Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    I know the Flow team is working round-the-clock to keep up with customer inquiries. I just figured I'd do my part here on Beesource since I'm not sure if any of them monitor it! I can tell you from communication with them that resolving any issues you're having is of utmost importance!

    Best,
    Matt

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    davie florida
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    i need replacement for the following parts

    qty 2 pieces roof singles
    qty 1 short side of brood box ( the deep box)

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    1. Buy the box with the frames. Even with a shop and tools (and help) it was a full day of modifications and a trip to a big box store and the robotics lab to acquire the parts to finish the box. Make your life easier - just buy the box.

    2. The flow arrived in June, just after the nectar flow stopped. I took my time with the box, and paint, and took the entire set to the local beekeepers meeting so they could get a look at it. It finally went on the hive around Labor Day to catch the fall nectar flow. I could see bees up in the box checking it out within minutes. The Flow went on the strongest of 7 hives, one that had been in existance for three years. Honey had already been pulled from hives at this point, with two medium boxes of honey on top of the three brood boxes still in place.

    3. I have been in the hive to inspect a couple of times, and each time found 100+/- bees in the Flow, but no nectar. I was asked to take the Flow to the Beekeepers annual dinner last night. I went to inspect the box, and found that the bees had completed the cell seams with propolis. I could not get the frames into the open position. I tried for about 45 minutes to use the key to manipulate the frames. No success; the frames are locked tight with propolis. I finally took the box off the hive to work on it (didn't want to be late for dinner!), and took it to the meeting. I have asked FLOW HIVE for comment on how to get the frames open. The bees put no nectar in the 6 frames. I don't want to force the frames to the point of breaking. I'll let you know what FLOW has to say. To say that I'm frustrated with the product is an understatement. Pics soon.

    4. The good news for the season: 245 lbs of honey from three hives, on top of 40-60 lbs left on each hive - with standard equipment.
    Flow Propolis.jpgFlow Propolis 2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Native Plants; 10-11-2015 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Add photos

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    You need to smack it with a hatchet (the sharp end...many times).
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    ^About there, Betty. From oberservation of hives, bees don't put honey where they have propolis. My concerns are less with getting the frames open than with the bees putting nectar in the frames.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    davie florida
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    You need to post this in the flow hive forums. Flow hive has their own forums set up on their site. The People from flow hive aren't checking this forum. I posted my issue there and they got involved quickly.
    Last edited by fivekai; 10-11-2015 at 08:25 AM. Reason: adding

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,609

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by fivekai View Post
    You need to post this in the flow hive forums.
    Actually not. Barry allowed this thread specifically for these types of first hand accounts.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    davie florida
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    I meant the flow hive forum on the flow hive website.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,609

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Agree, sorry bout that.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Fivekai,
    I did post directly to Flow Forum. It does not allow pictures, so I put them here. This forum is larger, with a more diverse audience that might not be on Flow.

    As an update, I took the Flow out of my trunk this morning, and it was about 40^F. I was able to break the frame apart two sections at a time. The propolis is brittle at this temp. So... the frames can be opened, but will the bees put nectar where the cells have been sealed with propolis?

    Strips of propolis on the counter. IMG_0200.jpg

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    12,001

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by fivekai View Post
    I meant the flow hive forum on the flow hive website.
    But what Jim said still needs to be stressed. People from this forum need to post their experience here, not be sent to another forum to post. I don't follow what is going on there. So Native Plants, keep us updated!
    Regards, Barry

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,597

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    My experiance tells me bees use se propolis for more permanent modifications such as closing unwanted openings and gluing frames together and when we remove propolis it is repropolized. I wonder out loud if the frames were beeswax coated if that would change their perception

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    The Flow team seems to answer very quickly here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1611910632374007/

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    I posted on The facebook group above, and the other Flow facebook group. Have not heard from a Flow representative, but have found several other Flow owners with this problem of propolis in the cell seams. I wonder if this is a difference of continent or bee type.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    I doubt it. These are European honey bees whether in the USA or overseas.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Barry,
    Can you remove my post (#33).

    That FB moderator has gone rogue lol
    Facebook users are migrating to this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701826046713794/

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    davie florida
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    So i got my replacement wood and besides the pilot holes missing on one and not drilled all the way through on another shingle the quality of the wood looks much better.

    besides the replacement parts for my flow hive i also placed an order with bee thinking for the following......
    2 deeps, the quality looks good
    1 top round feeder, this arrived broken.

    here we go again send pics and wait for replacement.

    thats 2 shipments i get with an issue from this company.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Flow Hive, Firsthand Experience

    Just got off a half-hour Skype with Cedar and Stewart. Seriously. They have a real interest in my experience, and offered suggestions for next spring. It does not make sense for me to keep the empty Flow on the hive for the winter as we will not have more nectar flow until then. There is learning on both ends as I describe the nectar flow in the Mid-Atlantic, and they give me help with the frames. Playing with the frames I am learning about small engineering parts - such as you can't put the top cap in unless the sections are closed. In other words, you can't put the open cells back in the hive, and just draining down. The cap will only fit when closed. I learned this while trying to put the frame back in the box mistakenly open. I'm very happy with the sharing of ideas, help, and willingness to listen.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL
    Posts
    163

    Default Flow Hive Experience - So Far

    Quick note of my experience so far with the Flow Hive.

    I currently have 8 hives including the 1 Flow Hive. I expect with splits and other hives I will add by the end of the year, I will have 25 - 30 hives.

    I purchased a Flow Hive Supper when the Kick Starter Campaign was in process. My intent was to use this on an experimental bases to see how it would compare to my other hives on honey production. From a cost point of view, it is too costly for commercial use but potentially could be good for a back yard setup with no more than 1 or 2 hives. I finally received it back in late February.

    Back in November 2015 I purhcased 2 Nucs from a local beekeeper and put them in 8 frame deeps. One was a little stronger than the other. I added a medium supper to the stronger back in early March. Since I had just received my Flow Hive a week earlier I was too busy to put it together and setup to use on the stronger Nuc so I had to wait until late March(actually April 1st) when the other hive was strong enough to add a super. 2 days later I added a QE.

    Here are my results so far.

    End of Week 1 - The Flow Hive makes a pretty good SHB Hotel It was crawling in large numbers of SHB's. Bees were actively playing hide and seek with the SHB's in the Flow Hive cells. I considered pulling it off at this point, but since there were no SHB's in the lower deep, I decided to leave it on. Already had a SHB trap in the main hive along with a beetle barn. So I added another beetle trap to the flow hive and left it in place and went on vacation.

    End of Week 2 - Thought for sure I would be removing the flow hive. To my surprise, it looked like the bees had gotten the SHB issue under better control. There are still SHB's, but not in such large numbers. Traps were empty and the bees had started filling the middle of the 2 inner frames. Must have been a large emergence of bees during the week. The hive population was noticeably larger from the prior week in the deep and the number of bees working in the flow hive was also much larger.

    I usually only inspect a hive every other week, but in the case of the Flow Hive, I will be doing it weekly until I am confident it will work out. Other than the issue with the SHB's, I wouldn't think that there would be any difference in what to expect with the rest of the hive. However, due diligence is in order at this point.
    Mike Harrell
    Zone 9B - First Hive April 17, 2012

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Flow Hive Experience - So Far

    I suspect many frustrated people who find out their Flow frames are actually propolis traps. Seeing the pictures it was my first thought, that the bees will fill the gaps with propolis. And now having seen the frames first hand (someone I know bought one), I cringed a little...

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