Fitting Flow Frames to Paradise Honey Bee Hives

on 19 September 2018

Fitting Flow Frames to Paradise Honey  Bee Hives

Many of our customers run both Flow Hives and Paradise Honey EPS beehives.  Almost all report that their honeybees perform significantly better in terms of honey production and colony health in the EPS hives.  The question this leads to is, can I install Flow Frames in my Paradise Honey hive?  I am pleased to report that one of the local hobbyist beekeepers in Canberra has successfully modified his Paradise Honey beehive to take Flow Frames and has written the following instructions.

MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO USE THE FLOW FRAMES IN A SUPER BOX

A Paradise super box and lid will need to be modified to accept the flow frames. This is achieved by modifying one end of the super box by lowering the frame support lip and cutting removable opening panels, one in the top so the key can open and close the flow frame and one in the bottom for the flow tube to be inserted.

LIMITATIONS:- The modifications as suggested will require the top lid to be lifted about two to three millimeters to allow the key to close the flow frames. It is not envisaged that this will be a significant drawback. To remove the bottom inspection panel, the super box will need to be eased up by a few millimeters by the height of the bevel in this panel. This inward and upward sloping panel is designed this way to minimize any water entering the box. This could be a significant disadvantage as the box could heavy. This limitation could be overcome by cutting this panel at 90 degrees. Some positive method of holding it in place would then need to installed (a front lever or side pins installed from each side?)

Note that the modifications are designed for the tapping of the flow frames only. They do not allow for the inspection of the frames to determine if they are full or not. It is assumed that the hive will be opened and the frames inspected to determine if any frames are ready to be tapped.

Identify one end panel of the super box to be modified.

1. Cut the support lip off the top plastic profile (by hack saw).

2. Cut the top lip on the foam body down by 10 mm (mark 10mm with a fine biro and use a sharp utility knife – use multiple fine cuts to achieve this).

3. Install top and bottom plastic profiles

4. On the top inner lip install the plastic lip on the cut down foam ledge. (Suggestion use PVA glue and 4 6 gauge self tapping countersunk screws at least 25mm long. Suggestion;- carefully drill the counter sunk first and then the screw hole in the plastic.)

5. At the base of the lip on the top, cut completely through the width of the end panel. Cut down at a 10 to 15 degrees angle (this is so water will not enter the box – see diagram). This panel will be held in place by the inner top lip. Suggested method is cutting with a utility knife. Cut with many passes going deeper each time. When about half way through use slight pressure with one hand to slightly open the cut so it is easier to cut all the way through. Cutting with a utility knife doesn’t remove any foam and makes for a tighter seal.

6. Cut the bottom panel 34mm up from the outside bottom and up at about 10 degrees. The upward cut is to minimize water entering the box. Be careful not to make this cut on too much an angle, as the amount of rise in the cut is the amount the box will need to be lifted to remove this panel. The bevel has the advantage of holding this panel in place. This is a thicker cut than the one on the top. Experience has been to cut through about half way with many passes of the utility knife. Then starting from one end start a cut all the way through the foam and gently putting pressure on the panel to open the cut, work the utility knife to slowly cut along the length. This is the most difficult cut.

7. Assemble the box in the normal way.

8. Check the fit of the top and bottom panels. In most cases they will need to be filed or cut back about half to one mm for ease of fit. At this point it is good to install two handles on the outside of each of these panels. Two medium sized screws left sticking out 15 to 25mm or two brass knobs can be installed on the outside. If the fixing screws goes all the way through the panel, the inside head can slightly foul the top and bottom of the flow frame. Installing the top knob 25mm in from each end and the bottom knobs 30mm in from each end and placing the cap on the bottom of the flow frame with the handle in the horizontal position can avoid this problem.

9. Once the flow frames are installed there will be a gap on either side that will allow bees to escape when tapping the frames. Install a vertical full height thin timber bead on all four long sides corners of the super box. Use PVA glue and three counter sunk self-tapping screws on each timber bead. For the 10-frame super (taking seven flow frames) this timber bead should be 8mm thick (Bunnings sell a 20x 8mm pine timber). This will be different thickness for an 8/9 frame box. The idea is to hold the flow frames centrally and have no more than a two to three mm gap on each side. This will prevent any bees escaping.

10. The thin lip of the flow frames is 15mm thick compared to 12mm for a standard frame. This extra height interferes with the snug fitting of the lid. On the front and back short sides of the lid, mark 30mm in from the outer lip. On the inside of this mark rout 4mm of foam (approximately 15mm wide) to the level of the rest of the lid (10mm higher than the bottom outer lip). See the diagram. Suggestion:- G-clamp a timber board higher than the lid to a bench. Set the router depth to 10 mm. Position the lid upside down on the the bench so the router is up against the clamped timber with the router bit lined up with the 30mm mark on the lid. The timber then acts as a guide for a straight cut.

11. Seal the first row of holes in the queen bee excluder on the end where the modifications have been done (foil tape or silicone?).

12. Mount the hive with a backward slope of about 2.5 degrees (25mm fall over the length of the hive).

The way these modifications have been designed, there should be no need to do anything to hold the panels in place. It may become necessary to add a more positive method to hold the panels in place either by a moveable flap or side pins.

Modifications to Paradise Honey Beehive for Flow Frames

Flow Frame Modifications 1

Flow Frame Modifications 2

Flow Frame Modifications 3

Flow Frame Modifications 4

Flow Frame Modifications 5

Flow Frame Modifications 6

Suggested improvements to this design are encouraged to be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..