Difference between a Flow Hive and a Langstroth.

by Flow Hive 4 min read

The Flow Hive is based on the Langstroth-style beehive. The chief difference between Flow Hives and conventional Langstroth hives is that the honey can be harvested without opening the hive. This is due to the revolutionary design of the Flow Frames. Flow Hives also come packed with extra features and support to enhance the beekeeping experience.


Hive setup

A Flow Hive and a Langstroth beehive consist of the same basic components:

  • Base - where the hive entrance is situated.
  • Brood box - the bottom box of the hive, containing removable frames where the bees build comb. The queen bee lays eggs in the brood box, and the bees also store some honey and pollen here.
  • Honey super - this box sits on top of the brood box and contains frames used for honey storage only. In a conventional hive, these will be wooden or plastic frames with plastic or wax and wire foundation. In a Flow Hive, the super contains the Flow Frames - which do not have to be removed from the hive during harvesting.
  • Roof - usually a flat roof on conventional beehives. The Flow Hive comes with a sloping gabled roof.


Honey harvesting - Flow vs Langstroth

Harvesting honey from a Langstroth hive is a time and labor-intensive process involving several steps:

  • Open the hive to remove the frames and check if they are ready to harvest.
  • Remove the frames from the beehive(s), and shake or brush all the bees from the frames and place them in a covered box that the bees cannot access.
  • Transport the frames to the honey processing area.
  • Remove the wax cappings from each frame using a heated knife.
  • Place the frames into a honey extractor which spins them until the honey drains out.
  • Filter the honey before bottling it.
  • Clean all the equipment and return the empty frames to the hive(s). 

Harvesting from a Flow Hive is as simple as turning a key and watching the honey flow into your jar. The built-in observation windows allow you to check if the honey is ready without opening the hive.

Honey flavors

Bees forage on a wide variety of flowering plants and tend to fill cells in succession one frame at a time. This results in honeycomb frames that can look, smell and taste unique. Because conventional honey harvesting is a significant task, beekeepers tend to wait until their hives are all or mostly full with capped honey before harvesting from them. The honey from different hives and different frames gets blended together. 

The Flow Hive’s unique harvesting system enables beekeepers to easily harvest small batches, one frame at a time, with no further processing required. This preserves the unique honey flavors produced during different seasonal blooms. A University of Queensland study found the Flow Frame extraction method yields honey with fresher, cleaner flavors than conventionally extracted honey.


Flow Hive features

As well as the Flow Frames which allow for easy honey harvesting, Flow Hives have a range of features not found in regular Langstroth hives.

  • Beautiful design & quality woodware - Flow Hives are impeccably crafted from Araucaria pine or western red cedar timber. They are fun to assemble and look great in a garden, rooftop or patio.
  • The unique observation windows provide a fascinating insight into the bees as they work inside the hive. Great for checking the honey stores and as an educational tool.
  • Pest & ventilation control - Flow Hives come with inbuilt ventilation control at the base of each hive. The screened baseboard and multifunctional tray can be used to monitor and trap pests. 
  • Optional hive stand - The premium adjustable hive stand helps to keep the hive stable, level and off the ground. Ant guards can be added for extra pest control.
  • Unrivalled support - Thousands of new beekeepers have been inspired by the Flow Hive to take up this wonderful hobby. Flow offers a wide array of education and support to beekeepers, including live streams, video tutorials, blogs and extensive FAQs. For the best in beekeeping education, TheBeekeeper.org is our highly-rated online course, featuring world experts in beekeeping.

Got more questions about beekeeping or the Flow Hive? Contact our friendly support team today. 


Langstroth storage demands

Beekeepers using Langstroth hives often use multiple honey boxes on a hive during a strong nectar flow. The hives may be stacked above head height, and the beekeeper needs to lift these heavy boxes when harvesting honey or inspecting the hives. These extra boxes also need to be stored somewhere safely and away from pests when not in use. Along with extracting equipment, this can mount up to a significant amount of storage space required for Langstroth hives.

Langstroth hives with multiple boxes

With a Flow Hive, there’s no need for extra boxes, as the honey can easily be harvested as the bees produce it. As the extracting equipment is contained within the hive, you can save on storage space.

Get started beekeeping

If you want to start harvesting your own honey, Flow Hive has you covered. We stock a range of beehives and equipment. We also offer lots of support and helpful resources for beginner beekeepers.

Featuring a beautiful beehive, safety gear and Flow’s patented honey harvesting technology - grab a sweet saving with a starter bundle from Flow Hive.


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