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Author Topic: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat  (Read 2215 times)

Offline Boarbuster

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Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« on: September 05, 2018, 11:09:59 am »
Hi Flow Hive Users-
I would be interested to learn how many of you actually use the original and how many use the Chinese copycat?
Who may have experiences with both?
There is not too much info out there comparing both. I could only find the video below.
Those of you using the Chinese version: what are your experiences with its functionality?
Thx.
J.




Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 05:51:17 pm »
I've only had the original.  It works as expected.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 08:23:36 pm »
I have the original. I was given it because the original owner could not get the bees to fill it. Every time I got the bees to start filling the flow hive, they would swarm. I re waxed the frames and they partially filled most of the frames. When I harvested the honey, it was at 16%, very thick.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 08:39:51 am »
I have read unbiased reviews that the copy does not measure up to the original.
Brian Cardinal
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Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 07:32:31 pm »
Ace how do you know unbiased?  I imagine you are talking about folks you know, is that correct?  I have zero experience with flow hives.

Any of you folks impressed with these flow hives, original or Chinese?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 12:23:57 am »
I would not buy one. For one thing, the queens lay drone brood in the flow cells. Definitely not what I was expecting. I read that it was designed so that the queen would not lay in it.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 08:18:09 am »
Ace how do you know unbiased?

It was a youtube vid not presented as a sales pitch.  I have 30 years experience with mechanical mechanisms and could concur with the issues that were reported.  I do not have either but would be willing to try a flow hive if someone is unhappy with it.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2018, 10:55:47 am »
>Any of you folks impressed with these flow hives, original or Chinese?

I've had good luck with them, but I didn't buy them.  For a hobbiest with some money to spend and only a couple of hives it might be the best choice.  I already own an extractor.  I still use the flow hive supers first when going for honey.  I can harvest without any cleanup involved.  Very nice.

http://bushfarms.com/images/flowhivesixway.jpg
http://bushfarms.com/images/threeflowhives.jpg
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 09:14:02 pm »
Ace{I have 30 years experience with mechanical mechanisms and could concur with the issues that were reported.} I believe you, buddy as you occasionally mention complicated stuff that is above my level.

Bush, thank you for your assessment of the flow hive.  I have heard the good and the bad.
Blessings

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 09:31:40 pm »
Ace{I have 30 years experience with mechanical mechanisms and could concur with the issues that were reported.} I believe you, buddy as you occasionally mention complicated stuff that is above my level.

Bush, thank you for your assessment of the flow hive.  I have heard the good and the bad.
Blessings

Mr Van, Its good that you had your hives strapped or else you might have several "flow hives". J/k 😁   I'm just glad things were no worse than they were. 

Offline psyched123

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2019, 11:23:08 pm »
I did a head-to-head comparison of several of the original Flow supers with several Chinese copies.  I found no difference in bee acceptance or ease of use.  Both worked equally well and I ended up with over 250lbs of honey from them.  I found the Chinese frames to be just as well made and work just as well and are about 1/5 the price.  I made a Youtube video of this experience: 

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2019, 06:50:04 am »
Welcome to Beemaster Psych.
Thanks for sharing that video.
Jim Altmiller

Offline incognito

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2019, 12:08:45 pm »
Psych,
My son has the flow hive and you addressed the reality of the extraction process - open honey, robbing, dripping, time.
Is the tubing food grade?

Do you have two flow supers on the hive during peak nectar flow or is one enough? One flow super was enough to collect from for the first year. We used a regular second super for the bees to store honey to winter over with.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 05:53:08 pm by incognito »
Tom

Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2019, 05:46:03 pm »
Thanks for the video psyched.  Have you had an issue if the bees do not completely fill the frames?
Oh are you using a queen excluder?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline incognito

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2019, 06:31:33 pm »
Ace,
I do not have as much experience as others. This is our first season.

My son put a second regular medium super under his flow super when the flow frames were at say 3/4 filled. He extracted one middle flow frame in August then extracted whatever was there for the last time in mid to late September when he removed the flow frames for the winter and began fall feeding with a frame feeder in that hive. He extracted the honey inside the house when he removed the flow frames for the winter. Not all of the flow frames were fully filled.

The flow frames were replaced with whatever regular deep honey/syrup frames he had from a hive he split from the flow hive earlier in the season. Those outside replacement frames were not fully drawn or filled.

Against my protests, he left the flow frames on a table a few feet from his hives (and mine) for all the neighborhood bees to enjoy and clean up after extraction. The bees did an excellent job cleaning up the frames. I wanted him to put the flow frames out a few miles away from my hive for the clean up but he wanted his bees to get some of the benefit of the honey.

He used a queen excluder below the flow frames. The excluder was removed from the hive when he started fall feeding.
Tom

Offline rgennaro

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2019, 07:19:19 pm »
I know the original post was about comparing the original vs the Chinese copy flow hive, but while we are at it... any issue with extraction in cold Weather areas such as the northeast? I heard that people have a hard time getting the flow hive to actually flow because the honey is thick in cold weather areas ... but that seems a strange reasoning to me ... the honey should be at hive temperature first of all and moreover most of the extraction is done before cold weather sets in ...

Offline incognito

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2019, 07:22:40 pm »
Or take the frames inside if you are not a commercial beek with a large scale operation.
Tom

Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2019, 08:59:55 am »
Honey flows at all temperatures it just takes longer.  Hive temperatures vary greatly from the cluster to the honey supers in cold weather.  If you were to extract the honey in the cold you would eliminate the issue of bee getting into open jars but then what?  Restructuring the hive in cold weather is not advised.  Only done when you are forced to.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2019, 09:10:01 am »
Tom, why not put a shim on top of your cover and place the box of frames over the feeder hole?  That way you are feeding the bees that made that honey and no worries of spreading disease.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline incognito

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2019, 11:04:54 am »
Tom, why not put a shim on top of your cover and place the box of frames over the feeder hole?  That way you are feeding the bees that made that honey and no worries of spreading disease.
Help me understand.
Are you saying that the bees would not view the frames above the inner cover as part of the hive and would take from the frames but not store anything new there? Why do I need the shim?
Tom