Flow Hive: Up Close – The Bee Vlog – April 18, 2016

I’m back! Did you miss me? Look what I’ve got! It’s the Flow hive.
Actually it’s not mine. I’m borrowing it from a friend so that I can get some hands-on
time with it and shoot a video about it. But before I do that I want to mention something
about the last Flow hive video I made. Sometimes, we creators try to do something
different or new and we make something and we put it out there and it doesn’t always
land the way we thought it would. A year ago I made a video giving my opinion
of the viral Flow hive video. This ended up being my most disliked video. But don’t worry, I’m not actually bothered
by that. The video was mainly a reply to their misleading marketing video and the even more
misleading media coverage of it. Many of you seemed to understand that, because it’s
also my most liked video. I stand by what I said back then and also
acknowledge that I did make a few mistakes in the scripting. But I’m not interested
in rehashing it. I’m just going to let it stand. The video’s still there so if you
haven’t seen it, you can go watch it. However, there is one thing I would like to
apologize for. Many people saw the Flow hive video and got really excited about beekeeping.
Then they saw my video and they felt like there was a bit of an “old school” mentality
where people like me would not accept them into beekeeping. For that I sincerely apology. It has always
been my goal to make the beekeeping world more inclusive. I hope you can know that no
matter what kind of hive you use, or how you choose to keep bees, I think we all have the
same goal and I will always welcome you into my beekeeping family. Okay, now on to the review… There’s actually a lot I could talk about,
but there are plenty of other videos out there talking about those things. Including the
videos and instruction on the Flow website and YouTube channel. I’m just going to talk
about a few things that I think are important that I don’t think anybody is really addressing.
That is: the plastic frames,
swarm control, and overwintering. If you’ve already bought one or plan on
buying one I’m also going to be giving suggestions to help you to be successful. Many questions and concerns have been brought
up about the plastic frames. Plastic is a concern because some contain a toxic chemical
called Bisphenol A, or BPA. It can leach into our food and cause health problems. Flow’s
website states that the cells in the frame are made of a food grade, BPA-free Polypropylene.
The same plastic that’s been used in beehives and honey production for years. Then there are the clear plastic parts on
the ends of the frame that Flow says are a “virgin food grade copolyester” that contains
no BPA or BPS. That seems like a rather generic description. Looking at the recycle symbol marked on these
clear parts, we can see it’s been tagged with the number 7. First of all, this symbol
doesn’t mean it’s made from recycled plastic. Their website is very clear in stating it’s
all virgin plastic. Not recycled. That may be a concern to some people, since it’s
adding to the abundance of plastic being produced. But that’s outside the scope of this video,
so I’m not going to go there. The 7 indicates the category of plastic. In
this case it means “other.” Meaning it’s a plastic that doesn’t belong in the other
6 categories. This could include things like polycarbonates that do contain BPA, but it
doesn’t mean that’s definitely the case. Flow doesn’t give the exact details on what
type of plastic this is. They basically say, “Don’t worry, trust us.” I don’t have
any strong reason to not trust them, however, their penchant for marketing spin and lack
of full disclosure does make me raise an eyebrow. If… I could actually raise one eyebrow… I was also really surprised at how flexible
the frames are. If you bend them enough they’ll break apart. At first I wasn’t sure if this
was a bug or a feature. But I checked Flow’s website and saw that they do have instruction
videos on how to take apart these frames and reassemble them. And also tighten up these
wires if they get too loose. As an engineer, I really wanted to take these
apart. But sadly they’re not mine and I don’t want to risk doing any damage. But
if you own some I highly recommend that you take some time and practice taking them apart
and putting them back together again. “It’s quite easy to take a Flow frame
apart. You can disassemble it simply by bending it like so and then it will fall apart into
its individual pieces.” I don’t think it will void your warranty
since they give instruction on how to do this on their website. I do wonder how long these will last in regular
use. Bees like to coat everything inside the hive with propolis. It’s a very sticky resin
collected from trees and plants. And it’s very good for the health and cleanliness of
the hive. We often call it “bee glue” because it sticks everything together. They
really like to apply it between cracks and wherever any hive pieces meet. Will these
frames get gummed up with propolis? Cleaning propolis can be difficult. It’s
not water soluble. Fortunately these frames come apart, but I don’t think that will
really help. On to swarming. If you don’t know what swarming
is, it’s when a colony of bees basically gives birth to another colony of bees. It’s
how they reproduce. The when and why they swarm has a lot to do with the seasons, how
strong the colony is, and how much room is in the hive. All of the Flow materials, marketing, and
how-to videos show a standard Flow hive having 1 box for the brood nest (that’s where they
raise more bees) and another box for the honey-filled Flow frames. This implies this is the recommended
setup. Managing a small hive like this does have
some advantages, but it does require a little more hands-on management. Flow is marketing
this as a “less intrusive” way to keep bees, unfortunately in most parts of North
America keeping a hive this small may require more intrusions. I’ll show you why. Let’s take a look at the inside of the hive. Every region has a different type of nectar
