Modifying my 8-frame Langstroth hive for 3-frame FlowFrames

I ordered 3 Flow frames within the first few minutes of the campaign thinking I would modify a deep box to accept them. Of course, cost was an issue; but I wanted to test them out before making more of a commitment. My major motivator was how difficult I now find it to lift and harvest heavy supers.

When the Flow Frames arrived right “on time” in June, I didn’t have a deep box available (having used it to establish a split from my original hive to populate the new flow hive) so my husband made a box to accept them using the dimensions given in the instruction manual for altering an existing box. I now see there are much more detailed instructions through this forum.

I have 8-frame Langstroth hives so this is a mix of 3 FlowFrames and 4 deep frames (2 on each side). We went ahead and made observation windows on each side, even though what we will be observing are the bees working the standard frames. Thought that would still be fun! Have never posted like this before with images, so hope it works:


That box looks fantastic. The finer finger joints stands out ands is a fantastic look. What wood and finish is it may I ask?

My husband has just been playing around with learning how to make those joints; so this was his first attempt. We didn’t set out to make something to show off…just to hold the new frames. The wood of the main box is pine; the trim on the door and handle is some scrap oak. I finished it with Tung oil after seeing that recommended on the forum. We live in California, so we don’t have really extreme weather. We’ll see how it holds up.

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What is not shown in the photo is a little piece of wood that goes in front of the 3 Flow frames and completely seals that cut out. It has a little handle for removal when it’s time to harvest. The observation windows also have covers to be used when the weather is cold…so we can “button” it all up.

So, the way the hive will be organized is:

  • Brood box, deep super
  • Flow box, with 3 Flow frames/4 deep frames
  • Inner cover
  • Top cover, mine is a peaked copper roof (Garden Hive)

If needed, I could put a standard super on top of the Flow box…but I don’t think I should need it. After all, isn’t that why I bought the Flow Frames? But, I guess time will tell.

Your hubby has done a classy job @en2gen and deserves a medal. Would be a shame to paint, so am glad to hear you’ll be using a quality stain treatment. A tip for the standard frames is to push them hard up against each (towards the middle) so you don’t end up with the bees drawing out excessive wax.

Nice work. A beautiful looking hive.

No, I don’t think this will be a problem. Our construction is per the instructions given with the Flow Hive and thus far I think they have thought this through thoroughly. I guess we will just have to see.

Beautiful workmanship - well done!! I am still in the planning stages to modify a couple of my wooden boxes for a 6 frame and 3 frame!

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Good to see you posted this on the forum, I know it’s helpful for everyone to see finished boxes modified for the Flow Frames :smile: