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Modifications to Flow Hive Classic, multiple brood boxes - Utah, USA


#1

The locals are telling me I need 2 stacked 10 frame brood boxes in order for my hive to overwinter her in Utah USA. I’m trying to figure out what now. Can I modify the brood box I bought from flow hive (8 frame) to stack on a 10 frame Langstroth? Should I scrap the provided brood box that came with the Flow Hive kit and try to modify the super to work on the stacked 10 frames? Should I start over and try to return the Flow Hive kit I purchased in favor of a larger 7 super that will fit on on a Langstroth 10? Should I put what I have on an additional Langstroth 8 frame deep and that would be sufficiant? Should I mellow the heck out and just learn as much as I can before the bees get here in spring and make my own mind up at that point? Thank you, worried newbie


#2

You don’t need to. Two 10-frame Langstroth boxes have 20 frames. To get close with an 8-Frame hive, just use 3 boxes for brood, which will give you 24 frames. The idea is to have enough space for food stores for your bees to make it through your chilly winters. Ed (@Red_Hot_Chilipepper) runs his hives on three 8-frame brood boxes over winter, and he is very successful with it.

If you want matching wood for the extra brood box, www.beethinking.com sells 8 frame deep boxes in western red cedar. The corner joints won’t be exactly the same, but the wood matches.
https://www.beethinking.com/collections/parts-accessories/products/langstroth-deep-cedar-hive-box?variant=22461173380

Don’t get complicated, just because your fellow beekeepers are used to 10 frame boxes. You can do it perfectly well with 8 frames, and the bees really don’t care as long as they have enough food. Mellow out and enjoy the Holiday season! :wink:

I will be in Park City in 2 months’ time, so I have been watching your weather - looks like it has been snowing in the mountains, at least! :blush:


#3

Trust us, stick with all one size box instead of some 10’s and some 8’s. Get two extra 8 frame deeps and maybe even 1 or 2 mediums with frames and foundation.
Send thank you gift to, AwesomeDawn_SD@shesaveduaheapoftrouble.com :slight_smile:


#4

Thank you for your input. That makes perfect sense. I will do that. Oh, and I will relax as well .we did have a nice foot or so of snow Christmas eve . Thank you to red_hot_chilipepper as well


#5

Steve,

Like Dawn n Chiiipepper have said. Both work fine. I’m old school 10 frame beekeeper slowly moving toward 8 frames. As mentioned … Just do the frame math for winter stores n you should be fine.

As I get older … Lifting n swing the large deep boxes gets traditionally heavy :smiley:. Having only double or triple deep 8 frames is lighter n easier to handle.

Cheers bro,
Gerald


#6

Gooday From Down Under ,
Enjoy your Bee’s and learn about the variabilities beekeepers have . I would read up on Michael bush bees - check his website and free online books , for nubee beekeepers he makes a lot of sense and challenges a lot of mainstream thinking with experience , logic and not too common -common sense .
A couple of points to ease your information overload ( all new beekeepers have) .
1. natural and manmade micro-climates exist in all states and countries ,so study yours and site your hive/s to best protect them from the elements .You can build a shelter to protect them better or purchase new fangled plastic / polystyrene boxes , the bees require less energy to stay warm and consume less stores to maintain size . It is just possible that overwintered hives may contain more bees or utilise stores more efficiently if they have less pressure to stay warm . My gut feeling with no scientific proof !!
2. Michael Bush hales from Nebraska -they have cold winters there , so his local knowledge and his studies could be very useful to you .
3. You can shave off a poof-teenth from each frame in the brood boxes - say 1/8 " and you can now fit 9 x frames in an 8 x frame Langstroth .-another 5,500 cells in each box .This will give you 18 x frames in two boxes , closer to the 20 x frames you have been advised to have .
This is The Captain from the other side of the world with his two bobs worth , have a happy new year and welcome to " the bee world ."


#7

Thank you David for the warm welcome and the information. I’ve decided that a person kind of has to pick a way to go until one develops ones own skill set. I’ve seen Michael Bush info here and there and he makes alot of good points. I’m currently reading and listening to all of michaels’ posts on subjects that I’m studying and going with his train of thinking. Shaving frames down to fit 9 in 8x box as well. I’m so looking forward to the learning curve of this new subject. Happy New Year indeed!