flow. The nectar flow is what we call it when there’s an abundance of nectar-producing
plants in bloom and the bees are bringing in a lot of nectar and storing it and processing
it as honey. If you live in a region that has a slow and steady nectar flow, this may
not be an issue for you, but where I live, the nectar flow comes on very fast, lasts
a very short period of time, then it’s over. Some areas have an even more prolonged nectar
flow. In this illustration, the blue represents
the brood, and the gold represents honey. Typically in a brood frame you’ll have honey
in the corners. The upper area is where the honey would be stored in the Flow frames. If the workforce is really strong they could
bring in enough honey to completely fill the Flow frames and the brood nest below. This
leads to a condition that we call “honey bound.” The brood nest is full of honey
and the queen has nowhere to lay eggs. This can trigger a swarm instinct. Swarming isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But it’s generally advised to try to avoid it for a couple reasons.
They take most of the honey with them, and if one of your goals is to harvest honey,
then you’ll probably want to try to avoid that.
You lose your queen. She leaves with the swarm. And raising a new queen without backup can
be risky. So what do you do? Well, you could just let it happen. They’ll
take most of the honey with them leaving you without enough honey to harvest. And you’ll
need to cross your fingers that they’ll successfully raise a new queen, and that she’ll
successfully take mating flights, and that it’s not too late in the season for them
to gather more nectar and store up enough honey for winter. Or you could try to manage the level of honey
by harvesting more frequently and prevent the brood nest from getting honey bound. This
does seem to be the intended method and recommendation by Flow. But the honey does have to be ripened
before you can harvest it. When bees bring nectar into the hive it’s
full of water and they have to process it and dry it out. Once the water content has
been reduced to about 17% the bees will put a wax cap over it, like a lid on a jar, and
that’s how we know it’s ripe and ready to harvest. If it’s harvested too soon it
will ferment. And if the nectar flow is particularly strong it may not ripen fast enough and they’ll
have the hive full up with un-ripened nectar before you can do anything about it. Also, I don’t see a way to check if the
majority of the cells have been capped without opening the hive and lifting out the frames.
The window on the side just let’s you see the outside face of one frame, but you don’t
have any idea what the other frames look like. The back window is completely useless for
seeing how much of the face has been capped. When the hive is empty, you can kind of see
in there. But when it’s full of bees there’s no way to see past them. Or a 3rd option, if you find this to be a
problem, is to buy more Flow boxes and frames. This is a very expensive option. These things
aren’t cheap. I won’t bother calculating the price difference between this and all
the other methods of extracting honey. I’ll let you do that for yourself. But I will say that buying an expensive centrifugal
extractor is not the only other option. I harvest honey and extract it using equipment
that cost me less than $35. It can be done cheap. I’ve shown crush & strain extracting
in a video before, but I plan to do another video later this year, about how I remove
the honey with very little disturbance to the bees and extract it quickly and cheaply.
If you want to see that video, click the subscribe button and you’ll be notified when it gets
posted. Or another option to prevent overcrowding
and a honey bound brood nest is to remove frames from the nest and give them to another
hive. This is a strategy used by some beekeepers who use resource hives. That’s a technique
I’ll talk about more in a future video. This keeps the workforce relatively light
and gives them more room in the nest. But you do need to have additional hives that
can use the frames and benefit from the resources. This is also the most intrusive solution. But swarms aren’t that big of a problem
and you can probably learn to manage it in a few years. The biggest issue I think is getting the bees
through the winter. The Flow hive instructions and marketing would lead you to believe that
you can leave the Flow frames in all winter. That may be okay on the Gold Coast of Australia,
but for most of North America and Europe, that could be a disaster. I’ll explain. When there’s no longer any food to forage
for, and it’s too cold to fly, the bees need to have enough honey inside the hive
to last through the winter. You need to leave them enough honey to last until spring and
the plant blossoms return. So these are your Flow frames up on top, full of honey. When the outside temperatures are less than
55 degrees (12 celsius) the bees cluster together and share body heat. Represented here in red.
The colder it is, the tighter the cluster is. They need empty comb to be able to enter
the cells and transfer the heat through the combs. So the bottom box can’t be too full
of honey. They’ll cluster just below the honey, and eat it as their source of carbohydrate
so they can have energy to stay warm. They have to stay in close contact to the
food, so the cluster moves up as they eat the honey. Eventually, by the end of winter,
they’ll then be located inside the Flow super and clustering in the Flow frames. Can
the Flow frames efficiently transfer heat and keep the cluster warm? I don’t know.
They seem too thick, so I have my doubts. But without sufficient testing I can’t say
for sure. For the sake of moving on, let’s assume
that that’s not a problem and the bees survive the winter just fine. As the days get longer,
the bees sense the approach of spring and want to start raising brood. The brood needs
to be kept at 95 degrees (35 celsius), so the queen lays the eggs in the cluster where
they can maintain that heat. They have to also maintain close contact with the honey
