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Transferring langstroth brood frames into flo hive 2 brood box ? Can it be done?

Hi there I’m a total newbie I’m off to do a course next week and reading a guide to bees and honey by ted hopper,
and my flo 2 cedar 6 frame hive arrives in a couple of weeks , I’m being kindly given a strong colony in a langstroth deep 8 frame brood box ,
Can I simply transfer the langstroth frames straight into the new brood box on the flow setup ? Will the frames fit ? Newbie question I guess but every day is a school day !

Thanks in advance

You can, and they will if they are Langstroth frames. However, depending on what exactly you have bought, some extra thought may be needed.

  1. Did you buy a nucleus or a full hive? If a nucleus (most common), you will need to have 3 empty frames to fill the brood box with 8 frames in total. If you leave big gaps with no frames, the bees will make a mess.
  2. Don’t put the Flow super on (with the plastic frames) until the first box is totally full of food, bees and brood.
  3. If there is a gap at the edge of the brood box when there are 8 frames in there, don’t stuff another frame in to fit the space. Later you will wish you hadn’t. Instead, just push the 8 frames together in the middle of the box, shoulder to shoulder and let them be.
  4. Don’t inspect too often until the hive is well-established. Once every 2 weeks should be fine to start. Once they are strong, every week is good until July, when you can back off again.

Meanwhile, welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

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My interpretation is that he/she hasbeen given a full 8 frame hive.

Thanks so much , it’s a full colony 8 frames in a langstroth brood box , if I can transfer across to the new flo brood box that’s great , and yes I’ll check every two weeks and only put the super on when it’s the right time , very excited thank you .

Jamie Bruce.

Thanks so much for your help , can’t wait to get started .

Jamie Bruce.

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Great pleasure to help, Jamie.

As it is the same size as your Flow brood box, the only additional advice I would give is not to change the order of the frames as you move them over. Bees have a design when they build a brood box, and it is much easier for them if you don’t move their kitchen to where the bedrooms used to be! :blush: I number my frames with a Sharpie, then you can always see where they are meant to be. Of course when you get fancy later, and start rotating out old frames, you may wish you hadn’t used a Sharpie! :smile: Nothing that a bit of scribbling and scratching out can’t fix, though. :wink:

As you are already planning to do, I would give them a couple of weeks to settle in, but with 8 full frames as the season is really getting into full swing, you may be needing another box soon. When we kept bees in the UK, we used “brood and a half”. That would mean that the next box you put on top of the hive would best be a Langstroth medium. Bit of a pain, as you will have 2 frame sizes, but if you don’t do that, your bees may struggle over winter. Once that box is full, you can then add the Flow super on top.

You could just leave them in the eight frame box and put the super on that at the correct time. Much simpiler if you are just starting.

Cheers
Rob.

Ah yes, but then it won’t match his swanky new Flow hive! Got to keep up appearances, doncha know? :smile:

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Jamie,

Appears you got plenty of thots n advice n Notes. Here ! I’ll toss a few pix’s your way. I’m a visual dude ! First will be my original 8 frame n then the equal 8 frame with obs winfows too. I’m trying to slowing change over from 10 frame Langstoth hive to same same 8 frame Langstroth hive. Uploading: C0C967D8-F5A3-496A-A92F-1B0CD09A8E06.jpeg…

Uploading: F39A79DF-DC89-443F-A51F-310C932BF6EE.jpeg… Uploading: B3B5D82C-2959-403D-8AD4-59306C304FA9.jpeg… Uploading: E66F5E44-AF2E-4193-A360-50933F1EABC2.jpeg… Uploading: 49E8624E-9B3C-4BE6-968C-7D97F3DD06DB.jpeg…
Hopefully my frame numbering photo uploaded too .

Jamie,

Appears you got plenty of thots n advice n Notes. Here ! I’ll toss a few pix’s your way. I’m a visual dude ! First will be my original 8 frame n then the equal 8 frame with obs winfows too. I’m trying to slowing change over from 10 frame Langstoth hive to same same 8 frame Langstroth hive. Uploading: D0BEADFA-B0EA-4F3F-A11B-F83DDE6C02B5.jpeg… Uploading: 3744D8D8-DA28-466F-B51D-1CDD75E29B86.jpeg… Uploading: BDC7E85B-8AD9-47F5-96E1-A4CCD3372342.jpeg… Uploading: D59AA18D-802C-4D4F-9FA0-A0BD8AF63E74.jpeg…
Hopefully my frame numbering photo uploaded too . Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

You read ( and wrote) my mind , as shallow as it is after nearly £715 I’d like to use the full hive lol.

