Have you heard about the Flow Hive? It is a new type of beehive that utilizes the most up to date technology to eliminate the need for a honey extractor. As it’s name implies, honey simply flows from this beehive through a spout. With the flow hive you’ll basically have honey on tap.
This method of harvesting honey is non invasive to bees and easy for the beekeeper. Sound too good to be true? See our flow beehive reviews below to decide if this is the beehive for you. This article will discuss all of the features the Flow Hive has to offer, as well as it’s pros and cons.
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Flow Hive© 2 Cedar 6 Frame Review
The Flow Hive© was created in Australia by Stuart and Cedar Anderson, father-son beekeepers. It soon became the most successful crowdfunding campaign launched outside the US. Today, 65,000 Flow Hives are used in 130 countries. Flow is now a Certified B Corporation, which means that they meet the “highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.”
Flow Hives and frames can be bought online, either on Amazon (currently out of stock), or through the Flow online store. You can expect to harvest 6.5 lbs of honey from a full frame. Therefore, if you have 6 frames you can harvest 39 lbs of honey. Flow frames are made from BPA free food grade materials. The hive is made from sustainable A grade Western Red Cedar.
Features of the Flow© Beehive
This beehive is an upgrade to the original Flow Hive© Classic. The following is included with the Flow Hive© 2:
- Shingled Roof – Roof sections are pre glued for better protection from elements. The roof also comes with brass wing screws to keep the roof secured in bad weather.
- Observation Windows – Double side observation windows on the Flow super allow you to check on your bees without opening the hive.
- 6 Flow Frames and Flow Tubes – These special frames are the reason you can harvest honey with a turn of a key.
- Brood Box – This brood box contains 8 brood frames. This is where the bee eggs, pupae, and larvae will reside. The box features deep handles for easy and comfortable lifting.
- Flow Super – This is where the bees will store honey. It is specially made to fit Flow frames.
- Harvesting Shelf – Adjustable shelf to help with harvesting honey.
- Multifunctional Tray – This tray slides into the base of the Flow hive. It’s purpose is to trap pests and check on the colony’s health.
- Inner Cover – The inner cover comes with a central hole for feeding bees, as well as a plug to cover the hole.
- Premium Brass Fixtures – Attractive and durable brass fixtures are included.
- Ventilation Control – Ventilation control system allows you to adjust air flow depending on the weather.
- Flow Key – A special key used to open or close cells in the Flow Frame to harvest honey.
How the Flow Hive© Works
The Flow Hive is different from other beehives because of the way their frames work. Flow frames start off with partially formed honeycomb cells. The bees instinctively build comb upon them. They then fill the cells with honey and cap them with wax.
That is all pretty standard. The cool part happens when it’s time to harvest honey. When the frame is full you insert the honey tube into a canal at the bottom of the frame. Insert your Flow key and rotate it downwards.
You will see that the honeycomb cells have now split, allowing honey to flow downwards. They honey flows out of the honey tube, into a jar or container of your choice. It’s simple and fascinating.
Now that you know more about the Flow Hive, read below to see my Flow Beehive review.
Flow© Beehive Reviews
Of all the Flow Beehive 2 reviews, customers give it an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Positive Flow© Beehive Reviews
Gone are the days where beehives were made from upside down baskets and old tree stumps. The Flow Beehive is made of laser cut sustainable A grade Western Red Cedar. It’s a beautiful wood with a rich, warm color.
Aside from custom painted beehives that are literal works of art, it is hard to beat the Flow Hive appearance wise. The design and details of the Flow Beehive are really attractive and would look great in a garden or yard.
I also like the 2 observation windows on the super. It’s really nice to be able to take a peek at your bees without having to open up the hive and disrupt them.
Most reviewers say that assembly of the Flow Hive is quick and easy. I like that the pieces are laser cut, so everything is precise. Some other unassembled beehives have a problem with parts not being cut right. That is not a problem with the Flow Hive.
The assembly instructions are clear and easy to understand. There are also detailed videos on Flow’s website for further help. You can expect to spend 1-3 hours putting this together, depending on your skill level.
Ease of Use
Even though the Flow Beehive uses new technology, it is recommended for beginner beekeepers, as well as seasoned veterans. That’s because it’s easy to use. A new beekeeper won’t even have to learn how to use a honey extractor if they have a Flow Hive.
I think that the observation windows are also good for beginner beekeepers because they will have an easier time monitoring their colony. You are able to check on the colony without having to pull out all of the frames. Other features, like the ventilation control are also helpful to beginners.
