Using 3x Flow Frame in a Langstroth 10 frame

The FlowHive instructions show modifying a Langstroth 10 frame box for either 7 or 4 frame. However, I noticed it really creates uneven spacing on one side or the other. I found that by adjusting the dimensions to fit 3 flows in the center, I could comfortably place 3 regular frames on each side for a total of 6 regular frames. Has anyone else encountered this same scenario?

We are in our first year of the three hives we have, although this is our second attempt - we lost our 1st year bees over winter in Minnesota 3 years ago. We guessed that there simply was not enough food for them to survive the entire winter, since every cell was emptied out when we opened the hives in the spring. So, here is what we are going to attempt this time:

Of course we wont be taking any honey, but we are thinking it might be a good idea to provide more opportunity for them to store up food. The question is, should we do that by adding additional brood boxes below the queen excluder or more supers above the excluder? We actually already have one large and two small brood boxes below the excluder, and we are just getting ready to install our 3x hybrid super above.

Any and all advice will be welcome and appreciated.

Depending where you are you should always set up your hive so there is enough below the QE so your bees can survive the lean season. You only ever rob the excess above this level and don’t depend on the bees having access to the frames above the QE.


if you aren’t taking honey for yourselves, do you need a QE at all?

You just don’t want brood in your Flow frames, it gums them up and it would be a huge job to clean them.


forgot about that…good point (I don’t have Flow frames)

Thanks, Rob.

So, as long as we only have one 3x Hybrid above the QE, we can add as much as we want below it? Do the bees simply not cross the QE barrier if they run out below?


We will eventually, just not the first year.

Not the queen or drones as they cannot fit through the QE. If the workers go up there for food in a dearth and leave the queen she will die. Not a good option. Always ensure your hive is strong with plenty of supplies before putting on supers above a QE. That way they will not leave the queen.


I won’t comment on the first part of your post about modifying a 10 frame box, I have no idea on that.
Minnesota I am guessing is a fairly short summer honey harvesting season with a long and very cold winter with little to no nectar collecting. So my guess is either the cold got to them or they starved to death. Did you wrap the hives in black plastic over winter and as the frames became empty try to reduce the number of supers you had on the hive so as to retain the heat of the hive? As you said the honey had all gone then would it not be a wise choice to add the super above the queen excluder so that it will be used for food storage, if it is fitted below the QX it would become another brood box so come winter there would be even more need for food for the bees.
Just my thoughts coming from a sub-tropical climate !!!