or they risk starvation. If they get too cold they go into torpor and they can’t move
to the honey. So where is the queen supposed to lay the
eggs? You certainly don’t want brood in the Flow
frames. Can the queen even lay eggs in those cells? They seem too deep. And what size are
those cells anyway? Let’s measure them really quick and check… To measure these cells it’s best to use
the metric system since all foundation and other cells are actually measured in millimeters.
And to do it, the easiest way is to put the zero mark on the outside of one cell and count
over 10 cells. Then on the inside of the 10th cell, read
off the measurement. And this measures to about 6.6 cm. So each cell, dividing by 10,
is 6.6 mm. Which is interesting because the foundation typically sold here in the US measures
5.4 mm. Small cell foundation measure 4.9 mm. That means these cells are much bigger
than worker brood cells. So I would probably guess that the queen cannot
lay eggs, at least not worker eggs, in these cells. If she did, I still don’t think she
could because I think they’re too deep for her to be able to lay eggs in. But if she
did, it would probably just be drone brood. If the queen can’t lay eggs in these cells
then there’s no way for them to raise brood until the cluster moves back down to the brood
box. And why would they do that? It’s not in their instinct. If she can lay eggs in these cells, then you
don’t want that. You can use a queen excluder, which is a grid that has openings too small
for the queen to fit through. This keeps the queen out of the honey super. But the cluster
of workers can still move up. When they leave the queen behind, she’ll die. That’s why
queen excluders are removed before winter. It seems to me that you’ll have a dead,
dying, or a weak colony coming out of winter if you leave the Flow frames on. Obviously
I haven’t had the opportunity to test or witness this first hand yet. So currently
I’m just speculating, but my experience and understanding of honey bee biology makes
this my number one concern. So my recommendation is to remove the Flow
frames before winter. That’s pretty much what every beekeeper does. The honey supers
go on in the spring, and come off at the end of summer. It kind of defeats the main selling point
of the Flow hive. But come on, did you really expect it to be that easy? Don’t believe
everything you see in marketing. “You mock my pain.” “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” I also recommend using 2 brood boxes. This
may also help with the swarming issue. If you want to use a queen excluder it would
go above the 2nd box, below the Flow super. At the end of summer, you would remove the
Flow frames and harvest them. The queen excluder comes off too. As autumn begins to set in you’ll need to
make sure that the top brood box has enough honey in it to make it through the winter.
If they don’t have enough, you may need to supplement with sugar syrup. My conclusions so far are:
The plastic frames are a non-issue…for humans. It’s still unknown and questionable if there’s
any negative effect on the bees. More studies need to be done. I’d like to see Flow disclose
more information about what type of plastic is being used. And I also desperately want
to take one apart. Swarm suppression may be a problem, but can
be managed with experience. Overwintering with Flow frames in the hive
is my biggest concern. This, to me, is the deal breaker and needs to be addressed and
better understood. I think it’s best to remove the Flow frames before winter. How does it measure up to their marketing
claims? From the front page of their website: “Less labour, more love” – That’s clever
and catchy. I think I actually kind of like it. It’s not entirely accurate, but I like
it. “Turn the Flow™ Key and watch as pure,
fresh honey flows right out of the hive and into your jar.” – I haven’t been able
to test this yet, but from what I can tell this seems true. “No mess, no fuss, no heavy lifting, and
no expensive processing equipment.” – Well, I disagree with that last part. These Flow
frames are very expensive. But 3 out of 4 isn’t bad I guess. Also, one thing to consider
is that some places have laws that require you to process and bottle the honey in a certified
kitchen if you intend to sell it. So you might want to look into that. “Through the clear end-frame view, you can
see when the honey is ready without opening up the hive.” – I disagree with this entirely.
There’s no way to see if the frame has been fully capped without pulling it out of the
hive. Certainly not through the windows. “The extraction process is so gentle, the
bees barely notice at all.” – This line does bug me a little. How do they know if
the bees “barely notice”? Anthropomorphizing the bees is a silly marketing gimmick. “Our revolutionary Flow system makes the
extraction process far less stressful for the bees and so much easier for the beekeeper.”
– So does my method. Also, their hive system doesn’t scale well. Once you have more than
2 of these hives, your expenses get much, much higher. If you’re an experienced beekeeper and want
to give this a try, I’m not one to stand in the way of scientific curiosity. But if you’re a new beekeeper, I think this
is not the hive to learn on. There are a lot of unknowns, and the customer support at Flow
is probably not going to be able to help you through it. I’m sure they’re great at
product and manufacturing support, but their standard response to teaching any beekeeping
skills or local know-how is to go seek help from your local club. That’s generally good
advice, but nobody at your local club has ever used a Flow hive before. So they’re
going to be guessing right along with you. I do plan to follow-up with this hive throughout
the year and into the next as my friend puts it to use. I also have a few how-to videos
coming up this year that might be of interest regardless of what type of hive you have.
So if you haven’t subscribed to my channel yet, click the subscribe button and you’ll
get updates when I upload videos. I’ll see you next time.



  2. We were trying to wrap our heads over #7 code for sometime now… Came across this article: http://www.thechicecologist.com/2012/12/bio-plastic-compost-recycle/

    "Virgin Plastic…" Hmmm…

    We see "the new and improved" ways of keeping bees, yet we are scaling back to 19th century beekeeping practices. Soon we will start our videos from our apiary project with horizontal hives.

    Happy to see you back with videos! So glad to see you on "the same page" on many beekeeping levels of practice.

  3. Not even a new idea – similar design patented around 1940 by a Spanish guy living in America. Had metal combs – must have been cold for the bees!

  4. I did enjoy this video. I have a flow frame hive and had some of the same concerns. I like the 2 brood box set up with the flow hive on top of that. I also watched a video from the flow hive people inspecting one of their friends Flow hive and she had only 4 flow hive frames in the middle and then regular frames on the outside. I am also going to do that. I personally do not see any problems with the plastic simply because when I was a new beekeeper I used plastic frames and the bees did just as well on those as any. Thanks for the well thought out video.

  5. well iv waited 6 month for my flow hive i ordered it on boxing day they come up with lots of excuses but no hive 🙁 i gave plenty of time to get here before bees swarmed 🙁 flow hives are a con 🙁

  6. Most on the Flow forum recommend a second brood box and they finally added that option to their site. I just added my second brood box now that the first is 80% full and don't plan on adding the honey super until next season. The census in the forum is to remove the honey super over winter, so there shouldn't be a issue. I'll also add a 4th box on top of the Flow super if needed to insure the honey is properly cured, most likely a medium to collect some comb honey.

  7. I've really enjoyed your review. It encompasses all of the concerns I have with the Flow Hive in North America verses Australia.
    We hope the new beekeepers follow suggestions from their local beekeeping clubs and treat for mites when appropriate.

  8. This is a very good video…I agree with this and hope beginners who watch this. The forum on Flow has been really helpful to me as beekeepers from vast array of regions talk there.  And Flow strongly recommends local associations.I probably would not have ventured into bee keeping had it not been for the Flow Hive…it grabbed my interest and then BEES grabbed my interest even more…Now I am sure that even if my Flow Frames disappoint me, beekeeping will most likely continue…Point on the Plastic..non-issue for me to…Now on the swarm issue, he is absolutely dead on… I am really glad I was proactive in reading and research that led me in getting some extra equipment…due to an awesome NUC, my bees prepared to swarm almost immediately upon arrival and a local mentor came over and we did an emergency split…3 weeks in to beekeeping I now have TWO hives. I don't even mind the idea of alternative harvesting and totally intend to watch the VeeBlog buys video on harvesting!.

  9. Great review.  I was in agreement with many of the conclusions and questionable marketing practices that I have heard and seen with this hive.  I look forward to your future reviews.

  10. The problem with the flow hive is because they do not tell you what plastic is being used in those flow frames when it comes time to harvest honey and sell it if you wish you cannot actually sell it… why… because you are selling honey to the general public who may have a reaction when consuming the honey due to the plastics being used in the flow frames it's that simple this is why it is very important for the flow company to state exactly what plastic/chemicals are being used and considering honey is a natural product how the hell can you sell honey as a natural product if it's been tainted by plastic which you are clueless about because the company won't state it on the damn box?

  11. Hello I am A novice and am intrested in getting into bee keeping any suggestions on Hives, Or Types of hives? Thanks

  12. I started my first hive this year. I built myself a langstroth hive. It's a type that's been in use for a long time; how can it be wrong. Great video BTW.

  13. Hi, I've been enjoying your videos and using them as a counter point to just the marketing, and also as an introduction to beekeeping. I have some feedback and questions that you might be able to answer, or better able to find out, if I may…

    1) Thank you for addressing the "Stupid newbies are going to think this is a turn key solution. Get off my lawn." attitude that many veterans seemed to knee-jerk onto the internet. Granted I'm an ignorant newbie, but I don't think I'm stupid. My approach is kind of similar to adopting a puppy or kitten or any other living thing… I want to research what I'm getting myself into before taking on the responsibility. I wonder if there's a bit of stodgy veteran going on in your opinion of their marketing: seeing an Australian product in an Australian configuration and presuming that it's a turn-key solution yourself? They come right out and say that the brood box is just a standard Lang. rack. While they don't come right out and say "you'll want another brood box for overwintering" isn't that covered in their admonition to find local mentor-ship?

