Modifying a 10 frame Langstroth Box to fit 7 Flow™ Frames
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Modifying a 10 frame Langstroth Box to fit 7 Flow™ Frames

October 10, 2019

(pleasant music) – Hi, everyone. I’m Stewart, and I’m just gonna take you through modifying an existing Langstroth box, so that you can put Flow frames in them, and make your honey
harvesting a lot easier. This is a 10 frame Langstroth. This one here. But this also applies to
an eight frame Langstroth. It’s the same thing, just
slightly different measurements. I’m using the Flow manual here that comes with the Flow frames, and you can also access this as a PDF on our website, I have measured the center point here, and I’m gonna measure out from that point half of 336 mil or 736 and seven inch. The millimeters are much easier, even if you are in America. So, half of that is 196 mil each way. You can use a square if you like, or make other points, but basically, you’re drawing those lines, and then you have to decide where do I want this top line? Now, in the instructions, it says, about 150 mil, or six
inches up, which is there, is the height for your
top line, which is fine. If you’re keen, and this
recess for the handle isn’t in the way or anything, you can make it a little higher. The important thing is
that there is some strength in what eventually becomes
the strut across the top, to hold the frames. You can have a square cut if you like. We’ve chosen to make it
look a little bit nicer, and made it rounded, and a CD seems to be about the right size. We’re using the CD to give
us the curve that we want. What we’re doing is cutting away the piece that to allow for the
slightly deeper Flow frame. So, that did fair, that
one inch, or 25 mil, is a critical depth. There it is, there. 357 mil. Now, if your box is like
this, finger jointed, and I’ll have the screws poking through, you’re gonna need to back the screws out to cut through them, or you use a metal cutting blade, which is actually what we
do have on this jigsaw, so that you can cut
straight through the screws or nails that hold the box together. A metal cutting blade’s good anyway. That gives you a nice
fine cut on the wood. They’re not very long, but still too long. So, we cut this out, and you can sand the edge of it to make it all lovely and smooth. But it forms your cover. So, now we’re going to cut away the piece that becomes the
Flow case access cover. Depending on your skills
and the tools you have, you might prefer to cut this with a thin blade circular saw that you can just drop in. It will give you a
straighter cut than a jigsaw, or you might want to nail or guide along, so the jigsaw cuts straight, or you might just want to do it freehand, and take a risk, won’t matter too much. I’m going to let this blade dive in, which is another jigsaw technique, because we’re starting
without an edge to start on. Here we go. So, if you’re going to
do that diving the blade in like that, you might want
to practice on something else other than your hive, if
you haven’t done it before. It’s very important to have the base with the front of the base
really steady and locked on, so it doesn’t jump around, and ease the reciprocating blade down very, very slowly, so you get the feel of it, and then as it starts to bite in the wood, keep moving the base forward. Don’t leave it in one spot. That’s the main bits to that, but have a practice, you
might bust a few blades. Just be careful. Haven’t finished yet. I’m coming back to finish
the rest of that cut. It is important that this is fairly flat, and so it’s more
important that the surface that remains behind the powder, the box is flat. If you put some wobbles in the cover, what becomes the cover,
that doesn’t really matter. Okay. So now, we’ve got what
can become your cover for the Flow case, and
the rear window cover. And this side. Here, where we’ve cut this edge, still this part of what in Australia is called a rebate, or what in America is called a rabbit. Soft wood. You hit the chisel with
a hammer, if you like. Or a mallet. It’s just getting that little part out of the way. Slide right across to there. You have to do the same on this side. There we are. Lovely. Want to point out that if you set this on a brood box now, you’ll have a large gap here formed by the rebate, or rabbit, that holds the frames below, so, of course, that creates a bee gap down the bottom here, which is unsatisfactory, so what we use is a metal strip, and that’s gonna screw up underneath here to close that gap off, and also, and also to just reinforce this wall. We’re going to notch it in, and this is about an
eighth of an inch thick, or a little bit thinner, two mil. It’s actually exactly two mil. Same here. Beautiful. Means that sits nice and flush, so I just need to drill
some holes in that. And that means that the bees can’t get out there. So, this little gap in here needs to be less than around two mil, or an eighth of an inch, less than a bee gap, and the same for the other end, of course, and that is when they are
all pushed close together. As it happens with this box, that is an okay gap to leave. If there is that bee gap there, then you make up a piece of wood, or core float, or something, that goes in there and can get nailed in or glued in to make sure the bees
can’t come around the edge of the frames. If the gap isn’t too big here, and here, but you still want to make these even, as it turns out, that’s a small gap, I’m gonna put a screw in right here, because then the Flow frame
will sit up against there. This could be a round headed screw. And just enough to set the Flow frame out a little way. If you want, you can put
a screw down in here, to make sure that this frame just sits, doesn’t wobble too much down the bottom. Let’s do that just to
show you how it’s done. And you can decide on the amount. Let’s have a look at that. I reckon this one comes out a little way. And that one sits out,
and that one sits too. So, that’s firm now. And we’ll do the same on this other side. If you really can, you can do that for the other end as well. And, just to make sure that that is an even been gap
along here, and along here, so that involves a little bitty screw, and that can be (unrecognizable) while the frames in place, ’cause it’s gonna hold that frame, and the same at this end. There. Course these’ll drive in by hand. You don’t need a fancy screwdriver. Just remembering that this gap here, at the front of the hive, on this side here, needs to be no bigger than about two
mil, an eighth of an inch, a little bit larger, so a bee can’t get out,
is the critical thing. The bees can’t get out there, they can’t get out here, and, of course, these faces, the windows, are pushed up against this wall, so they can’t get out
all the way around here. So, I’m adjusting the
screw at the top front of the frame. This is the front of the hive, ’cause it’s where the
bees will be coming out, this way, and this makes sure that
the back end of the frame, or the window, is pushed up against the structural
member that runs across, and therefore, the window is, there are no bee gaps, these frames can’t move back and forth. Here we go. Now remember, we’ve made the depth of this lisp by putting in this strip, so this won’t fit in anymore, so you’re going to have to cut this off, all the way along there. Then, I forgot to bring my planar, and so I pay the price
of cutting this by hand, which is a bit of a mission. These little butterfly sort of things, so it’s up to you, to what you use for a catch, but let’s say, it can just spin around and lock it. You can do it up so that
it’s a little bit stiffer. So, this can either stick out like that. And, once again, you
do some little catches, or, if you wish, you could cut all of this right off, so you just have a thin strip, and not one with an (unrecognizable) You just cut all that off, and it sits in. So, there it is. After all of the sawing’s done, you can use a fancy handle, whatever you like, or you can just put in a screw, like that, to hold it, and you can have it a lovely strap handle. You can have a bee as a handle. Doesn’t really matter. And then you also need a
catch on the other side, so if you really want it even, then you got to put it in the same spot. Of course, you never measure this. You just do it by eye, and then realize later, it’s. It’s out of whack, but there it is. So, there it is, there. Put is back on. Beautiful. So, hopefully, your brood box is ready. You can place this on top. And, a lid and roof, of course, and you’re off and running. So, so far in the manual, we’ve been focusing on
finger jointed hives, the ones where the joints are like fingers locking together on the edge, but plenty of boxes are
made with what in Australia we call the rebate joint. As you can see, looking from it above, it’s just cut like that and like that. It’s very, very common, and you might want to alter
one of these rebate hives, boxes to insert the Flow frames, which you can do easily, so here, we have one method of doing it. I’m sorry, it’s just started raining. We’re out on a veranda with a tin roof. It’s noisy. I don’t know whether
you can hear me or not. This is a rebated box, just like this one. We’ve taken the face off. And this, in this one, the face has been cut, so there’s been a cut taken down here, and a curved cut taken here, and that’s been screwed back on, and then what you’ve cut away can still remain being the cover, and, the important measurement is that that should be 25 mil, or one each. That’s the Flow frames. Here’s one here, can drop in, and sit snugly. However, with this method,
there’s an important thing to notice, and that is, that it’s really likely you’ll need to put a thin strip of timber, or core float, or whatever, here, because there’ll be a
gap all the way down there, and all the way down on this side. So, with this method, because the hive doesn’t
come around the corner, the box doesn’t come around the corner, you need to create a thin strip to block out this gap that
runs all the way down. (pleasant music)

