Which is better - 8 or 10 frame Langstroth in the UK?

Hi there,

I’ve seen that this question has been answered twice before - but each post has differing answers!

So, I’m looking to purchase a flow hive but not sure whether to go for the Flow 2 with 6 or 7 flow frame supers with the 8 or 10 langstroth system?

I understand that the 8 frame system will be a lot lighter (which is great as family is afraid of bees so wont be getting any help!), and there are the obvious cost benefits.

But, the 10 frame system will gives the bees a lot more space in the brood box, and the benefit of more honey!

I live near Heathfield in East Sussex, so a bit colder than London but not as cold as up North. So also wanted to know if I need to protect them over winter?

If anyone can help me decide what size to go with, before I make my choice, that would be wonderful - as I don’t particularly want to make the mistake of having chose the wrong size down the line.

Thank you so much!! :slight_smile:

Hello Flora, welcome to the forum and an interesting question that out members in the UK can better advise for your climate as my mid Winter is similar to your Summer. But I also in the past lived in -7c nights west of Sydney and there I had 10 frame hives that were double brood because of the cold climate. I had 10 frames hives because that is what my mentor had, not that it was the best option.
Things and thinking has changes over the decades and insulating of a hive wasn’t thought of then, it was all about ‘suck it up and grunt as you lifted’. Listen to the advice from those in the OK and similar climates, we have them from all over, but also consider you own limitations, even if your a weight lifter.
You will need to lift a Super off the hive to do the regular inspection of the brood box and if the Super is full of honey even in the 6 frame flow super it can be a really heavy lift.
These days a lot of bee keepers insulate their hives for their climate so I’m thinking the smaller and lighter hive is an option worth of considering.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your quick reply! :slight_smile: Yes I’m definitely getting some mixed opinions, so will wait to see if some local UK beekeepers respond! I have feeling that the 10 frame will be too heavy to lift, so for now the 8 frame might be the best option.

Also how many extra brood boxes should i be purchasing?

I have sent you a PM.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!

Having kept bees in the UK (Oxfordshire) for many years, I would say that it is really up to you. Personally I would go with the 8-frame boxes, because the 10 gets too heavy for me, even when it is a cedar box. You will need either double deeps for brood, or “brood and a half” (as we Brit beekeepers call it) to ensure enough food stores for the long wet British winter.

Hope that helps, even though I am not “local” any more! :wink:

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Where will you be getting your bees? Only if you’re getting them from a bee supplier in a nuc, make sure they have Langstroth nucs. A lot of suppliers sell National nucs, and if you purchase one of them, you will have issues with the frame sizes being different.

Hi Flora,

I live in the West Midlands.

Flow do a UK National version incase you weren’t aware.

I’ve an 8 frame Flow Hive 2 and a standard 10 frame Langstroth at home, plus a Flow 10 frame onsite at work (Jaguar Landrover).

My flow hive colony at home survived the winter single brood. My 10 frame Langstroth colony didn’t make it through the winter but was a weaker colony due to the time of year I purchased bees for that hive (late July).

Local club that I go to for help advised double deep brood for colony strength to get through our winters.

I’m doubling up my brood boxes on both hives this year to see how I get on.

It’s been a really good dry and sunny start to our season so far and with the restricted movement going on loads more natural resources as the councils haven’t been out cutting grass.

I’ll take a few pictures next inspection but my flow hive is already busy and loads more bees than last year.

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A double brood colony can be the way to go for a cold Winter but remember they will need extra stores to feed the larger colony. Local advise is worth gold but with the variable climate like I have had the last 2 years even that can’t be over relied on so better to be overly cautious and leave a couple of extra frames that can be harvested in the Spring. Over Wintered honey is still as good as the day it was capped.

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