    2) Hmm, how to phrase this… Are bees similar to mice whose teeth constantly grow and need to gnaw on things? Do they constantly produce wax or is there an energy and resource savings there that they'll redirect to foraging during a nectar flow since they're not building out the comb in the super (but just the caps)?

    3) Since bees use the wax of the comb to communicate, and they'll seal the bottom of a Flow super cell with wax, is that enough wax to transmit the vibrations? My understanding is the cell's larger size is specifically chosen to not only increase the ratio of volume of honey to "wax" in the frame, but also so that a bee won't get guillotined if it happens to be in a cell when the key is turned.

    4) In another of your vlogs you mentioned cutting a piece of comb earlier in the season (and not liking brood-wax/stink honey). Given the design of the Flow frame's mechanism is very analogous to using a screw-driver to pry open the lid of a paint can, and the Flow Key is just a screw-driver long enough to pry open 30 paint cans at once… Saying that these are only useful during harvest seems a little short-sighted. Granted that from what I learned thus far, that bees will fill the center of the frame before expanding to the edges, only being able to crack one edge of the frame may not be the most ideal feature, but it surely has more use than just one weekend a year. You can crack 1/4 of a frame during nectar rush if you see that it's ripe, for example. Just like you cut a section of comb.

    Thank you for your time, and consideration, and teaching me these things!

  14. Regarding your criticism of the flow hive claim " no expensive processing equipment". Well …Yes, the flow frames are much more expensive than a standard frame. However, it needs to be remembered that purchasing a honey extractor, hot knife, filtration equipment etc is far more costly than a flow hive honey super. Not to mention the labour and sticky mess involved. I attended a demo today with Stuart Anderson, one of the two inventors, and I was more impressed than I thought I'd be. Fortunately, here in australia we don't have the cold winter issues you mentioned. Our bees will be out in the feild 12 months a year
    Thanks for a great review!

  15. I was excited to here about the Flow Hive, but as someone who is in the Research Phase of getting into beekeeping I agree that these are not for beginners. I will be following a couple of youtubers who are in gamer terms Beta Testing these hives to see how they do.

    As someone who is in the planning phase I do wonder if it would be better to put a standard honey super on top of the brood box and then the flow honey super just for wintering.

  16. The thing most of these buyers don't get is the cost. A seven frame super costs over $550. That doesn't not include getting in a nuc full of bees. Then, where do you put those boxed bees? You need another super for the bottom, a bottom board and a few other items. Now your cost is close to $650. You going to put that box-O-bees into the bottom super without a bee suit? Good luck with that for the beginning beekeeper. By the time you get EVERYTHING you need to make this work, you're going to be closing in $8-900. Within one year, two tops, I would guess that 95%+ of these beekeeping dreamers will abandon their little project.

    So, the question is, how much organic honey could you have bought at Trader Joe's for the $900? And you wouldn't have gotten stung even one time.

  17. In my observation, the bees leave the outside edges of the frame to the very last. I know they start close the edge and work towards the center but the outermost edges are left till everything else is capped. Doesn't that mean that you could just wait till you see that the cells at the exact edge are fully capped to be assured that the center is also capped? And then wouldn't that also mean that the provision of the viewing glass for the inner frames is more than sufficient for determining readiness for harvesting?

  18. And isn't it also true that many traditional bee keepers will often rob honey from frames that are not fully capped? Considering the effort they make to break into the hive, it would definitely be tempting to harvest honey even if it's not fully capped.

  19. I will say that it does seem to be a matter of faith whether or not the flow hive is truly a good investment long term because of all the unknowns, but you do seem to illustrate that there is quite likely a solution to these issues. And the flow hive will likely evolve as these issues are brought to forefront. Thank you for your efforts.

  20. I think the cells are purposely made a little bigger because the bees are left to complete the cells with wax on their own. I'd be interested in seeing what the measurements would be after the bees had a chance to work with them. I have a hunch it would be closer the foundation 5.4

  21. Neat idea, but kinda expensive and I think more of a gimmick. Something like this would be interesting for a back yard beekeeper with a couple of hives like me, except I'm using top bar hives and I'm after the wax as much as the honey.

  22. Hello, I am not a beekeeper, but the Flow Hive and other bee channels (628DirtRooster) has peaked my interest, at least in an academic sense. Really enjoyed this video, I particularly like your suggestion to make it work (2 boxes) despite potential issues in it's design. I will be sure to keep an eye on your videos in the future!

  23. are you sure that these frames are actually made by flow frame. as there are now other makers advertising on eBay. saying that bees like the new plastic in the dark. check it out. type in . flow frames.

  24. I would be interested in seeing what happens to the plastic Flow frames once Wax worms move in. You did a great explaining some of the obvious FAILS to the Flow system. I am total agreement that the marketing campaign was/is targeted at those that don't know anything about Beekeeping. Which is my first and greatest dislike on this product. -Bill BeesforVet

  25. Granted this video's a couple of months old, but what are your thoughts regarding controlling pests such as hive beetles and verramites that may potentially affect Flow frames?

  26. Probably the best usage in northern states is run a 2 deep brood chamber and treat this as a seasonal super putting it on spring through fall then taking it off for the winter.

  27. I'm getting the flow hive and I'm glad i found your video cause i'm more educated about the flow hive. In my country its summer every day so i don't think ill have some of these problems.

  28. Another review by a person who doesn't own the item being reviewed. As bad as listening to a movie review by a reviewer that has yet to see the movie. It seems to me that your only relevant concerns are plastic content and plastic spacing. Your overwinter issue is resolved exactly as you would resolve it conventionally. The price is a non issue as well. I do not drive a Mercedes, because I can't afford one. I haven't found a review that disparages the price, though. We buy what we can afford. I came wanting to know if the Flow Frames work. I'm leaving without any information in that regard. Great Review. I think I'm going to go review that Mercedes now. Before I drive it.

  29. I am a newbie to bee keeping and the HoneyFlow is what made me decide to start. I live in the Houston and don't expect to have the problems that you describe since we have a warm climate. I did order an extra brood box last week so it looks like I made a good decision. I will try to post results later this year.

  30. Just subscribed, and am curious to watch some of your other videos. I have to admit, that the Flow Hives marketing drew me into thinking, maybe I could do this. I am more interested in the positive environmental effects of having bees around than harvesting the honey personally, so there is probably a much cheaper option. My criticism of this video, is that the criticism of the Flow hive seem generic to all small hives, not the flow hive in particular. The expense and the not actually being able to see if honey is ready to be harvested like the marketing claims seem like valid criticisms, but everything else seems to be generic to the size of the hive. I personally don't know any other options, I plan to watch more of your videos. But the Flow Hive still seems like a fun hive to own. $700 is a lot to spend, and I will be doing my research. Thanks for the video, but there does seem to be a generic dismissal of the Flow Hive that does not seem to be completely founded.

  31. I am by no means a beekeeper or enthusiast, but I watched this whole video. super well put together and pretty interesting.
    Has anyone had one of this for over a year yet to confirm/or bust any of these points?

  32. You video support what I have thought from day one of the Flow Hive promotion. Great marketing, but an expensive way to collect honey with some management.

  33. I was amazed watching the crowd funding. I predicted they would make their goal but didn't have a clue how much overage. Its great for education of the population about bees and for backyard hobby beek. from a financial position, I can't see it going far with commercial keepers. For the price, I can make 10 hives and brood with best keeping practices; I predict that more hives will be infested with Varroa, nosema, and foulbrood long term since the amateur wont use standard practices in keeping. Hives will swarm, and it may backfire in a year or two. Flow got their money and will most likely sold it off to a US company like Dadent Brushy etc. They can't really apply their patent since the same design back in 1939. so its an open design. For right now its a feel good moment.

  34. Am a bee keeper here in NY area. Hope people get into beekeeping and at the same time must share that plastic is plastic is plastic. Food and plastic do not mix well for humans. The less plastic the better. There is no argument that plastic is good for you.


  35. Do you have a nephew that thoroughly enjoys that bald head of yours?
    Every bald man needs a little fella who can tap on his head and call him uncle.

  36. So I start last year whit 2 hives, now i got 8 and next year …………how much flow frames is that?
    LOL no cost logic in that ,,,You are right what you say! So If you are real beekeper,,,,,,,, soon or later you will end whit 50 or more hives ,,,,,,,,,,,haw much will cost that?And if you haw one hive,,,,,,,, soon you'l need to split it also in time.

  37. topic heat conductivity: depends on the grade of plastic used for the combs. there are a lot of usable plastic grades which have similar heat conductivity as honey and bee wax

  38. In regards the winter issue, would it make it any better if you had a standard short super above the brood box before the flow hive. That way they would fill that first (before the flow) and come winter you could remove the flow and the queen excluder and then have a full brood box and short super full of honey for them to get through the winter on. Come summer all you should need to do then is put the flow back on top and the queen extruder back above the brood box (checking that queenie is back home of course).

  39. I dont now why people that don't now haw bees live,grow,swarm,split say haw great is Flow…haha..If you start bees whit 2 hives???There will not be a long time that your bees grow to more and puting on all hives Flow??? I think not…And you can't stay at 2 hives…if you are real beekeeper or hobi beekeeper ???? IF no… then bees are not for you.. Bees are not like a Cat or a Dog just to say them sit down and be nice….hehe

  40. Flowhives are a gimmick for fools. The flowhive Father/Son team are marketing themselves as greenthumb/sustainable/compassionate business minded individuals. So why are they charging $800 USD for a piece of hardware that does not deliver on what's promoted. Less stress to the hive. What a joke. These guys are close to criminals.

    Thank you for your honesty and informative review!

  41. Great video man! So educational! I am about to start beekeeping in Denmark (climate probably similar to the north-east US) and you helped med a lot deciding buy or no-buy Flow Hive….it is definitely no-buy. Channel subscribed!

  42. I am considering getting one of these boxes. but my theory with wintering a flow frame would lead to failure. my hive build will be two brood boxes, next, a half size super (half height box and frames). this would be topped off with the flow hive. as for seeing when the frames are ready for harvest, i have seen other videos of people using these. with the pattern bees place their honey, you can see clearly when the bottom of the frame is filled and capped. i was impressed with this.

  43. Some other flow hive videos had two brood boxes and a traditional short honey super, for the bees use under the flow frames

  44. LOL , biggest load of rubbish i've seen on here , reviewing a product without even using it. ALL of your concerns are false missleading or just plain bs. Dont know what your beef with flowhive is but at the very least do a review on a working hive. Not 1 experienced beekeeper on the net that has actually used this product can find fault with the way it works.Teething problems with supply and qc because of unforeseen demand , but nothing but good since then . Look elsewhere 4 much more informed comment.

  45. I guess my question is…how can you make an educated review when you're basing everything about this on a different product and process? I'm just saying, whether this is for everyone or not it seems silly to state your concerns about a product when you haven't even tried it. I am not a beekeeper and have limited knowledge regarding this but from what I see in this video, you are still scaring people away from this hobby. Try it for a couple of seasons, then come back with an honest review. That's something I can respect.

  46. They always seem to show removing the honey in the apiary. Lets say you have more than one hive. What about creating a robbing situation?

  47. Welcome new and first-time viewers! Since you most likely found this video as you are researching the Flow Hive, I would like to first point out that this video was published April 2016. There is sure to be newer, more updated information out there as you research, but stick around, enjoy the show. I feel the points I make in this video are still valid and relevant. Second, I welcome all comments, even if you disagree with me. If you would like to engage in intelligent discussion on my points then please use well reasoned arguments such as "I think the point you made about X is wrong/incorrect/misleading and here's why." Drive-by comments that lack a well reasoned argument like "you're just jealous," or "you look like another bald guy I saw once" are likely due to an upbringing where you were not really listened to or loved and I blame your parents. Happy commenting!

  48. Realizing that this is an old video that I just happened upon I will restrict some of my harsher criticisms.
    There are tons of vids on this product on this very site that weigh the pros and cons of this product and this is yet another one without the actual trial of said product. You bring up valid arguments but they are all rendered moot if you do not in turn try the actual product.
    To answer some of your questions however I will 1. direct you to Frederic Dunns site on this very site and 2. answer you directly.
    Point one – will the queen lay in the flow frames?
    Indeed she will and it is one helluva mess as Frederic Dunn shared with us in one of his videos.
    Point two – the plastic argument.
    This horse has been beaten to death already, move on or risk looking and sounding like a Luddite. There are countless apiary supplies you can buy that come into direct contact with bees and their end product. Anyone who has been in beekeeping for any length of time will realize your argument is a non starter.
    Point three – The makers of Flow products are quite clear about the proper care upkeep and hive management for various regions of this planet and will work with customers on a one to one basis to ensure success in anyones endeavor. Making them sound somehow shiftless or unscrupulous makes sound like just another hater.
    (full disclosure) No I am not employed by the flow company or any of it's affiliates. I do however welcome any product that would seek to introduce someone who might otherwise be scared to death of bees into the joys and wonder that is beekeeping in general. Yeah it's a niche market product, realize this and move on.

    Advice for anyone after watching this video – take it for what it is and continue to do your research. Watch Frederic Dunn (did I mention he was on this very site) he is not only fair and honest he provides unbiased opinions on many subjects including the flow hive. He makes mistakes, he's honest and he is completely upfront on every point and issue.

    This guy here? <shrug>

  49. Thank you for explanation!!! I could not believe that this thing would work for my case… Now I see all answers for my question!!!

  50. There is a new Beekeeper on YouTube tilting her videos "The Bee Vlog" she's smart to do that as she gets folks that are looking for this gentleman to view her bee vids also. Clever, very clever.

  51. Oh.. bro… i get questions about this so ~~ what if the country tapers are naver go to( -° ) or (0°) ? it is possible to using in that's country?

    And thank you for this vedeio i Larne that the flow hives is not correct size for ages
    and queen bee can possible to in this plastic hives

    But it is also died in the country tamparetur (-° ?

  52. i live in columbus ohio and i am getting ready to start my bee hive when it is the to start a beehivem where are you located at in the us?

  53. I love your thoughtful comments and educated predictions. Thank you for taking the time to create this video. You made a number of hypotheses during this video that would be great to test. It would be amazing if you had a year of using one flow hive as a control (following their instructions), and another to test methods you think would make for a better experience.

  54. Its good to try new things!   NOT FOR ME! reason> cost, thin plastic, and it gets jammed The heat and cold  would crystalized the frames fast, be lucky to get 1 yr. out of it!   Its a GR8 ideal !!!  The future of new ways of Bee Keeping  1 day it will be all done by our computers  > its the cost and the bugs needs to be iron out !!! It should been made from safety gjass

  55. I have a flow hive but listened to beekeepers in my local area and bought a second brood box which I use above the flow frames for honey for their winter.

  56. I remove my flow frame box which allows my second brood box of honey to be placed above the brood removing the queen excluder. In spring if the queen and cluster have moved up, I place this brood box below adding the queen excluder below the top brood box. Once the nectar starts flowing I then place the flow frame box in between both brood boxes. Remember, the top brood box has no brood and will again fill after the flow super is filled, giving the bees their winter stores.

  57. BeeVlog – Thank you for an effective and educational video. This is the best analytical and accurate description of the Flow Hive I've seen yet.

    I am a Minnesota beekeeper and I have pursued a 'plastic free' operation in everything with the bees: from collecting the nectar to harvesting the honey and wax – no plastic touches my product of bees. Only wood, stainless steel and glass from the jar – no plastic. The Flow Hive is my operations nightmare…

    If you want sickly bees, and an empty wallet for the marginal ease of watch honey flow. Get a flow hive…

  58. about the Recycle Class, these frames are made from VIRGIN plastics, what that number represents is if you turn it in for recycle, it will be classed as 7 for valuation. it's Recyclable is all that means to the purchaser..
    I've seen a few of these in other Beekeepers videos, Some LOVE them, others, not so much… PLEASE TRY before you discredit, cause in my opinion, you have no first hand knowledge, you are just giving unsupported opinions, discrediting yourself..
    When beekeepers with Flow's have video'd their frames there were never so many bees that you couldn't see the first few rows of combs to see if they were capped. As a newbie, so far my observation is that bees always work from the center out therefore, the outside combs, near the window, are always last to be capped, giving a pretty fair indication if a frame is ready for harvest. The big issue I saw in those videos was that most of the northern nectar flows are short and quick.. a few weeks, and the dearth starts, then another month of flow, then winter prep, so, in my opinion, a full 8 frames will not likely be filled in the North where I live, but there are some lucky southerners that would have a wonderful FULL set of frames to harvest. There are some areas in the US, that like the Gold Coast, have bees flying most of the year.. LUCKY FOLKS

    My thoughts on the NO HEAVY LIFTING, that is truly misleading, in my opinion, because your Flow will have to be removed every time you inspect. a standard 10 frame deep is about 90 to 100 lbs, when the frames are wider (8 Flow frames are the same width as 10 langs), so my assumption is when it gets full of nectar, it's going to be between 110 and 120, that's way too heavy for most of us.. and it takes time for the bees to cap it, a race with the seasons..
    I have seen their integrated flow hive, 1/2 flow frames, and half standard frames.. this allows for easy inspection of the flow frames, since you can move the standards easily to check on the Flow's, and ease of removal, replacing them with standard frames for winter. but the weight will always be an issue for some of us, especially those of us that are vertically challenged..
    As for the STANDARD comment of it taking so much ENERGY and nectar for the girls to make comb (8:1), I can't say I know, but I can say, that many beekeepers that I have talked to often reference how much honey they get from a hive that starts with comb vs the girls that are building NEW comb for the same season… I know every hive is different, every queen is different, but the differences are staggering..

    So, it's now been nearly 2 years, and I'm curious how your friends Flow is working, Where's the UPDATE??

  59. OMG why not do a review on a car you haven't driven yet , all your specific attacks on the flow hive have been proved false by long time , new and commercial bee keepers . The rest of your argument applies to ALL hives , proper inspection and maintenance is still a must . Please PLEASE keep your blockhead buried in the sand so we can't hear this ignorance on youtube ever again

  60. A very negative "review". You dont seem to understand the dislikes on your original video. The flowhive is just a different way to harvest honey. With regards to over wintering flowhive explain the differing needs for different climates. The cell size difference in the flowframes is to accommodate more honey. its not meant to be used as a brood box. Its designed to be taken off over winter.
    I know this is an old video but you focus too much on the negatives without mentioning the positives. Taking a default cynical position on marketing and materials. I think if you watch the flowhive videos you'll see the inventor is clearly an experienced bee keeper who has created this product for the right reasons

  61. Just the concept of putting moving plastic parts into a beehive, is doomed for disaster. I loved your video.

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