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What type of bees are the best to purchase for the FLOW HIVE?


Does anyone recommend a type of bee and where to purchase them that are the best to purchase for the FLOW HIVE?

This is my first bee colony and hive and want to get the recommended bees that are best for this flow hive project! Links and websites would be helpful, thank you!


Dear Baldwin,

If you could give your general location it would be most helpful for advice. I like Italians for my region but there are other great types others like for their region or use.
It would do me little good to give you my supplier if you do not live in the Pacific NW of USA.
So give us a hint … Gerald


I agree with Gerald, knowing where you are in the world will help pick the best variety. Some bees handle cold weather better, some handle hot weather better, Some bees build up in the spring faster, some have more or less tendency to rob, some are more aggressive/defensive towards the hive.

Just picking the bees you want may not be the wisest decision for your region. I picked Italians, because I am in the desert and have found through research that they do better in that environment, where as European black bees are very good in cold harsh winter climates. Italians eat more in the winter then the black bees and would eat too much of their stores in a long harsh winter.


@gbaldwin looks like you are in Kansas.

You need to find a bee supplier near you. Most bees these days are mongrel but from mainly Italian stock in the USA.
There are some breeders doing specific bee types but it is no big deal. It is best to have bees bred for your climate


Hi Georgianna,

The Flow hive does not require a particular type of bee, well except of course it should be a honey bee! Not being facetious here, some people like to keep native bees, mason bees and other pollinators. The Flow hive is totally unsuitable for those.

I agree with all of the comments above, but what I would recommend is joining your local beekeepers association, and asking them about their bees and where they get them. They are likely to know the good local sources. Failing that, you must have a local bee supplies store, and their staff are likely to know good local live bee sources.

There are several good reasons to buy bees locally:

  1. Your bees will already have adapted to your local climate and forage
  2. Your bees will not be traumatized by a long journey in an uncomfortable box, being shaken around
  3. You are supporting your local beekeeping economy
  4. You will have a local point of contact to ask about installing and caring for your bees

Finally, I highly recommend that you get a nucleus rather than a package or a swarm, if you can. Although these often cost twice as much as a package, they are much easier to install and establish in a new hive than a package/swarm.

Good luck, and keep asking questions!



As others have said, the flow hive is irrelevant to the best race of bees for your locality. Get what works best in your locality. In my experience that is not so much race as bees that have been surviving there. There are more differences from colony to colony than from race to race.


The Flow™ Hive has been specifically designed and tested for use with the European honey bee (Apis mellifera).

We believe the Flow™ frames should work well with most if not all subspecies of Apis mellifera, although we have not had time to trial this.


Does the flow hive works well for African bees? I live here in Nigeria and I desire to get this flow hive.


There seems to have been some success, here is a post on another thread: