Flow Frames are compatible with any subspecies or breed of Apis mellifera (Western/European honey bee) that is amenable to being maintained in a removable frame Langstroth hive.
The Flow Hive is managed in the same way as a regular movable-frame hive. The Flow Super is the same dimensions as a Langstroth deep super – the only difference is in the ease of harvesting honey from the Flow Super.
Flow Frames have also been used successfully with Japanese Honey bee (Apis cerana japonica) in both a full-sized Flow Hive and a half-sized pile box hive. The half-sized hive and frames enabled beekeepers to increase their honey yield.
We have developed half-size Flow Frames that are suitable for use with Apis cerana japonica and other subspecies of Apis cerana which are currently available to purchase via our Japanese Flow Authorised Resellers.
On the classification of honey bees:
True honey bees belong to the genus Apis. There are 8 species of honey bee, but only two of these have been domesticated, Apis mellifera (Western or European honey bee) and Apis cerana (Eastern or Asian honey bee). The remainder are wild harvested, and may not be able to be maintained in Flow Frames e.g. Apis dorsata and Apis florea.
There are 31 different subspecies of Apis mellifera and a number of breeds, such as Buckfast bees. So long as these are amenable to being maintained in a removable frame Langstroth hive they could be expected to be fine in Flow Frames.
There are 8 subspecies of Apis cerana. We have experience with Japanese honey bee (Apis cerana japonica) only.
Solitary Australian Native bees are not true Honey Bees and cannot be kept in Flow Hives.
Although we have researched and trialled their use extensively, we have not yet confirmed that every subspecies will take to Flow Frames successfully. For example, it’s reported that African bees, Apis mellifera scutellata, will not readily take to plastic foundation of any kind.
That’s where you come in – we invite you to be pioneers in using Flow Frames with the various subspecies of Apis mellifera.
We really value all the feedback that we receive from customers in regards to different species of bees, and their success with Flow Frame technology and look forward to hearing about your endeavours – please post your photos and videos to our Facebook page, or on Instagram or YouTube using the hashtag #flowhive