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What is the FH 2 ( brood frames ) compared model here in Italy?

Hi everyone, as you know I am a very very new into bees…so bare with me if I ask silly questions… and my written english is not so correct…
I have one Flow Hive 2 Cedar since X’mas but never used it yet.
“” Just to let you know I ordered the other day on extra FH 2 brood box to have on hand for our cold winter here…and give bees a little more food
*** Here is my questions that I am a little concern anyhow…
1)-- I went to my bee course yesterday night… I saw them showing us the 2 most common and practically ONLY used Hive here in Italy…
= DB Blatt…? One big and one smaller model …but very different in size of our FH2…
Anyone know what the australian FH2 is compared with brood frames sizes to european / Italian model ?
Thank you ! :honeybee: :honeybee:

Helene, I will try to help you, just wearing my hat. :cowboy_hat_face:

I am pretty sure that in Italy and some other European countries, they use different size hives.

D.B. stands for Dadant Blatt

You might have an issue buying a nuc, and fitting it in your Langstroth size Flow hive. It is best to ask around at the course you are attending, and tell them that you have a Flow hive, and it is Langstroth and see what they will suggest. There are workarounds, but start by asking there.

If you need frames, or excluders etc, they are easy to source online if not available in Italy.

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Hiya Helene, there are a few threads on this, this is one I found.

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It would be great if someone from Flow make their presence felt and help this customer out I think. She spent a lot of money on the Flow Hive.

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@Freebee2, think some Flow employees have spent time in Italy/Sicily in th past? :wink:

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@Dawn_SD I was there two years ago just for a month, which was lovely but won’t help with Helene’s query! Faroe lived in Sicily but is unfortunately no longer with us. I’ll try to find some information for Helene with regards to sourcing bees in Italy. @Helene if there are no beekeepers nearby with Langstroth Nucs you may need to buy a package of bees instead. I am not sure how the sizing compares to a Dadant but will Google the dimensions to see how close they are.

UPDATE: I can see from @skeggley’s comment that the Dadant Nucs won’t work in the Langstroth size brood box. @Zzz is correct that the best option will be your local beekeepers. If they don’t have a Langstroth Nuc they may be able to supply a package of bees or allow you to catch a swarm in your brood box next time their bees swarm. You could also try getting in touch with the contact below to see if they can put you in touch with someone locally:

ApiGenova
32 San Fruttuoso Lucarno, Genoa 16142
https://apigenova.com/

Good luck @Helene1

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The obvious lesson to be learnt here is do your research before you buy, otherwise all you get is good luck.

I think the options for Helene are three:

  1. Buy a DB hive and adapt the Flow super to fit on top of the DB brood box, making sure rain won’t leak etc. The bottom board also needs to be adapted and sloped back for harvesting. It won’t be as pretty, but it should work.

  2. Somehow get bees inside your Flow hive, and use as is. There will be ongoing issues like getting rid of splits in the future, and it would be difficult to sell lang nucs in Italy. Any extra frames etc have to be probably sourced from overseas.

  3. Sell the Flow hive and cut your losses, and if Helene is really keen on bees get a standard equipment from Italy, and extract the old fashioned way.

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Hi @Helene1 ,

According to this website, the length of the DB box is almost the same: https://www.legaitaly.com/en/products/hives-and-accessories/dadant-beehive/standard-kubik-10-frame-dadant-super.661

The flow hive dimensions can be found here: https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/all/flow-hive-frames-weights-and-dimensions/p/175

To my thinking, maybe you can adapt your hives to a DB box to begin with… conceptually something like this, but more simpler. You’d only have to board off the a small section of the DB box with a rectangle piece of wood that is exposed.

Somebody else on the forum has done similar with some nuc boxes on supers. I can’t remember who…

I understand you have already ordered another langstroth broodbox, so it won’t be cost effective to scrap the flow brood box and stand.

All the best.

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hi @Zzz - @skeggley @Dawn_SD @Freebee2 @fffffred Thank you for your reply ! Well… I was looking to understand the sizes they have here in Italy of brood frames…As I wrote… they use mostly Dadant Blatt. … The Langstroth frames dept is 30 cm… and we only have 23 cm. with our FH…
All my concern in my head was that I wanted to be able to order from a large company the bees family with the queen. They send them at home to you with the brood frames already full…and it would be so much easier to start thing off… I could think of ordering the frames with the bees and empty them into my brood box… BUT… the new family would go into a complete empty brood box and frames.
My FH 2 was given to me this X’mas as a present from my daughter and is bran new. I only made some drawings on the outside of the wood to make it a little pretty… And gave 3 hands of Tung oil to protect the wood…
At the school the other night… They mention different Hives on the market… And also the Australian F Hives… BUT… they where not so keen on this new invention… starting to find negative things in the honey top area where we can take the honey out… They say is not good to USE PLASTIC where the bees have to store the honey… And is NOT GOOD to use the same plastic all the time as it gets old and not hygienic for the honey…SO…is better not to get into discussions…If they think the only right way to do things is the " old way "… Also… they show us the different machine one needs to have to work the honey… well is NOT MY CASE !! so they surely don’t make money out of me… I will keep you up to date on my research …Thank you again for your reply and help. kiss :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :honeybee: :honeybee:

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Looks like top bar on langstroth may fit dB. If that’s the case, find somebody kind enough for you to checkboard your Langstroth frames into their db brood box. Then remove them down the track back into your Langstroth box. You may have to cut away some comb built at the bottom.

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:smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :honeybee: :honeybee:

I think that @fffffred has given you a good and simple option.
The important measurement that you haven’t included is the depth from where the frame sits on to the bottom of the box.
There is not just bee keepers in Italy that believe the only way is the old way to keep bees. My local bee group that I attended once, and only once, when I was asked about my hives and I replied that I have tradition Langstroth hive and four Flow Hives I spent a few hours listening to a heap of misinformation and pure rubbish by the ‘experts’ that only wanted to knock the Flow Hive concept. One guy even said there was no way a bee would ever store honey in a cell made of plastic so I offered him to come to my apiary to see bees working, storing and capped honey in a plastic super, He ignored my offer. Some people just don’t want to know the facts.
Cheers

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Ciao Peter, i spoke to Flo and they told me that the Langstroth medium would have the correct size for the brood frames for my FH2–
But i think to make things easier i will buy at the end of April a package of bees with a queen and shake them into my empty brood box… they will start to build up the inside alone. It will take them quite a long time as i live in the country with a lot of corn field around…
they may have to take a long trip to get food… but is ok… the important thing for me is to try to respect the bees and give them a chance to be protected… i have no intention to make any business out of this adventure. if they give me some honey to next year … yes i am happy also.
You are all very nice on this forum giving me important info.
Thank you very much !

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thank you…@Freebee2 for your info- i phone them this afternoon. they told me to just buy a package of bees ( with a queen on the side) and shake them into the empty brood box. as they will start to build there frames from scratch. and to use a few drops of queen " ferhormone" ??
I Will do this end of April as here we are still in mid winter and temp are going at zero late afternoon and night-
Sorry about this question…But what does it mean a package of bee? how many they have to be to start off from zero ?:honeybee::honeybee:

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Hi @Helene1,

Sound like you have a plan in place with the packaged bees. Well done.

Hopefully you don’t literally mean “empty box”. Having a some drawn frames or starter strips will help the new bees accept the new box and build comb where you want. Better yet, having some brood comb will definitely get the new bees interested in settling in. Do you plan on using wax foundation?

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Watch this video on how to install packaged bees:

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Yes Peter… here at the course they only had negative things to say about FH… saying that is not hygienic to have them produce honey in the same plastic area…

Peter… the inside measure of the Fh frames is 20,2 … the outside depth is 23 cm- this gives them just enough space for them to go under from one frame to the other.

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Hi Helene, I think it is a good idea and think ahead, and consider what you will do as preemptive swarm control and splits.

If you make splits, which inevitable you will have to do, what is your plan? Will you make new hives for yourself, or try to sell them? If you try to sell with Langstroth frames, it might be difficult in Italy. I think now is the time to sort your plan of your intended management and ongoing maintenance.

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@Dawn_SD @Freebee2 @fffffred @skeggley @Zzz @Peter48 OK you guys… Thank you all for all your important informations…
I wrote to a large bee supply company here in Piacenza Italy… ( just asking ) informations regarding the sizes of our frames… and what could be the similar Hive model here in Italy. I will let you know…they will give me a reply on Monday
This reply may be useful to someone too.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT ?? :woman_facepalming: I am getting quite concern…As the days go buy… and the school course started… I am asking myself if I am going into some kind of a mess in this new adventure… As I have only 1 FH and a new extra brood box arriving next week…( to use maybe next year for our cold winter to make sure to give the :honeybee: food supply )… I may end up having to buy another FH… when they have some sale here in Europe… as the prices for us are quite expensive… considering the cost of the Hive + shipping + taxes… This one was a complete special set… with all you need to start…but they told me that if I should consider a new hive to think of buying a FH 8 that would be better for cold climate ?
Have a nice weekend ! Thank youuuu !! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :honeybee: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :honeybee: