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Minimum Requirements


New bee keeper here, havent actually purchased bees or hives as I am really intereested in the Flow system to harvest honey. Bit confused but here are my questions based on my limited knowledge.
At the very least a hive consists of both a brood box and a honey box, with the langstroth as the most common hive structure. Could I just use the Flow Super (a one for one sub) as the honey collector and the rest of the langstroth as the remaining bee components? Thanks for your patience


That would be what you would do, yes.


Depending on what climate you live in will determine whether you will need one or two brood boxes for your colony to make it thru the winter season. You are correct with regards to the honey super. You can use the flow frames or standard frames to collect honey in. Although during your first season your focus should be to allow the bees to fill the brood boxes with resources they will need to get them thru the winter. You didn’t mention but I am going to assume you know you will need a bottom board and cover as well.


thank you thats the answer I was hoping to hear


I live in USA/coastal side of North Carolina. Summers are hot & humid, winters fairly mild. My first focus would be to get my bees through their first season but with a limited budget i wanted to make sure I wasnt making any purchasing mistakes. Yes I am aware of the need for both bottom and top covers


If you are handy with woodworking, you can just buy the plastic Flow frames, and modify your own boxes to accept them. Flow even provides video and printed instructions and measurements for the cuts /mods you would need to make if you wanted to do that. You don’t need to buy the complete kit from Flow, or any wood parts at all. Might save you some cash. :blush:

Having said that, the Flow super box is very nicely designed, and for around $80 extra, it was worth it to me. I accept that this isn’t true for everyone, and $80 is a lot more than the $20 or so that you can pay for a deep pine box from many beekeeping suppliers.


@ Michael NC,

Like Dawn … Mentioned if your woodshop skilled you can save a FEW bucks making your Flow-box but for the price difference I wouldn’t. I do build hive boxes but for my one Flow-hive I bought the whole kit (lock, stock, n barrel)…

For your second deep above the brood box can be acquired from Beethinking.com, Brushy Mtn or other local providers. I chose to use Beethinking.com as they built my Flow-components so all the 8 frame honey/brood boxes matched.

Get that order in as Flow is advertising local good supply n fast shipping. That way you can add Tung Oil or Exterior paint n have time for the finish to cure. Also as important ! Get your Bees (I’d only go with 5 frame Nuc). It gives you a much better running start.

here’s a pix of my Flow-hive plus. This is a special setup with double moisture absorbent boxed above the normal double deep box system. I have also added a hive monitoring system so I can monitor my hives temps, humidity n weigh during the winter month. I only have one monitor on in my apiary of five hives. I’m part of a local college research group of bees. They are pricy so doubt that’s going to be priority for you this first year at all but handy. Also find a local bee club n attend some classes. I’d strong suggest a mentor as well. That’s really got me out of some scrapes several times.

Good luck n get going bro,


Thank you Gerald and Dawn, I am stoked to get started. Im looking for my first brood to be Russian bees but from all the sources I found its too late for 2017


Italians are much easier to find and should do well in your climate. :wink:


Because you don’t own any bees yet, your probably a bee enthusiast rather than a bee keeper. Good luck when you do make your purchase & become a bee keeper. With a limited budget, I would start off with a traditional hive & go from there.


Finding a local club and a mentor is also of great help. If you can go to someone else Apiary and get the opportunity to watch or even handle some frames that will be a great start to your new hobby. I will also say that there is a ton of good information on this forum. If you search a topic I am sure you will find something published on the forum already.

I read just about every post on this forum for over a year now. Read multiple beekeeping books and asked questions to my mentor as well as on this forum.