So I received my full flow hives as week & built it yesterday - easy to do & I’m happy with the quality. My problem is getting any constructive advice from any knowledgable beekeeper here in Perth (AU). I went to a bee keeping supply shop to swap back a brood box I had bought thinking I would get my bees before the flow hive (which came early - yippee). I asked for one with a removable base to give me more flexibility with combining hives etc. He told me this was wrong and should never have removable base. I mentioned the screened bottom for the flow hive and he said it was wrong and all my bees would die (no explanation, just very angry). I mentioned the foundationless frames & he said this was wrong (acted like he’d never heard such a crazy thing in his life) and it would be a mess. He then went on a rant about flow hive are incompetent and will be sued because of this. He even ranted about how cedar is a soft wood and will be destroyed by the bees (even though his hives are pine which I’m pretty sure is soft). I left with no help, constructive advice or reasoning for his predictions of doom. I can handle the massive egos that exist in all fields, but this is not the first time I have received this response and I now only have one shop left to try that I hope will be able to calmly help me and not just rip me and the product apart. I have read a lot on this subject now, and the design of the flow hive and it’s components sounds very logical to me and is based on sound research as far as I can see. I am quite surprised at the vitriol that this has been met with by people that will be benefitting from this development (by selling suits, smokers, bees etc). I guess anger overwhelms rationality.
So assuming I am not going to get any help locally I have a couple of basic questions from you guys to fill in a couple of gaps in my reading:
The screened bottom has 2 levels I can put the board at. Why is this and what is the advantage of each level? Perth is hot, dry and windy, so not sure what would work best for me.
As a new beekeeper, I was thinking of mixing frames with wax foundation and ones with just the guides (as supplied with the flow hive). Does this sound reasonable, or would you advice using wire in the frames to give some strength? I am likely going to end up with a nuc, which will be on foundation, so could just put the Foundationless frames around them to see how that goes.
There is circular hole in the top of the super lid which I guess would allow bees to get up into the roof space. Why is this there? Is it advisable to buy a hive mat to place under the lid to stop them making crazy comb in the lid & roof?
I am going to set up my brood box outside with the hope of catching a swarm as there is a big lag for nucs right now (thanks to flow hive ). The angry beekeepers wife suggested I put 4 frames in one half of the box and leave the other half empty for the swarm to enter and get organized. Then add more frames when they are settled. When I spoke to the beekeeper he said this was “stupid” and I needed the box full of frames. What to do??
I do have some beekeeper a who are going to show me their hives and beekeeping practices - I will just try and not mention the flow hive!!!