Possible way to cycle frames out of Flow hives: vertical Queen excluder?

People who run standard flow hives face a bit of an issue when they want to cycle out an old or bad comb. You can’t (easily) put it up in the flow super to hatch out as you would with a standard hive. There are vaious options- putting it on it’s side in the roof, taking out a flow frame temporarily and putting it there- getting another temporary box to go above the flow super, etc.

I have been wondering if maybe- you could use a vertical queen excluder in the main brood box? In the 8 frame boxes there is enough room to fit a thin QX in- perhaps you could put in the vertical QX at one side of the hive- move the frame/s to be removed to the other side of it- leave for three weeks before removing the comb/s and the excluder and replacing with fresh combs?

problem is it’s quite hard to find vertical QX’s… easy enough to make but one made specially to fit the flow box would be nice. It has to be about an inch deeper than the box to sit down to the mesh floor- which now that I think about it is on an angle with a larger gap at the front than the rear… so it would require a bit of finagling.

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Lots of beekeepers have super frames a different size to brood frames. An artificial swarm will create new comb. Another way is to take out an outside frame when it has no brood in it and replace it with a frame of foundation. You can do this at every inspection putting your new frame in at the opposite end creating a sort of rolling comb change. You can do a shook swarm. You can put a whole box of new frames on top of a brood and feed feed feed. A strong colony will draw a whole box in a week. You can juggle the frames so that they don’t get an opportunity to draw central frames and put syrup in them. Lots of ways.

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Hey Jack, if you only want to cycle one frame out at a time, I like the idea of placing it in the roof cavity, that is if you have no other traditional colonies or nucs that you can add them to. I would like to keep the brood at the minimum of 8 frames.

If you were going to make a vertical QX to fit into the brood, there would be nothing wrong with having the bottom inch or two in wood or sheet metal. The bees can cope without the whole area being open.

The same thing would apply if you made a QX for a TBH for example. You could make a neat fitting wooden frame slider & fit the QX inside that.

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As we have gained more knowledge the issue of cycling frames became an issue for us so we now run a full size flow hive super and another separate homemade hybrid flow hive (3 flow hive frames and 4 standard frames). Should be able to move frames from one to the other now I hope.


I don’t cycle anything out anymore, but back when I was regressing bees, I cycled out the large cell for small cell. As long as you have a box full of combs to put above the excluder it doesn’t matter if they fit in a flow frame super. You always need some extra boxes. So I don’t see the problem.