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My in-depth review of the Flow frames w/pics over on Permies.com


#1

When my frames first arrived I started a thread over on www.permies.com. Took many pics and gave personal thoughts on the frames. Plan to post there in the future. Here is the link…

http://www.permies.com/t/49508/bees/FLOW-hive-frames-arrived


#2

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#3

@ DexterShed

I do actually already have a photobucket account that I used to use for posting to many other forums online over the last 5 to 7 yrs. These days I always chose to not use photobucket if ever possible. Reason being that if I (or photobucket) ever move the photos within the account then the links to the online thread are lost forever. Ruining the thread to future readers. I have visited old threads online that I posted (and worked hard on) and the pics were all lost. Thank you though.

I can totally see why the thought of only using the flows on the two edges can sound silly depending on what someone is trying to get from their hives. It is a loaded subject as to why I came to that decision. I will make this super short/quick(leaving most out)… if I can. lol

  1. Let’s just say that two frames of honey is more than my family will ever be able to use each year. Since I have three… I will just store it on a shelf as a slip-in for maintenance on one of the other two frames down the road… or slip it into another hive.
  2. I don’t plan on Ever feeding my bees once they get established. Once bees ball up for Winter they allegedly have a hard time moving from side to side and ball up in the middle. Which is where their natural comb filled with honey is going to be as they migrate upwards. Also, honey has a much different pH as compared to syrup. This has a detrimental effect on the flora of the gut with the bees. When the pH is effected so is the flora. Normally the flora forms a natural coating on the walls of the gut and keeps things like stone brood and chalk brood spores from being able to find a home. So when the nurse bees feed the larvae… they are able to transfer their flora to the young… enabling part of their immune system. I have read the whole hive is similar to this. A whole ecosystem that is effected by pH and other Chemicals.
  3. Bee Surplus Rate - Since a bee lives most of it’s life only consuming within the hive. They only make a surplus for the colony towards the end of their harvesting time of life. They have to harvest for a while to get back to even… then the colony surplus comes at the end of the lifespan. Bees raised on honey(and without chemicals) tend to live longer lifespans. Especially if they are back to their natural cell size. Think 8 to 12 weeks instead of 6 to 8 weeks. I feel as though we are the biggest parasite to the bee colony. So I just want to harvest in a way that is easiest on the bees.

Also, I plan on using some majorly thick wood on my hive. Maybe even 2" rough cut timber if possible. I would be able to drill a .5 inch hole every other inch and not really effect the integrity of the wood.

Here is a link to the thread I started that is chocked full of links and discussions on how bees work. You can kind of see where my mind evolved from not knowing anything… to learning a lot along the way. Now I know all sorts of fun facts about bees. Like… there are at least 30 different types of insects that can be found within the hive ecosystem in the wild. Almost all of which will die off when you treat for Verroa.

http://www.permies.com/t/43864/bees/type-hive-Sheer-Total-Utter


#4

What worked for me:
I bought two hives (4 deeps 4 mediums), purchased 2nucleus colonies in the early Spring and installed them into my hives and let them do their thing. There was no need to feed them and they filled 2 deeps and a honey super before the season is out.
Get them through a winter or two and then tweak your plan accordingly. Try not to overthink this. The biggest concern that the bees have is trying to manage us lol.

Be careful what you read/watch online. Some expert beekeepers are 1 week into the hobby and are already posting their “tried and true” methods.

In under 5 years, my 2 hives are now 40 hives.

Good luck!


#5

Hi @great08, thanks for sharing your experiences on exploring the flow frames. I look forward seeing them in action to. As for placing the flow frames on the edges of the hive, it is not the general recommended approach but I see you logic and can’t see any harm in doing it that way.

Uploading photos is one of the best aspects of this forum software (which I think a lot of people aren’t aware of), simply drag and drop your images into the text editing area and there they are! Adding images from you phone is also pretty easy.