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New hive for Flow supers?


Has anybody seen this?
What do you think


Never seen it before. I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. The only issues I can think of is making sure you don’t flip the frame upside down. For me, I would have to mark the top, otherwise I think inadvertently downsloping the cells might interfere with honey storage and laying. Also, if you do need to lift the brood box, it would be incredibly heavy. :blush:


Agree with @Dawn_SD. Similar has been done before, perhaps just not commercially.
One day when I make my observation hive
I will stack single or double frames vertically and access them from the side similar to the video above. Thats a way off yet. Have only just started on my others.


I’ve been reading all the ABJs from 1886. It’s very interesting, although a bit disjointed. A lot of short one or two paragraph “articles” and letters. It’s obvious that, at the time, the method of overwintering was the use of the cellar and there was much discussion about keeping the bees cool enough to keep them “quintencent”. Another subject, that apparently wasn’t so much a controversy about it’s usefulness as a controversy about patenting it, was “reversing frames”. The Heddon hive had been recently patented and there was much discussion about whether multiple shallow brood boxes had already been done (Heddon’s hive was eight frame hives with combs about 4 1/2" deep or so making it similar to two eight frame shallows), whether thumbscrews to anchor the frames so the box could be inverted had been done by others and whether inverting the frames had been done. None seem to contest that Heddon had invented a frame that allowed the comb to be inverted (a frame inside a frame that swiveled).

I found it interesting in light of several discussions that have occured on Beesource in the past. First they would purposely invert the combs in the brood nest to get the bees to move the honey cap out, prevent swarming and expand the brood nest. Many people on here have said that queens cannot lay in inverted combs, but apparently many people were doing this and there was no mention of any reluctance on the part of the queen to lay in the brood nest, in fact it was done to get her to expand the brood nest. There was also no mention of any problems storing or moving honey with inverted cells.

But, second, there has been the links to articles about the man with the round combs that rotate, in order to control Varroa. I’m not that interested in doing that much work, but if someone wanted to experiment with the idea, inverting brood boxes should have a similar effect on the Varroa. If one inverted the brood boxes every six days then all the varroa would have to deal with the inversion during the course of their stay in the sealed brood.

Here are a couple of quotes from books of the time:


"While the reversing of brood combs will produce no ill effects whatever, numerous are the advantages arising from such reversal; some of which aid us materially in accomplishing the desired results which are partially accomplished in the contracting system, above described.

"When using frames even no deeper than the standard Langstroth, you know how the bees (especially Italians) will persist in crowding the queen by storing honey that ought to go into the surplus department, along the upper edge of the brood combs, just under the top bar, and farther down in the upper corners, till by actual measurement we find that nearly one-fourth of each frame, and sometimes more, is occupied with honey.

“Now if we reverse the frame containing a comb so tilled, we place the honey in an unusual position; in a place usually occupied with brood, and when this is done in the breeding season, when the bees are not inclined to decrease their quantity of brood, this honey will be immediately removed to the surplus department, and soon the frame will be one solid sheet of brood, which is a glad sight to the bee-keeper whose experience has taught him the value of a compact brood nest, free from honey.”

Success in Beeculture by James Heddon Pg 85

It seemed a pretty common subject:


“The engraving represents the reversible brood-frame made by Mr. James Heddon. Many devices have been presented to reverse the frames, but this is as good as any, where reversing is desired.”

Bees and honey, or, The management of an apiary for pleasure and profit by Thomas G. Newman pg 44


I understand the advantages of more fully utilizing the brood space during the warm season, but wouldn’t this create an issue for the cluster getting to the honey stores when it gets cold? I have read that overwintering hives have starved because the bees could not get to the honey stores above them.


…or below them, or next to them, or at the other end of a horizontal hive…


:smiley: OK, OK. So does that not mean that the bees’ instinctive system of keeping about 25% honey on each comb of brood is a survival mechanism? And if that is so, how does a beekeeper inverting frames to get the bees near 100% brood on the frame work out in the winter?


I think it’s more about effeciency. It’s more effecient to have some honey around the brood so you can easily feed them and if you run out of nectar you don’t have to go a long ways to get more. It may also pay off in winter, but that’s hard to say. If there is honey somewhere else, but the cluster can’t move to it was it a good plan?

I’ve never done reversing. It was a big fad at one time. My point is that the bees will use comb oreiented in any way and also, I should point out that there is evidence that reversing disrupts the Varroa mites…