#8

This may be too long of a story but it shows how we have to flexible with the flowframes I think.
Since I am a girl, although a 50 something girl, I use all 8 frame medium boxes and always have. I use 3 boxes for brood in the spring and summer, and additional 8 frame boxes on top for honey. I can lift these at 50 lb and could never lift a 10 frame box full due to its weight. So, I bought the flow frame box (8 frame size) with its 6 flow frames (not the full hive) and plopped it atop my 3 boxes of brood in spring 2016. 2 hives took to it right away, 1 hive explored it a lot but preferred to put honey in the brood box if they could which would cause the queen to be honey bound. I finally switched a couple of frames from the hives who liked the flow frames to the hive that didn’t to give them the idea. After they were using the flowframes, I did give all hives a regular medium super to fill as well. The idea was to let them keep this box for their winter honey while I extracted from the flow frames. I put this box below the flow box in the hives that liked the flowframes and above the flowbox in the hive that didn’t to make them pass through the flowbox and notice how roomy it was for honey… I was simply experimenting. My plan was to remove the flowbox for winter. I didn’t like the idea of it freezing etc. This worked out well for me. In the fall when I was ready to prepare for winter, I removed the flow boxes (I actually took them to the house to empty, they weren’t fully capped due to previous honey removals). I set them on a deep cookie sheet to catch draining honey, positioned at the counter edge and drained into jars. The honey was not all ripe. I checked the moisture with my refractometer - yes you need one here in the humid south - and it was over 19… too wet. (I actually found that my bees were capping the flowframe honey a bit wetter than their regular frames. It was a VERY rainy year so maybe that will even out next year). I pour the not yet ripe/too wet honey in large turkey sized aluminum disposable trays and set those on TV trays in a small closet. I put a little $10 dehumidifier in the closet along with a $5 humidity monitor, both off amazon. The honey evaporated the excess moisture off in a week or so). I set the flow box and its frames out in the yard far from the house and let the bees rob out and clean up the flow frames. They did an excellent job in 1 day. Clean and dry flowframes and box. I took the flow boxes to my storage building and was sure to cover the top because the info on flowframes says don’t expose the frames to excess light. The flowboxes are happily waiting til spring. Meantime, back at the apiary… I broke the hives down to 2 boxes for winterbrood and 1 full box of honey they made for themselves. 3 boxes total, but then I am in southeast Texas and we only get a few days of really cold weather here. I spend a lot of winter days in my shirtsleeves. I made sure there were additional frames of honey in the 1 and 8 frame position in the lower 2 boxes as well. That gives them 12 frames of honey. Here, they will still be foraging in November and the clover will be in flower in later Feb so I just don’t need as much honey for them for winter, nor will they be all that cold in just 3 boxes. I know this is a long story but it is to illustrate the integration of flowbox and my existing equipment and how my own ideas of how to do that worked out. Lessons learned: I am not sure about that thing where the flowframe honey is capped a bit wetter, I know the cells appear larger on the flowframes… when I put one of my boxes atop the flowframes, I got propolis on the top of the flowframes, I just scrapped it off… the top cover of my darling little copper topped garden hives (yes my beekeeper group old fogies call me the Martha Steward of beekeeping) does not fit perfect over the flowbox. Its a little tight but it does work with a little jiggling. So that’s my story. My advice. Just buy a 8 frame med box and stick it between the flowhive broodbox and the flowframe box if you need to expand. Not all 8 frame boxes made by different companies are exactly the same measurements but good enough to make it all fit together without cracks showing or lids that won’t fit at all. Good Luck.


#9

Thank you so much for your input. It is greatly appreciated. I believe I’m getting the idea. I have two additional brood boxes assembled and ready for summer.


#10

Guineaman you have received some good advice especially from Red Hot Chilipepper and Down under. Essentially stick with the 8 frame as they are more versatile and mainly because of the weight factor. Remember that a frame will produce about 2.5 Kg (5-6lb) of honey and when you multiply this by 10 frames and then add the weight of the frame and 20,000 plus bees, and you will realise 10 frames is a dying art. Total weight is around 35-40 Kg or 2 Jerry cans. In fact a number of people are now using a smaller medium box which is compatible with all 8 frame standard boxes. Good luck from Beeutiful1, also from the land of Oz.