sound of bees buzzing Ok so now I have
all of the flowhive pieces and there are several videos already that
show how to put it together... I'm going to put this one together
and then will tell you what my observations are
problems fitting I want you to notice these joints are not
aligned. Right from the factory, they don't fit.
I don't give them a very good grade. They just don't line up!
If you line up these then come to the next end look at the cuts, not a quality box joint!
They just don't match! I am following the assembly guide and it's
not fitting. Amazing!
I have to take it out to the wood shop... There are supposed to be five knob screws,
there were only four. I marked off the joints to be shaved down.
Here it is after I've corrected the joints. They were 3/32 of an inch off.
Ok so now you see we have the box assembled. Some problems with missing hardware and misfit
joints. Some screws were not long enough.
Some were missing. Shaved the box joints to proper fit.
And now we're ready to put in the frames. Lookin at the frame cells.
I was really impressed that they are so uneven. Not like actual drawn out wax comb.
They are in compartments that can be separated. Interesting design... the plastic it is made
from actually feels soft... a little waxy even...
But it is just plastic. And of course all of the wax frame components
which are made of plastic are strung together and made tight with stainless steel chord.
There are adjustment screws at the end of the frame.
So you can push the frame snug against the accessible side.
The way the box went together, it was tight enough without needing adjustment.
This is the seven frame system. Right out of the box, it's tight enough.
No movement that would allow bees through the end.
Adjust screws here if your frames are loose. Make sure there is no "bee space".
As you can see, they really are flexible. Easy to remove.
Nothing like any frames I have used before... For the rest of the video
I will put this super on a Langstroth hive body.
A 10 frame Langstroth hive deep. Bottom board and a standard 10 frame deep
brood box. Many people complain about plastics in the
Flow Hive. I have been using Piergo plastic frames for
over 11 years with no problems. The Flow Hive box is a little smaller in exterior
measurements than the traditional frame. Then I'll put an inner cover on it.
A little burr comb on it, but that's no problem. The cover is a little larger also.
Standard telescoping lid. The telescoping top isn't going to allow the
Flow Hive to open. It sets too far down. The cover tilts because it's resting on the
knobs. This is just my first impressions.
I haven't had this in the bee yard yet. It's February, it's 10 deg. F outside.
and it's snowing. So all I'm doing is getting ready for spring.
Hopefully it will be a great spring for the honey bees.
As I've mentioned, the telescoping top. Is incompatible.
You may have to put a shallow super on top of the Flow Hive.
For now, we'll remove the top. You may have to do something to raise the
cover so it is out of the way. It may not be the best to have the Flow Hive
as the top box. So, we'll remove the end observation piece.
Here is the metal strip that give the box rigidity.
The top bar allows access for the actuating key.
Let's try that out. As I have already demonstrated, I am not impressed
with the woodworking accuracy/quality. I do think the internal frames are well designed,
consistent and of good quality. Just as advertised. So, you may already have seen the way the
acuating keys work. I wish there was a way to purchase just one
key on the website. I would like to have two keys to use at the
same time. Right now, you can't purchase a key by itself.
When you decide to work a frame, remove the bottom pull plug.
I always wondered... Watching other videos...
When opening the access cover. Wouldn't the bees just use propolis to seal
it all up? But now that I see how it's made...
There is no space for the bees to come through... The worker bees can access the cells, but
are blocked from coming through... So they couldn't propolize the joints and
access panels. The other thing that occurs to me.
If you had a honey bee cottage, or sugar shack. Where the back of the bee hive was projecting
inside the shed. Pretty popular in Germany in fact...
You would be able to work the hives from inside the shack and extract honey without any bees
getting inside the work space. You couldn't pull frames that way, but you
could have a method of extracting honey without the bees getting in.
All of the frames could be open and draining... Inside the work shed...
And not even have to brush bees off of the honey frames.
I don't think this is going to be a fantastic industrial practice.
But the way they are put together, I am very interested in the possibilities.
Looking forward to our first nectar flow. If you'll notice... they way this tube goes
into the bottom... the little tongue at the bottom, goes underneath
the frame material. There is no blocking of the honey from flowing
out. Pretty interesting...
Any honey that drains down and goes through the pieces...
is just reclaimed by the honey bees. There are gaps that the honey will seep through.
The plug has no threads... you just push it in.
Very simple. The top tab will only fit when the frames
are in the closed position. So you can't forget and leave the cells in the open position.
As you can see... the materials are recyclable and the flow hive company has many statements,
saying that all of the plastics are food safe and stable.
If they get dirty, you can wash them out with warm water.
IF these were inside a honey bee shed... You "could" if all the cells were full and
properly capped with wax... (I would NOTextract honey unless the cells were capped)...
