when starting out with used equipment .i.e. spring nuc purchase. Put the bees to work immediately…oh, and keep them warm.
@Tim_Purdie has given good advice and from a local to you I would go with that. A Langstroth 8 frame brood box is exactly the same as a Flow 8 frame brood box. When I decided to try out the Flow Hive system I only bought the flow frames and the super box and everything else is a Langstroth.
Thank you…that’s why I really wanted to be sure of.