Top 4 Best Auto Flow Beehives (2020)

If you purchase an independently reviewed item through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Automatic honey flow is a feature in modern beekeeping that allows beekeepers to harvest honey without causing much disturbance to the bees. For beekeepers looking for newer ways to keep bees, in this article we’ll discuss the best auto flow beehives available in the market. These hives are built in the renowned Langstroth beehive design and they work with honey flow frames. Auto flow beehives owe their existence to an Australian father and son duo – Stuart and Cedar Anderson. The pair are the inventors of the technology. Let’s check out what the company has to offer.

Best Auto Flow Beehives

1. Official Cedar 6 Frame Flow Hive 2

Best Auto Flow Beehives - Official Cedar 6 Frame Flow Hive 2

The Official Cedar 6 Frame Flow Hive 2 is a Langstroth style beehive. It features the patented Flow technology which allows you to extract honey directly from the hive itself without needing to remove the frames. It features the Flow logo prominently on the roof and other components of the hive.

Like its predecessor, the Flow Hive 2 is suitable for both beginners and experienced beekeepers. It enables you to care for your honeybee colony with ease. The auto flow beehive also makes the collection of honey easy and fun. Skill levels to use the beehive do not matter much as long as you follow the instructions on how to use it properly.

The Flow Hive 2 is a great beekeeper’s companion. It is developed with the intent to help beekeepers extract honey from beehives with reduced risk of getting stung or harming bees. The process of harvesting honey is easy on the bees and the beekeeper with this auto flow beehive. Inserting the flow key into the flow frame and turning it is all that is needed for you to extract the honey. It flows effortlessly from the beehive into the collecting jar you prefer to use. The honey is free of impurities too.

Of course, the original patented honey auto flow beehive technology is used in the Flow Hive. The technology comes from the inventors itself so you are sure it works as expected. This technology has been perfected to a science, making this one of the best auto flow beehives for beekeepers to use in their apiaries.

The Flow Hive 2 is made using high quality food grade materials that ensure the safety of your bees and honey consumers. Plastic is used to make the flow frames, while wood is used in making the beehive boxes. The wood used is premium red cedar that allows sturdy and long lasting beehive boxes. This auto flow beehive has a screened bottom board for integrated pest management. It also features observation windows so you can monitor beehive activity without opening up the hive.

Pros

  • The beehive has a plastic queen excluder. The queen excluder is well crafted and has no sharp edges that injure bees. It allows you to have pure honey free of brood. This is maximization of beehive space and yields.
  • Observation windows in the sides of this beehive’s boxes enable beekeepers to get a peek into the inside of the hive. The windows also make beehive inspections a breeze for beekeepers. You do not need to open up the entire beehive for routine inspections. The observation windows also let you see when enough honey has accumulated in the frames and is ready for harvesting. The observation windows seal up tightly when closed and allow no light into the beehive.
  • Excellent design using high quality materials makes this beehive lovable. Buying one sees you joining a global community of beekeepers where you get access to a lot of beekeeping and information resources. Additionally, Flow has great customer care and is ready to answer questions and address your concerns quickly. The company welcomes beekeepers using the hive to contact it and get assistance in their beekeeping journey.

Cons

  • Plastic foundation used in the flow frames may not work well with some types of bees.
Check Price

 

2.  Official Flow Hive with 7 Flow or 10 Langstroth Style Frames

Best Auto Flow Beehives - Official Flow Hive with 7 Flow Frames or 10 Langstroth Style Frames

This is another auto flow beehive made by Flow, the company which is the inventor and most reliable manufacturer of auto flow beehives. This beehive is the largest Flow hive available to beekeepers. It promises to house a large honeybee colony while giving you all the benefits of having a flow hive in your apiary. This beehive works great with flow frames. You can also convert it into a standard Langstroth beehive and it will comfortably take 10 frames per box.

