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Problem with Design!


My hive body arrived and the instructions tell me to tilt it back 2-4degrees. We do not have variola mites here but do have over 100" of rain and so tilt slightly forward 2-4 degrees not back and use solid bottom board. Also 10 frame hive bodies and have telescoping lid for rain on the top and I am not a carpenter and a top with cut out for ten frame is not available.I am wondering if I should just send it all back for a refund before trying to use or if anybody has a reasonable suggestion of how to make this work for here?


You really only need to tip it back when extracting the honey, this allows it to flow out towards the back. So if you need to keep the hive tilted forward you can, and then put a prop in place just for the honey super to get the tilt you need for extracting.


Thanks Tim how about shimming the super so I would not have to do this? Also I am not a carpenter and my lid will not work so?


It sounds like you ordered the Flow super in 8-frame Langstroth (6-frame Flow frame) size, but you have a 10-frame Langstroth hive. Is that correct? If so, I suggest you start another hive, this time an 8-frame Langstroth hive - that would probably be cheaper than returning the kit you have ordered. Otherwise, we need more info on what you have exactly (hive type, number of frames in each box), and what you ordered from Flow, or we won’t be able to help you properly.

As Tim says, you only need to tilt the hive when harvesting, even then you don’t have to, it just helps the honey flow more efficiently and avoids unnecessary spills.


You can shim the super, or shim the whole hive. You can take off the telescoping cover when you harvest, and just leave the inner cover on top of the Flow super until you have finished draining.


Thank you for your help and will proceed along now…


If it came with a screened bottom the water will all run out the bottom regardless. The tipping back, as other’s have said, is so the honey will run out.


We do not use screened bottom boards in this area of the tropics due to ants and other pest invasion. Also we are perhaps one of the last places to not have variola mites. Also it rains over 100"/year here so the bottom board needs to be tilted forward to not drown the bees. I received a response from flow hive that said just shimming back the hive when harvesting would cause fermenting of some remaining honey that would not drain and cause other problems. From there answer it seems they really have not thought this hive through for my area or situation. I use a ten frame hive as makes for a hardier hive here. I bought the appropriate super from flow hives but am now wondering if I can make it work. They suggested drilling holes in the bottom board but that might create the same problems the screen would making an access for all the ants here and also the might water flow in our very heavy rains might not drain.

So I am thinking about the not idea solution of redoing the whole hive and gluing wood on to the edges of the bottom board and the planning to make a rear tilt to the hive bodies etc.I am worried that this will create weird and problematic spacing.
Another thought was to glue lumber to the edges of the flow super and the planing it to have a rear tilt but that might create to big an angle difference. I sure wish the flow hive people had a good solution but so far they don’t. They also said harvesting from the front would cause possible problems for me with harvesting.
I bought this with the though that it was well thought out and would make harvesting and set up easy but seems like it is not so easy.
Any constructive thoughts?


Mine are on a stand where everything is level. Mine are also back to back (two rows facing out) and side to side, so I end up tipping mine forward (and that is the end where the harvest is done) and put a 3/4" board under the back to hold it while I harvest. Also mine are a bit tall so I used an empty box or two to put the bucket on. Then I tip it back enough to pull the board out and put it back on the stand.

I suppose if I had more of them I probably should nail a one by two (3/4" by 1 1/2") board down the back and make separate boards to slip under the front. Then I could get to it better and remove the board in the front to harvest and put it back when I’m done. Or build my stands with the back board 3/4" higher than the front board.


Well, as I see it, you still have some options. The first is to temporarily shim the hive to tilt back when you harvest, and then just leave it shimmed for a couple of days afterwards to let any honey in the lower channel drain back into the hive. You may lose a few bees if it rains, but I think this would be the easiest solution.

If you don’t want to shim the whole hive, my next idea would be to clear the Flow super of bees, just like you do with a traditional hive, then take it off the hive to a harvesting area (like your kitchen). Shim it in the kitchen so that the honey flows out of the channel, and leave it draining until the honey is mostly gone. Of course it will be very heavy, (likely well over 25kg), so you may not want to carry it with that weight.


I believe I’m heading for shimming the whole hive so I can have the bottom board drain and honey drain like it was designed for. Hard to start with but perhaps easiest in the long run. I ordered a new bottom board and will play with it on the work bench till I have it right and then take everything apart and install it.


Michael thanks for the picture as it helps. I notice you have 2 supers under the flow hive and as I currently have three full ones was thinking about putting one on top of the flow hive and the flow hive on the separator, any thoughts? I have gotten ride of all but one of my hives as we do not sell honey and can not give away all the honey we make now but we also have over 350 species of palms and other rare plants on the grounds and so need bees and also wish to know where they live.

Is the tubing anything special or just from local hardware store so it fits over the supplied little tubes?


I run eight frame mediums. Four of those are what people typically overwinter with here (equivalent to two ten frame deeps). With a really strong hive, I often use five. The tubing is from the local hardware store. It fits tight in the hole, it does not fit over the supplied tubes.


Turn it around and harvest from the front. Use a standard bottom shimmed up to tilt to the front.

Or what about a series of small holes drilled in the flow base so it drains?


Just build a BB, I made this one, so making a solid one should be even easier