Life expectancy of Flow Frames

How long are the Flow Frames expected to last - assuming normal use and not left out in the sun etc.

I tried to find the link to the post in the past but if I am remember it correctly quite a few of the original test frames before they went into production are several years old now and still working.

I’ve seen several flow frames being used here in the Byron Bay area where the concept was developed. A few of the hives boxes they were in were deteriorating in our warm, wet climate. All the flow frames I’ve seen have been in good working order. Some of them were prototypes and are a few years old.

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'several" years, a “few” years - so how many are we talking about?
Flow frames are a huge investment - if they only last 2 to 5 years depending on environmental conditions, then that will help people decide if it is worth the investment.
Could they last ten years in a hot humid environment?
If it gets below freezing in my winters, should I bring them indoors for the winter?

@razoo It’s like anything - if you look after it they will last longer!

From what I’ve seen, humidity and warm temperatures do not seem to be a problem for the flow hives. I don’t know how much cold weather testing may have been done. Our climate on the East Coast of Australia is temperate to warm most of the time. I would be keeping them out of the sunlight and avoiding rough handling. Mine don’t arrive until December so I can’t talk from personal experience.

The flow frames are part of the honey extraction system and sit in a “super” in which the bees deposit nectar to make honey. Supers should be off in the winter and tucked up somewhere in your bee shed.


@dangerous except if you live nr Byron Bay and have just as much Nectar in winter or more than in Summer.

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My point, Valli, was that if you have a freezing winter the bees are not foraging and your supers should be off

I know I was just ribbing the Aussie contingent

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Keep in mind that this is a completely new product. They have done several years of test in the field but none of them have been around for 10 years yet. There isn’t that kind data to back this up at this time. All we can go on is that their reports of the field testing hasn’t shown any issues with longevity so far. I would try to minimize the amount of extreme heat and cold temperatures out of precaution though. Being in Arizona I’ll be trying to minimize the exposure to the 115 degree days in the middle of summer unless the bees are bringing in a lot of nectar which is possible. We have a lot of stuff blooming that time of year. So soon, I should be able to report on how they hold up to high temps.

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But don’t bees keep the inside of the hive at a constant cool temperature so that the flow frames won’t be exposed to anything like 115˚

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That is a good point, that is true.

Are you in Byron Bay? Do you have flow hives?
Would love to see one in action

@victorzielinski @ymcg may be able to show you Flows through the local group

Hi Victorzielinski, Sorry about the delay in responding. I’ve been overseas for a few weeks.

As I keep saying in my posts, I am a complete novice. I’ve built a few swarm trap hives but no luck with them so far. I have built a Langstroth hive for collecting swarms but I want to watch a few experienced beeks in action first. All of what little first hand experience I have comes from my interactions with Mullumbimby Natural Beekeeping, a Facebook Group.

I was on the original kickstarter campaign and have been using my Flow hive frames every year since (received 2016). I’m still harvesting at least 3x annually. imho between the cost of foundation, frames, the effort to harvest traditionally and the mess and cleanup involved, the flow frames have paid for themselves many times over and I am looking to purchase more systems in the future to build my bee family


Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

What a lovely post! I think that many people here would agree with you. There are some problems and tricks when it comes to Flow frames, but nothing insurmountable. After our first Flow harvest, my husband said that he never wanted to extract honey using traditional methods again. That was after decades of a messy kitchen, with newspaper on the floor. Then dealing with a hot uncapping knife and cleaning up a frame spinner after the harvest. Some people love that part of beekeeping, and enjoy processing the wax cappings etc, but not everyone does.

Over all in our experience, they are a great gift to the modern beekeeping community. :wink: