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The pros and cons of flow frames


#1

I have heard everyone talking about flow frames and I have a good idea what they are., but I am not sure why to just use traditional supers. If anyone is willing to help me out, please reply.


#2

Hmm, can’t quite parse the question. Perhaps “not sure why not to just use”?

If you have the uncapping knife, a centrifuge, strainers, a dedicated honey room etc, you probably don’t need Flow frames. However, if you don’t have these, the Flow frames are very convenient for extracting high quality honey with minimal effort.


#3

Thank you. Would a honey super be considered a dedicated honey room?


#4

I started out with two regular hives and didn’t have all those tools that Dawn mentioned.

When a frame was ready and I needed some honey, I would take it out and either uncap it with a bread knife or crush and strain it through a stocking lol.

Once I got over 10 hives and started selling honey, I invested in an extractor and the tools that go along with that. I still do my harvesting in the comfort of my kitchen :slight_smile:

I’ll be back to 50+ hives in another 6 weeks.


#5

A honey room is wherever you collect your honey. Commercial apiaries with 100’s or 1000’s of hives have a dedicated room for honey harvesting. I use the kitchen. I store all of my stuff in the basement. It takes up a 2’ x 4’ space.: My honey supers get stored in the barn and I can fit them all on a single 4’ x4’ pallet.


#6

Not what I had in mind. A “honey room” is a hygienic human-sized room with enough space to hold bee boxes, frames, extraction equipment etc, and preferably having a sink with water to wash off sticky equipment. It is dedicated to food quality honey extraction (usually). :wink:

It is an official requirement in some countries, and as your profile doesn’t tell me where in the world you are, I thought I should mention it. If you already have a honey room, a Flow hive probably won’t make sense for you.


#7

for me- Flow frames are ideal for the backyard beekeeper. You do not need them. You can do it the traditional ways- it’s a personal decision AND having done it the old way and the new Flow way- I like them- even though they cost more- I think they are worth it. For me the only con to the flow frame method is the price and weighed against the benefits I decided to bite the bullet- and have gone from 6 frames to 28 in the last 12 months. I have a frame spinner- and know that I can get 6 full traditional supers for the price of one flow super- and I will make honey using more traditional methods- yet I am still happy to buy more flow frames. For people who only plan to have one or two hives- and who have limited space and/or time- the flow hive is a great way to go.

The other day I harvested 12 kg’s of really good honey- without spilling so much as a single drop- straight from the hive into the bucket- No Muss- No fuss!


#9

Thank you. I think that I will end up following Red_Hot_Chilipepper’s example and use my kitchen.


#10

I’ve using my kitchen/dining room for nearly 30 years, they are still going strong:)


#11

I ran out of newspaper and got fed up with cleaning up the sticky mess. Plus I have to lug the centrifuge up a flight of stairs from the garage. So now I have Flow frames. We will see how that goes - I have yet to have a harvest, but less than one year with the Flow hive, and last season was a bad one.


#12

Hi Dawn, I put tiles everywhere except the bedrooms. Our floors are easy to clean. I wasn’t keeping bees at the time, I had just started growing our own food. I knew I’d be flat out keeping carpet clean, so we went with tiles.


#13

Hi Jeff, tiles are a great idea. I am amazed at how honey has an ability to get on the floor no matter how careful one is. In the 70’s dad had a good harvest from our hives and he called it quits on extracting at about 2 am I think. Anyhow, later in the morning after few hours sleep he went down to the kitchen to survey everything in daylight and turned on the radio. What was the song playing? “Honey, Honey” by ABBA ( -1974 hit song).


#14

I grew up in a tiled house- and always thought it was the best- you can’t mop the carpet now can you? Carpets are dust factories… A freshly mopped tiled house is the bees knees. Only glasses don’t bounce off of tiles so well…

If jeff can harvest up to 6000 kg’s of honey in the kitchen annually- with his trusty old two frame spinner- I think it’s safe to conclude that a dedicated honey extraction plant is not 100% mandatory…


#16

A wise person once told me, “Sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness, than to ask permission” :blush:


#17

This may sound blunt, but do you have to have your hives inspected?


#19

I am planning to paint my hive in a few days. Does anyone have a suggestion in terms of paint color and what type of finish to use?


#20

In New Jersey, we register our apiaries. If we plan to sell nucs, queens, or packages, we must have the state apiarist come and inspect the parent colonies. Our state inspector will be here before May 1st :slight_smile:


#21

Is it pine or cedar? If cedar, I would go for 100% pure Tung Oil, 2-3 coats. If it is pine, you can also use the Tung Oil, but it won’t last as long. Some people have used exterior decking stain/sealant to retain the natural wood appearance. Others use a high quality exterior polyurethane varnish. On my pine nucleus boxes, I used a high quality exterior acrylic/latex paint. You haven’t completed your profile to say where in the world you are, but if you have hot summers, you might want to go for a light color to help the bees keep the hive cooler. White or cream work pretty well. If your climate is cooler, then you can use any color you fancy.