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Moving hive from top bar to flow hive


Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,

I am not certain how to accomplish the move from the current top bar hive to the Flow Hive. Would appreciate any ideas?

Thank you,


Hi Jan, are you planning to modify the Top Bar and place the Flow frames on top or move your bees into the Flow hive brood chamber? If so, you only need to cut the brood and honey combs from your existing bars and then place these inside the bottom box frames of the Flow hive using string or elastic bands to hold them in place, some trimming may be required. If it’s a large colony you may need two brood boxes to house all the comb. Then gently brush the remainder bees into the new box and move the top bar away, make sure the new hive is roughly where the top bar was so any wandering bees find their way home.


Hello Jan, I am still waiting for my flow hive but when i get it this is what we (my partner and I) are going to do: we are going to turn it into a long hive, placing the actual flow frames at one end with the queen separator between the honey flow combs and the brood box. In other words, it’s going to be horizontal, like a top bar but with rectangular frames with just the wax guide at the top. They are as easy to build as the 120 degree top bar, only rectangular and you can make a screen bottom for the dreaded SHB as well. I wonder if you could still use your existing combs and hang those in the long hive anyway, just as you would do when you create a split. I really can’t wait until we get to make our hybrid hive. Hope that helps. All the best, Elyane


This sounds really cool - I’d love it if you show us pictures when you do it. :slight_smile:


I shall. Watch this space :wink:


Would it be possible to leave the bees there in their top bar?
They have spent a long time creating their home for you to start cutting frames to fit a langstroth. It’s not as if you are doing a cut-out to save a colony.
They have constructed dance floors on which to waggle their messages,comb to communicate from one length of the colony to the other,the queen has laid her scent trail and lots of other things we don’t understand.They have made complex nurseries for their brood.
Could you not artificially swarm the queen into your new hive when they make queen cells rather than having to do the very same some time after the move?
A good queen would lay lots of new brood and you would still get a decent honey crop if the weather is good, and you would have an extra colony