Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Transfer from a Dadant hive to a Langstroth



Based in France, I am struggling to find Langstroth frames with bees… Most are Dadant hives.Length seems to be ok but height is a real problem (30cm vs 26cm for the langstroth Flow hive).
Any idea ?
It is now mid July and I might be a bit too optimistic to get the bees transfered in an empty hive without issues for winter…

Thoughts ?


Are packages not available in France?
It would have to wait till next year though.


One option is to cut out the wax with brood and honey, then fix it to a Langstroth frame with rubber bands. Here is a photo of the kind of thing I am talking about:

When the wax is properly attached, the bees will remove the rubber bands for you. :blush:


Packages are available but as you mentioned would have to wait…and I have been waiting already due to poor weather far too long…:slight_smile:


That’s a bummer…but you know you will have nice strong colonies next year if you order a couple of packages for then. An alternative is to run a Dadant over winter and shook swarm into a Lang in the spring.


Wow ! Ok that looks like proper DYI beekeeping ! Love it

How much of the wax with brood and honey you cut ?
And stupid questions: what do you cut it with ? + What reaction is expected from our little friends ?


If you are going to do that, find the queen and keep her safe first


Errmmm… As much as possible!!! :smile: Truly, I would try to cut filled comb - if it won’t all fit into the new frame, I would leave empty comb if possible. If the comb is all full, then I would leave honey or pollen and keep the brood. Just make sure to keep it the same way up in the new frame, or the honey will run out when the bees uncap it, and it is the wrong angle for brood too.

There aren’t any stupid questions! :wink: I use a long (25cm) sharp knife, and I make sure to have wire cutters if the old frames have wired foundation. You could use a sharp hive tool, but I find a knife easier. It will be messy, and the wax will break. You will lose brood and honey, but you should get most of it, and if you have a helper, it shouldn’t take too long.

They will be very upset with you (use smoke), but they will follow the brood. I would put your Dadant nucleus on the spot you want for your Flow hive, open it and let them orient to the location for a few days. Then do the “cutout” and put the Flow brood box in the same place as the Dadant was before.

Excellent advice. This is quite a traumatic process, but the bees will recover quickly, and much more quickly if the queen is safe.


I still don’t know why anybody would willingly traumatise a hive like this. Fine if you are doing a cut-out to save the colony but if you are simply wanting to move them to a more convenient box then I think patience is key. What is one year in the life of a beekeeper?


Different courses for different horses, I suppose.

I have seen it done to transfer bees from deeps to mediums. Some of my fellow beekeepers feel a cutout is less traumatic than leaving mixed size boxes with the uncertainty of the bees vacating the old box in favor for the new one, and meanwhile surviving the dearths and winter.

Also, I suppose if you don’t have the skills to make an adapter, you may not want to try to mix Dadant with Langstroth, so a cutout might be a better option. Just depends on what you have available, and your local conditions. Most of us try our best for our bees, we just do it in slightly different ways. :blush:


How about:

  • Telescoping Top cover
  • Inner Cover
  • Langstroth Brood Box w/ Lanstroth Frames.
  • Langstroth Brood Box w/ Dadant/Langstroth jumbo frames.
  • 4 CM Imerie Shim
  • Slanted base board

It keeps beespace, and really isn’t any different than a typical Langstroth hive, except moving the bottom brood box would need consideration that the bottom 4cm of the box isn’t attached to the rest of the box. Right?

Or take a handsaw and cut off the bottom 4 cm of the frames and have an open 3 sided frame like others have done when converting deeps to mediums?

(Sheesh, I’m not even a beekeeper yet and already adding to the “Ask 2 Beeks get 3 opinions” trope.)



Welcome to Beekeeping. Different thots n opinions are based on different experiences n personal preferences. Someday you too will have your own ideas n thots. Just remember the basics, listen n read a lot then pull up you “boot straps” and wade on into Beekeeping … Are we having fun yet ?! :wink:

Enjoy n take care !