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Many thanks , great idea with the sharpie , and absolutely moving in order .

Cheers ! Thanks for the photos

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You read ( and wrote) my mind , as shallow as it is after nearly £715 I’d like to use the full hive lol.
It’s a pretty one ! It’s gotta look smart at least to start with

why do you say that Rob? Transferring a hive is very easy- takes 10 minutes at most. I would say it is a low skill level operation and goes off without a hitch invariably. I did it in my first year beekeeping and never had an issue. If they have a full flow hive they may as well use it no? I think we can talk them though it.

The only;y reason I might not- is if the local conditions call for a double brood box- in which case it will be simpler just to put the flow brood on top of the original box when it is time. @Bruciebee this is something you should ask your local beekeepers mentor/s. Dawn has suggested a brood and a half- if that’s what you decide to do then I would still go ahead with the transfer then add that half box when the time is right.

Otherwise- a simple transfer goes like this:

  1. smoke the bees well- make sure you know how to pack and light the smoker properly. The main thing is to make sure it is well packed- burning at the bottom and not blowing hot smoke and/or sparks.

  2. carefully move the hive to the side and place the new brood box exactly where the hive was with the entrance in the same location. Have the donor hive right beside the new hive so that any bees that fall off don’t fall onto the ground as you move the frames. It doesn’t really matter if some bees fall off but the most important bee to worry about is obliviously the queen. However she is quite unlikely to fall off if the frames are handled smoothly.

  3. Starting at an edge gently move each frame one at a time over to the new box bees and all placing them in in the same order as they were in the donor hive.

  4. when the donor box is empty pick it up and shake the bees that are in it onto the new hive. Then place it on it’s side immediately beside the new hive so that those few bees invariably remaining will make there way over. leave it there for a few hours and remove when it is empty.

done.

Of course all this assumes you know how to handle frames- lifting them- using the hive tool, etc.

Yup that’s what I plan to do essentially I will have frame handling experience on May 9th when I do my bee keeping 2 day course , so once I have that under my belt with the great book I’m reading , countless you tube videos and great advice on here , I will be raring to go ,

My main question really was whether the frames from a langstroth would fit into my flo box , it seems by all account they will , so can’t wait to transfer ( in the correct order) and settle in the colony , and get started

Thanks for your advice , much appreciated ,

I’ve had some advice that a flo hive will not be great in UK temperatures that the honey will crystallise and that it’s a waste of money , and I should stick with traditional methods ,
Anyone had this issue ? I’m feeling it may just be a traditionalist venting opinion on flo culture but I’m unsure as I haven’t started yet .
And my hive is on its way so I’m not cancelling it now I’m far too excited .

Any feedback on this appreciated .

I’ve had the same ‘advice’ here about flow hives- but in my own experience they have worked great. However I cannot say about the UK at all as the conditions are so different. Try and find UK beeks who use them would be the best bet to get local advice. Ignore people who are just against it on principle- people who say ‘plastic is bad’, ‘flow hives encourage bee exploitation/abandonment’ etc. That’s just ideology and opinion based on no experience and has nothing to do with reality.

Yes it can be difficult educating them. :smile:
Fortunately it doesn’t happen here on the forum… :thinking:

Well each to their own I guess, I don’t think the process of de capping spinning filtering and all the sticky messiness that goes with it , not to mention the large amount of equiptment required would make me look forward to it as much as I am with the flo , it’s not even about the honey 100 % I’m starting a smallholding with chickens pigs goats and bees I make cider too and have a small orchard in a wildflower meadow so I thought bees would benefit the apples and they benefit with the wildflowers , and of course mead!
But just excited to keep my own bees ! Amoungst the managery

Hi Jamie, remember that flo is just another way to harvest the honey. All the challenges associated with keeping bees remain the same. I’ve seen some people wait a whole season or longer before they get to harvest any honey. If you’re looking forward to getting to see the flo frames work, a good idea would be to purchase a full strength, fully established hive, then transfer the colony into the flo hive. Starting with a nuc or package can take a while before any honey can be harvested.
cheers

I said it because its the easiest way and less disruptive to the bees. Let them settle into their new surroundings then change over later if you want. But my main point was that there is actually no need to change the box.

Cheers
Rob.

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