Bees cap cells when the honey is properly dehydrated.
You could have all of the tubes in and let the honey drain out into a trough and into
a large collection bucket. This method is going to take a long time to
collect honey. I would do it on a HOTday, obviously honey
flows quicker when it's warm/hot. I like the idea that I don't have to pull
the entire frame. And don't have to cut the caps and wax off
of them. I can just extract from one or two frames.
And then just close it up without all the fuss.
Let's not pretend that this is going to be quicker than traditional centrifuge extraction
processes... that would pull more honey in less time.
BUT you're also going to be scraping the frames and doing a lot of secondary work. Plus you
have to take the frames to the extracting room.
Now I'm just going to give you a close look at how the mechanism operates.
I'm putting the actuator key in turning it and the cells open for draining.
That is the open position for the cells. IF you had crystalized honey in the cells
I would put it in this position remove the entire frame and soak it in hot
water and rinse it off. After draining the honey.
put the key in the top slot. And turn it until the cells return to the
closed position. you will see the gaps around the cells.. the
honey bees will fill those gaps with propolis and wax before re-filling with nectar that
will dehydrate down to proper honey. Traditional extraction removes lots of drawn
comb and wax caps. Some people even cut out sections of comb
to make "chunk honey". The bees then have to use a lot of their resources
to restore that missing wax. That is much reduced with this process.
The bees can go to work filling the cells much quicker.
In a nectar flow, you can draw honey off and four days later, the cells may be full again.
You have to decide how much to leave for the bees and not extract too much!
Especially in the fall.. you must be careful to leave enough for the bees to get through
winter where you live. Normally you don't remove the frame to extract
honey... Notice the cells are angled to the center...
that helps the nectar/honey flow to the middle and down.
Seems like a very interesting design and I'm impressed.
I'm not here to tell you that this is a GREATway to manage bees and I'm not saying it's NOT.
I'm just sharing what I"m learning as always.... If there is something new in bee keeping...
I like to buy it and learn about it, then sharing what learn with others.
My next video with the Flow Hive will show how well my honey bees accept and work the
frames. You'll see how it works and what I think of
it in the bee yard. You have to think about the cost of the Flow
Hive. When it first came out on Indigogo... launching
their campaign. I bought one for over $500.00 Flow Hive set a Indigogo record for the most sales in 24 hours.. going
over a MILLION in contributions... At the campaign close, they had received over
12 MILLION DOLLARS in contributions.... So obviously this design has a huge following
and many are interested in learning more. In 2016 when spring weather hits the United
States. A lot of bee keepers will be using these frames.
Even though some people are on YouTube... Telling Everyone that will listen...
that "the only people who will be interested in this system, will be new keepers or people
who are ignorant about honey bees" well... I'm not personally ignorant about honey bees
and I also don't want to be uninformed aobu this system... so, I got one.
Let's talk the talk now... when it comes to starting out with honey bees
the flow hive.. is EXPENSIVE as I already said
I paid over $500.00 let me tell you... when you get into starting
up with bees you could go to a company like betterbee.com
you could purchase a beginner kit that kit includes
bottom board two deep supers
two medium supers an inner cover
an outer cover a bee outfit
a smoker a veil
everything you need. including a book on how to keep bees
and that's for $354.50 So.. if you're looking for a bargain.
I've see posts on YouTube about how much it costs to start and how much will they earn
from the honey! IF YOU are looking exclusively at cost and
what you are going to earn... from the honey sales...
my advice to you is don't even begin with honey bees
IF you're not in it to learn about bees and improve the environment
and improve pollination and help improve honey bee health.
and you think the Flow Hive is a method for making quick money and cashing in on bees...
I say RUN! This thing is expensive!
It's a new technology and it is novel
and I find it interesting... not being for or against it.
I'm not here to blast it or launch a promotion campaign.
If you do not already understand honey bees and the complex colony activities and behaviors,
then stop everything, go to school, or learn from an experienced keeper.
IF you are actually afraid of bees or being stung?
Quit NOW... you will be stung! Every bee keeper eventually gets stung by
honey bees. So if you don't have a heart felt interest
in bees FIRST... then don't take the financial leap and try to profit from them.
For the cost of a three frame Flow Hive system... YOU could own an entire setup from a place
like BetterBee.com I'm not just here to endorse betterbee.. there
are many sites like Dadant etc... but you could have the entire deal/setup including
frames... for $354.50... I would really think it over.
If you plan to get into it for the money. I bought it...
and am interested in it. Only so I can know about it and inform others
from direct experience with the system... Thanks for watching and I hope you continue
to learn about honey bees and chickens... thanks!