As for harvesting honey, there is no easier way. Harvesting honey the traditional way can sometimes take days. Even with an electric honey extractor it requires several steps and it’s hard work lifting those heavy boxes. The Flow Hive eliminates the need for a honey extractor, making harvesting honey easy as a turn of a key – no heavy lifting required.
Harvesting honey this way is also less invasive for the bees. Traditionally, bees would need to be smoked or brushed off of the frames before the honey harvest can begin. Needless to say, it’s not very enjoyable for the bees. And even worse, some bees get crushed this way. When you harvest honey with the Flow Hive the bees remain unbothered and unharmed.
I also have to say that harvesting honey in this way is really fun. I can see this as something kids would love to help out with.
The structure of this hive is solid, so I can see it lasting a long time. Additionally, this hive is made from Western Red Cedar, which is a very durable and long lasting wood.
Negative Flow© Beehive Reviews
The Flow Hive costs more than most other beehives and some beekeepers aren’t so eager to make such a large investment. It’s hard to say if the Flow Hive is worth the price. Many people are really pleased with their beehive and say it is absolutely worth it. While others find it to be a rip off.
And it’s all relative, really. Beekeepers who dislike harvesting honey the traditional way, or who may not have the space for a honey extractor will likely have no problem with the price. They are okay with paying for a quality product that makes life easier or more enjoyable for them.
Can Take Too Much Honey
Because harvesting honey from the Flow Beehive is so easy, some people worry that beekeepers will take too much honey from their bees. Remember, bees make and store honey for themselves to eat over the winter. If we take too much honey from them they will starve.
I personally don’t think this is an issue with the Flow Hive because beekeepers can take too much honey from regular beehives too. The important thing is that beekeepers are educated on the proper ways to care for their bees. No matter what type of hive a beekeeper chooses to use, they must have a good understanding and love of their bees.
Some people believe that the Flow Hive creates a detachment between the beekeeper and his bees. In traditional beekeeping there are many steps to harvesting honey and some think that is sacred and not to be tampered with. They dislike the “hands off” approach to beekeeping and honey harvesting. Furthermore, they worry that people to get the Flow Hive do it only for the honey, and not for the bees.
Honestly, I think there is a chance of “bad” beekeepers no matter what type of hive is used. The key is education, and there is a ton of free beekeeping information available online. Everything on the Flow Hive is virtually the same as a regular Langstroth Hive, except for the Flow frames in the super. Beekeepers still need to regularly inspect and maintain their colony. The only difference comes during honey harvesting, which is done 1-2 times a year. And some will argue that while harvesting with a Flow Hive is actually better for the bees, as it’s less invasive.
The 6 Flow Frames included with this hive are made of plastic. That may not be a big deal to some, but there are beekeepers who prefer a more natural, plastic free way of beekeeping. They say that the use of plastic in a beehive can possibly leach chemicals into the honey. However, lots of beekeepers use plastic frames in regular Langstroth beehives every day.
The plastic Flow uses for their frames are food grade, BPA free, and not manufactured with bisphenol-S or any other bisphenol compounds. But it is up to you to decide if plastic is an issue for you.
Buying a Flow Hive
Flow Hives can be bought online at either Amazon or on the Flow website. Flow hives have been out of stock for several months on Amazon, so I’d recommend purchasing from the Flow website.
Flow Hive Alternatives
For most people, the biggest drawback of the Flow Hive is the price. It costs much more than traditional beehives, and some beekeepers may not want to pay that much. However, because of it’s unique and patented technology, there aren’t many reliable Flow Hive alternatives.
It is possible to find Flow Hive knock offs that are made in China, but there aren’t any guarantees that you’ll get a quality product that is safe and made with food grade materials.
In that case, I’d recommend just getting a regular Langstroth hive and harvesting honey manually. While not as fancy as a Flow Hive, Langstroth hives offer a great hands on experience with beekeeping and can yield more honey than Flow Hives.
As you can see from many Flow Beehive reviews, the Flow Hive has pros and cons. It is a little different than traditional beehives, and while some people don’t like that, most do. It’s true that the Flow Hive costs more than regular beehives, but many reviews say that it is well worth the money.
In the case of the Flow Hive I think that the benefits outweigh the negatives. I personally do like this new way of harvesting honey. It is a lot easier for the beekeeper and I like how non-invasive it is for the bees.
Every beekeeper will have his or her own methods that work best for them. In the case of the Flow Hive, I think many people would enjoy owning this hive.