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  1. I have been researching bee hives with the interest in starting to keep bees. I have been watching yall's progress with the flow hive and I do say that it is very impressive.  When I plunge into it next year and buy your flow hives, will they come with a plan to make the wooden hive. I plan on milling my own lumber to make the boxes, I just need to know the dimensions for the hive.  Congratulations on your success!

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  3. I purchased an entire system.. I understand that you guys are way behind in shipping… was originally slated to arrive here in Oct-Dec of 2015… nothing yet. Can't wait to receive the gear so I can get on with modifications and prepare for spring here… thank you for this video as it gives those of us who are still waiting, something to do in preparation 🙂 Thanks again!

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  5. Hi Stuart Any chance you can show a Video on how to convert bottom Base so that your Flow Hive frames will be and the proper angle. As it stands when we purchase your frames we need to keep propping up the rear of the super in order for the honey to flow.

  6. Great to watch you at work on what is to be my next project.

    Having used a jig saw often, it is easy to recognise your skills keeping to the intended track of the blade, which looks easy when done by an experienced/competent person, but so darn hard for the majority of us.

    I need to convert a Hybrid Flow Super that is meant for 4 Flow Frames and the rest in traditional frames, into a 7 Flow Frame Super.

    Initially I was keen to use a Hybrid with both the old frames & 4 of your Flow Frames.
    However, after doing some harvests of Langstorf frame/hives, I just can't see the point in using traditional frames when there's a better way available.

    Your Flow Frames are so much easier/less destructive to use, especially for the bees.

    That is the point, really, when it comes down to it, the Flow Frames make it so much less trouble for the bee colony.

    The fact that it also easier for the beekeeper is a major bonus!


  7. Hi Stuart, as mentioned a while back, I have just converted one of your Hybrid Supers that were designed to have part Flow Frames & part traditional pine frames, into a full a Flow Frame Super.
    Why did I do this: because after a few harvests of Langstroth frames, I just could not see the reasoning, other than NATURAL COMB, which is another story.
    Watching you with that jig saw, calmly cut out a curve, plus duplicate the same on the other side, just needs another post/comment .
    That comment is this: It is NOT as easy as you have done it! Respect to you Stuart!
    A jig saw is no easy precision tool to use for cutting accurate lines for small pieces/projects, let alone curves that you duplicate . Yet it is all in how much experience you have, the quality of your tools & your skill & confidence. What you did in the first few minutes of this video, has taken me a few hours in my workshop! So well done & thanks for sharing.
    For what it's worth, I believe that Flow needs to really involve the Commercial Beekeepers, who are mainly Langstroth hive beekeepers.
    This considered way you have done this upgrade can only help the pro beekeepers realize the many benefits on both the beekeeper & the bee colonies, to go FLOW!

  8. Just a comment regarding the flow hive mods, I use the square cut front, the top 25mm cutout I leave 75mm in the center, and cut of the rest of what was the rebate to each end, this gives me a handle ready made in the middle. The bottom panel I fit a nice bow shaped handle held with 2 crews from the inside (Bunnings). I do not have side viewing panels at all, just the front Key access and main front (Back of hive) viewer. I do not use catches of any type, instead I use a roll of 'Screen Door Brush' self adhesive sealer and sand the panels of both cutouts to suit (approx. 3mm on both sides and top then fit the seal). This gives a superior seal and prevents drafts to maintain hive temperatures, and if done correctly is on the tight side when first installed, then the brush seal compresses slightly and forms to the cutout neatly. They are easy to remove and put back in place. Another thing is I do not use Screw for spacing, I user Ice Block sticks and just cut to length and glue to sides, they work perfectly. Hope this is of some help to others modifying the Langstroth

  9. I simply use a rectangular inspection window for ease of cutting. So NO rounded corners, I leave a little more timber below the default handle, so about 5 1/2 inches (140mm) up from bottom instead of 6 inches (150mm). The top cutout 25mm (1") I cut off 1/3 rd of the timber from each side that was the original rebate and this leaves 1/3 rd in centre as the handle. I put a half moon handle with 2 screws on the Main inspection window for ease of removal, I do NOT put any retaining catches on any of the removable parts, I simply reduce both SIDES and TOP of each inspection plate to leave a 3mm gap. Then use self adhesive BRUSH door sealer to not only seal the gap but keep the parts in place. Had this now for 12 months, just coming out of Winter and NO issues with dislodging. Works beutifuly…….

  10. I like your description of the flow hive.
    Did you use the Australian flow hive frames.
    Could you send me a copy of the flow hive booklet with the measurements and design.
    Thank you.

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