I have been selling bees this season- and so far this year I have had 5 different people all ask for bees for their ‘flow hives’. When they bring the hive it is a fake chinese flow hive- very annoying! The brood box is about 1cm too long- standard langstoth frames can fall off the rebates down into the hive. The box needs to be modified in order to fit standard frames. Also they all come with inner covers covered in mesh- and bamboo queen excluders. Some of them come with stupid overly long frames that have no shoulder on the sides- so the beespace is all wrong and are fitted with fake bright orange wax- it stinks of petrochemicals. I refuse to use these and tell people to get proper Australian beeswax foundation and langstroth frames. So far this year I have had 5 fake flow hives to two real genuine ones.
I tell people not to buy this rubbish- and not to trust the actual frames. I feel pretty concerned that people will end up with supers full of honey- and onyl then find out the frames do not work correctly I advise all of them not to use the fake flow frames- and to use instead standard frames. I doubt many of them listen to me. Some do. I tell them to buy genuine flow hives.
Given I am only a small beekeeper here in adelaide- it seems to me there must be literally thousands and thousands of the these fake flow hives in Australia.
People DO NOT BUY these fake flow hives! They are going to be more trouble than they are worth.
Hi Jack, people up this way must have more money, because I find the opposite. I see plenty of Flows & very few fakes. However I not long walked in the door after visiting the 3 fakes I put together earlier this year. I checked to see if bees are up into the frames yet, after the bees had a miserable start during winter with those big holes in the roofs coupled with those mesh crown boards, despite me advising to change things, as he was picking up his bees. Some bees in one hive started, however I noticed a lot of comb with honey below & above the QE. If the wife was home, she would have gotten a nice jar of honey. Those gaps above & below the QE are a bit too big for my liking.
Overall, I give the fake Flows 2 sincere thumbs down.
The same bloke has that Flow hive that got slimed out. Consequently there were heaps of beetles hiding in every nook & cranny, & I never had one flat roof in sight, which I find handy to shake beetles onto before I squash them. Also, no flat roof to rest my smoker on
I advise them all to ditch the screened top cover, add a 1cm piece of ply to the rear wall of the brood box, ditch the bamboo excluder, and reduce the entrance. Then put screws in the box too… Then I tell them not to trust the frames. The actual woodware is OK- kinda pretty hives. If they don’t add that piece of ply and use standard frames- I reckon they’ll end up with comb on the frame ends. It’s a shame there isn’t more control over dodgy products entering Australia…
Hi Jack and Jeff,
I appreciate you informing those that are unaware of the dangers involved with fake Flow.
Perhaps it may not seem like it by the load of fakes available online but let me confirm that Flow works vigorously to defend their IP and protect unknowing buyers from illegal counterfeit Flow products. This includes in Australia, China, and all other countries that we own the registered IP portfolio for our design and technology (all major and minor markets). Personally for me it’s incredibly upsetting to realise how difficult and not straightforward it is to defend something that is lawfully yours, even in your own country where the product is made, was invented and company founded.
Aside from approaching this issue at an IP-defence agle, we have the opportunity to inform new beekeepers about the dangers, risks and wasted time involved with buying fake Flow products, and this includes the fabulous ‘Flow army’ of supporters that endlessly offer this support in the online space and within their local community. Flow is forever grateful for this.
I personally inspected a fake Flow Hive recently and it was so interesting to see it in action and the numerous design flaws and oversights. One in particular prevented me from being able to remove the Flow Frames from the super with my hive tool as there was no groove to hook it (harvest end of the hive). The super was too full of wax and honey for me to be able to use one end with my hive tool. And then there’s the smell of the plastic and questionable materials. The list goes on. I am understanding that most people who buy fake Flow, end up realising that you get what you pay for but plus a headache, and they usually end up buying a genuine after as they realise the great potential in the product.
But please let me reassure you that our team work so hard to do our best to control this matter, and we appreciate all of the help we receive from our Flow community, which also includes notifying us of new offenders.
Hi Jack, I modified the hives I’m talking about by removing the screen, as well as the middle bar from the frame, before fixing it under the rood. Then I used some of the mesh to block the holes, while supplying hive mats. It’s all futile because, as @Bianca said, it’s difficult to remove the frames. It’s ok while they’re not propolized & glued to the queen excluder. It’ll be interesting to see if those bamboo QEs can withstand prizing them off the brood box, once fully stuck down with comb & propolis.
In my case they WILL get stuck down fast because all the owner wants to do is harvest honey, on the hives without physically checking the frames first. He said it would be uneconomical to get me to check the frames before he harvested.
he sounds like a terrible beekeeper Jeff. A chaeapskate- who will end up paying
I got mine to replace that board with a plain flat inner cover- advised them to buy metal QX’s and not to use the chinese frames at all. That’s all I can do- I hope they listened.
Hi Jack, I guess he is a beekeeper if you take the term literally. However he just wants to be a honey harvester. Despite his experience with the flow hive getting slimed out, & now an influx of hive beetles around his hives, he still wants to push his luck, with what appears to be his attitude that he’ll be somehow immune to the usual challenges that beekeepers face.
On the subject of giving advice: Somehow I think we just waste our time & energy. Answering questions only is probably the best policy. I tell them to join this forum & ask questions with the help of the magnifying glass.
I call them beehavers not beekeepers…
Know what you mean: I advise them all to join our bee society and go to the open days. It’s the perfect way to learn hands on exactly what you need to do at any given time of the year. They cost like$10…. At a guess less than one in 10 do.
I started out a bit optimistic that it would be all honey and no swarms. Soon learnt it doesn’t work like that…
When Peter48 called the bamboo QEs rubbish or crapp, I didn’t comment because I didn’t know how good or poorly they performed. Now I know, they are every bit the rubbish they got labeled with. This is after 4 yrs. of use, I discovered that the bees chewed the bamboo down, thus allowing the queen to freely pass through. Those little wooden entrance closers are also rubbish, because the bees chew them down, rendering them useless.