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Author Topic: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat  (Read 5250 times)

Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2019, 06:06:40 pm »
Yes.  Especially when they know they cannot access it through winter.  You also mentioned you have empty frames below the cover for them to put the honey.
You have a raised lip on your feeder hole so you have to shim to that height to prevent the frames from hitting it.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2019, 02:50:06 pm »
If the copycat flow frames are reasonably workable,
                         - has anyone had them for several years?  Does the plastic begin to degrade/crumble, or, not cells line up after the lever moves back the cells?
                          - what brand was purchased? There are many sold through amazon and ebay, but the real manufacturer is unclear.
                         

Online Skeggley

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2019, 08:09:52 pm »
Ok, so they may work the same but....
Firstly, Fake Flow frames are an infringement on copyright. Typically Chinese and if it was a patented American invention you?d be up in arms...
Secondly if you think the cheap fakes have been made with expensive food safe plastics you?re kidding yourselves.
Yeah originals are expensive but then again so are extractors.

Offline William Bagwell

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2019, 08:30:17 pm »
If the copycat flow frames are reasonably workable,
                         - has anyone had them for several years?  Does the plastic begin to degrade/crumble, or, not cells line up after the lever moves back the cells?
                          - what brand was purchased? There are many sold through amazon and ebay, but the real manufacturer is unclear.

How much re-grind was used? A slight yellow tint when new indicates excessive recycled material being used and / or oil contamination. Neither of which helps longevity of polycarbonate.

Might even be more than one manufacturer with widely varying quality levels. Plus molds wear out, even expensive high quality molds. Cheep molds wear much faster. First few thousand parts made might be very good then gradually turn to crap if they keep running it without proper maintenance.

Very interesting thread! Like many here I do not need a Flow Hive. Merely want one :shocked: Hard to justify a $400 toy when a $100 version is available.

Offline Beeduu

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2020, 09:19:59 am »
I have the original Flow Hives (both the version 1 and 2). I have serious of issues with them and I assume the Chinese version will have them too.

1. The woodwork is rubbish. Mine are cedar, the oldest and bought direct from the crowdfunding page 5 years ago. The roof leaks like a sieve, finger joints are poor fit. The bottom board have risers nailed on an angle. For a thousand bucks, the quality is appalling. I had similar issues with version 2, laser cut version.

2.The flow frames leak honey. Mine came with loose wires and it was a mess to tighten them after they've been in use. I tightened them and still sagged and leaked. They bow with the weight of honey. I had at least one major flood and drowned hundreds of bees in honey. Flow say this is a rare event but I bet it is not.

Lifting the plastic flow frames from the super can be tricky. Cleaning the flow frames from wax is next to impossible, can't put them in a wax melter.

Customer service can be helpful, but they can also wash their hands and come up with excuses. They downplay all the problems you mention to them.

They are expensive because they have a lot of manufacturing issues, and they often have to re-send parts that are bad.

If I had to buy again, I buy a Chinese copy with no hesitation. Bees line up the cells with wax so honey is not in direct contact with the plastic, if you doubt they are not food grade. In fact that is an issue in itself when wax builds up and makes them harder to open. I have a couple of frames now getting really hard to operate.

As the infringement of copyright, I couldn't care less. I actually did point out to them one guy selling copies, but they strangely didn't reply. So why should I care?

On the plus side, harvesting is easy, mostly, until you get a laying worker in the flow frames, or a slim queen.

Chances are though that my next hive will be a traditional hive, and neither Flow nor a chinese copy.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2020, 06:05:19 pm »
Beeduu,
Welcome to Beemaster.
Sorry you are having problems with your Flowhive. Sounds like you were able to actually harvest honey from yours. It took 3 years trying for me. And most of the honey was not capped even though it was very thick honey, around 16% water. Mine was given to me because the previous owner could not get the bees to put honey in it. My bees would rather swarm than use it.
Jim Altmiller

Offline KellyBeeFriendly

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Re: Flow Hive: Original vs. (Chinese) copycat
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2020, 10:45:50 am »
Can?t comment about the Chinese version as I am also in your dilemma.

I?ve actually had great experience with the flow hive, much easier than borrowing the local club extractor, and besides I bought into the hype and it was an Aussie invention.

I use plastic foundations and don?t have issues that those who poo poo from natural perspective, but I find it difficult to lift honey supers - hence moved to flow and then finally this year to Az bee hut. (More on that on my welcome)

Anyway the mess and robbing issue solved with Fred Dunn (bees and fowl)idea to use food safe tube (from beer brewing store) from flow tube straight into large mason jar with recap lid Brilliant. Haven?t looked back. https://m.

But I now have more hives and I want each of them to have flow frames, and I?m toying with expense. For now I run a hybrid and have 3 frames in each hive with the rest standard plastic foundation (for the bees). I?ve had reasonable support from flow peeps sending missing piece. The hive bodies although cool and light (arakura?) seemed to absorb moisture like a sponge and became rather mouldy. Switched to nuplas after that and just used the flow supers.

If I had to do it again I?d just buy the frames and customise my own hardware. If I needed more frames it is tempting to go cheep Chinese and compare. But I?m an Aussie so I?d probably end up forking over for the real deal because in my mind it?s just the right thing to do. If the dude was American I know that from my time in Texas how patriotic ya?ll are - you?d have fake newsed the Chinese version so much that they?d have no business credibility.

But in the meantime, I?m putting up with what I have until I win the lottery - as with covid there is bugger all chance of a bonus. So I will be happy with my flow setup and learn economy 🤔
Keep Calm and Keep Bees