I finally found a better solution that cutting the comb…
I created a “super” Langstroth frame of 6.5cm high between the base/entrance and the brood box. I will try to send pictures. Easy enough to make and will go back to langstroth frame as times goes by.;
Need to find a way to extend the frame of the dadant though as while they are fitting it is really a mission to put them in and out without the risk of missing the little 2/3mm holding them on each side…

So far all are happy with the setting…


Bonjour je voie pas l utilité de transfert, moi je pose la flow sur ma dadan 10 comme une hausse
Sa demande un tout petit peu de menuiserie mais vraiment pas grand chose
Comme je l ai reçu trop tard ce sera pour l année prochaine


I’m pretty much in the same boat as @ToxicDiver was last year, except that bee packages are not an option in my country at all (see this post for more details on hive/frame sizes and bee sources). I have the empty Flow hive ready to go, but didn’t catch any swarms this year (I even put up an ad in the most popular online classifieds here). I do have three Dadant hives though, and would transfer a colony in some way.

@ToxicDiver, can you please explain your method in more detail, and perhaps post some photos? How did everything work out for you?

I’m just wondering if the cut-and-paste method is the only option I have right now.


Hi lori,

I have used several techniques to move slowly from a Dadant frame to
a Langstroth :
I will try to post photos later:

I have added a small wood frame at the bottom of my Langstroth Flow hive
brood box to raise it so a Dadant frame can fit in, height wise.
The length of the frames was just enough to fit (a couple of cm each side)
but with propolis they stayed there even loaded with bees and honey.Just
need to be careful when taking them out or putting them back in…
I started with only a 5 frame Dadant hive so I had space to add some
Langstroth frames from the start, a bit more to the center…

Once a Dadant frame was only loaded with honey, I was removing it and then
replacing it with a Langstroth frame. (see option 3 that I am currently
using as it could help speed up the process tremendously)

As the Langstroth are shorter (in height) than the Dadant frames and my
brood box was raised, the bees were creating some cells below the
Langstroth frames. I used those cells (cutting them from the outside base
of the Langstroth frame with either a knife or the a basic hive tool) by
putting them in a Langstroth frame empty, holding it in place between 3
elastic bands (very easy to find and slide the cells without damaging them
between the bands). I tried putting the cells at the bottom or at the top
of the frame. Gravity showed me that bottom is better… :o)
Obviously the challenge with this option is that the bees might be quicker
to build below the Langstroth frame than to prevent breeding on the dadant
frame and you might end up with too many frames… For me it worked as I
created a second hive like this with young eggs…
The elastic bands are getting cut by the bees and fall by themselves. Even
if they are not biodegradable or healthy for the bees, I haven’t had any

3 (my recommended option with the 1 year experience that I have…).
When weather permits it, like Spring/Summer (i.e. now in Northern
hemisphere), what I did is put an empty Langstroth broodbox at the bottom
with Langstroth empty frames (or some from Option 1 or 2 if you have). A
Queen excluder on top, then on top
either the wood frame to raise a second Langstroth brood box with my Dadant
or just put a Langstroth brood box with the Dadant frames in with the Flow
hive roof on top. The frames can not fall due to the queen excluder and the
height of the roof allow the extra height…

Put all my bees and my queen in the bottom empty brood box (especially the
queen) and wait… The top Dadant frames which might have some eggs, and
brood + honey + pollen etc. will be taken care of by the workers at the
bottom.After some time as the Queen is not laying at the top, the Dadant
frames will be empty of any brood or eggs, I will just wait for sufficient
reserve in the bottom part for removing the frames in the top one.

I have personally combined 1, 2, 3 and after starting in July last year
with no bee keeping experience beyond a few youtube videos and this forum,
and I have now 2 healthy 99% Langstroth hives and looking forward to my
first harvest (once the flowhive frame are filling up but that’s another

Hope this helps.


Thank you very much for the detailed answer. After my next inspection I will think about the feasibility of doing it this year and decide on a strategy.


Hi Dawn,

Where is the original post on how to do this? I would like to share the info with a customer who is asking about how to transfer a nuc from medium brood frames to Langstroth deep frames.


You mean how to do the rubber banding? That photo really shows it all. This was the post, though:

If I had a nuc on medium Langstroth frames, I would probably just put it into a medium box on the hive. I would then add a deep when the nuc had filled the medium box, and eventually rotate the medium frames out of the hive, if desired.

If we are talking about a medium Dadant, though, the problem is different. I think I would do a cutout for that, although you can put Langstroth boxes on top of Dadants. I am sure some French guys have shown photos of that in the “Coin des Francais” thread. You just need a strip of wood along the edge of the Dadant box, because it is slightly wider than an 8-frame Langstroth.


They have already put the medium frames in the Flow Hive brood box and tried to insert two longer frames in between the Nuc frames to give some guidance…

But they are open to suggestions - I will refer them over to the forum for some solutions :slight_smile: