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Making a flow hive- Exact measurement of Flow frames- including correct spacing?


#1

I am designing my new flow hive for spring… I want to get the measurements for the special cut out parts of the box absolutely exact-

  1. Can anyone tell me what is the measurement of a flow frame from one clear end to the other? I know the clear end where you extract the honey sits up flush against the rear inner wall of the beehive- what I need to know is does it sit flush on the front side as well? I need to know because I have designed my hive  viewing windows on three sides- not just two as the standard flow super. I need to know if I can have a perspex free window at the opposite ends of the frames? From what I remember there are tabs that stick out of the front clear ends that would stop them sitting flush against the wall? Is it important that there be bee space at that end of the frames? 
    
  2. I have designed my hive to hold four flow frames- I adjusted the sizes of the cut out window at the rear to hopefully perfectly match the four frames. However- on the flow supers they have utilized the box joints on the edges of the box so that the removable window essentially crosses the entire rear face of the super. In my design I left 1/2 inch of wood on mine as I cannot use the box/finger joints for my window part on my long hive without weakening the hive body structure too much. This is what I have done:

Looking at my model it says I have made the window exactly 7 3/4" (196mm). This gives me 49mm width for each flow frame. If the frames are exactly 50mm wide- and if they are supposed to be spaced tight up against each other- this should be correct? The edges of the two outer frames will overlap the window by a few mm and the entire area will be sealed so bees can’t get out? Have I missed anything? Am I supposed to leave a small gap between frames?

I might need to put a shim on the frame nearest the end so it sits away from the wall enough that the drain hole tube won’t be covered by the half inch space I have left on the corner of the box joints. If I ended up with a gap 1/8" between that frame face and the side window- would that be OK?


#2

Hi Michelle, the following link is very accurate for your cutouts. I used the standard 10 frame Alliance boxes for my Flow hive with this manual and it fits perfectly. There is a screw on the back of the Flow frame which pushes the frame up flush, this will prevent any bees from escaping when you remove the cover to extract. I wouldn’t bother with a window on the front or back, as the front is where all your bees will be streaming from and the back should be the Flow frame cover (which can be removed to check on the frames and extract). Just make sure the bees are protected from the light as they will shy away from that area and it will be the last space to be filled.

http://www.honeyflow.com/resources/flow-hive-assembly-modifications/p/142#a7

You butt the frames up against each other tight, the bee space has been already catered for.

1/8 inch (3.2mm) is a very small space, bees will not be able to pass through the gap. Is that your intentions?


#3

I bought a standard eight frame deep box for my first flow frames. I made the cutouts according to the plans. It was a 13 3/4" box and was a bit tight but worked fine. So any plans for an eight frame Langstroth box will work. Or any Langstroth plans and change the outside width to 14" or 13 3/4" (inside would be 12 1/2" or 12 1/4"). The frames should be tightly together with no gaps except between the outside frames and the outside walls. This is true of any undrawn frames in any bee box. They should be tightly together in the center until they are drawn at least. In the brood box I would always leave them tightly together in the center.