Setting up this auto flow beehive is easy. It can be done by both the experienced and beginner beekeepers that have an interest in using flow technology in their apiaries. To operate the flow frames, you need a flow key. Insert the key into the frame and turn it through 900. This breaks the frame seals and allows honey to flow. Be ready to collect the honey using a safe, clean and food grade honey container. The container you use to collect honey should be large enough to take all the honey you will harvest. You can also use many small containers and package honey as you harvest it from this auto flow beehive. The honey is clean and free from bee brood.

High quality materials are used to make this beehive. This includes both the plastic parts and the wooden parts. Food grade plastics are used in making the flow frames as well as other plastic parts hive. This keeps honey safe for human consumption. The beehive is also nicely and sturdily built. Upon assembly and final setup, you get a strong beehive that is long lasting and which provides excellent living space for your honeybee colony.

Beekeepers purchasing this beehive get a number of perks and bonuses. The beehive comes with a free beekeeping hat and veil. Additionally, the flow frames come equipped with a tap to help you regulate the flow of honey when harvesting. This official flow hive uses patented flow technology that is effective and very efficient of space and other resources. Beekeepers buying the beehive are sure that they are getting a high quality product that is going to work and improve the yields from their apiaries.

Like the others, this Flow Hive is built in a bee house design. It has a roof made of wood, which slants to the sides from the middle peak. The beehive boxes on this Flow hive are also made using a wooden exterior. They use good quality wood that provides a great home for bees. The wooden sided of the come together tightly and seal out light, winds and other weather elements not desired in the beehive. It comes with a queen excluder too.

Honey auto flow technology is not difficult to install and use. It does not require beekeepers to have prior knowledge or be very technically inclined. Both beginners and professional or experienced beekeepers can use this beehive with great results. This Flow hive makes beekeeping fun and very enjoyable for beekeepers. The manufacturing company, Flow, is also great at customer service. You are assured of answers and that your concerns will be addressed when you reach out for assistance to the company. This is in addition to joining a worldwide community of flow technology users and getting access to a lot of useful beekeeping information and materials.

Pros

  • The beehive helps prevent injury and disturbance to bees when harvesting honey. It uses flow technology that allows beekeepers to harvest honey without having to open up the hive.
  • This beehive is strong and very durable. The beehive keeps the elements out of its interior very well. A roof slanting from the middle of the rood down to the sides in both directions ensures that water and snow drain away from the sides of the beehive.

Cons

  • This auto flow beehive has only one deep box. While it is large enough for a colony of bees for small scale beekeepers and breeders, beekeepers that want to have a larger colony of bees are not suited by the single-deep box. Flow stocks replacement deep boxes and super boxes that can be used to add space for more bees in beehive.
  • Plastic foundation used in the flow frames may not work well with some types of bees.
Check Price

 

3. Official 6 Frame Classic Cedar Flow Hive

Best Auto Flow Beehives - Official 6 Frame Classic Cedar Flow Hive

The Official 6 Frame Classic Cedar Flow Hive is another made by the inventors of the honey flow technology. It has the originally patented flow frames. This beehive is suitable for both beginners and professional beekeepers. It allows you to extract honey with ease as the vision of the inventors of flow technology hoped for. This auto flow beehive minimizes the harm you do to your bees during honey harvesting and makes beekeeping safer for you.

This beehive has the standard features found on other Flow hives. It is made from very high quality materials, certified to be food grade quality. A guarantee of quality is given on official Flow Hives. Additionally, users of this beehive are assured to enter a resourceful community with resources to help you in beekeeping. Flow is supported by an excellent customer service desk that does very well at solving the problems beekeepers face with any of their beekeeping products.

The Official 6 Frame Classic Cedar Flow Hive is easy to use. You do not need to be technically inclined to successfully use the beehive in your apiary. The beehive gives you the full benefits of having a flow hive while remaining functional for long. Both beginner and experienced beekeepers can use it. It comes with a flow key for its operation. The key is inserted into the flow frames and turned 900. This slightly separates the flow frames down the middle and allows honey to flow out. The technology is original since the makers of this beehive are its inventors. Beekeepers using this beehive are assured of quality and long life of their beehive frames.

Carrying out inspections is easy with this beehive. It features viewing windows on the sides of the beehive boxes used. These ports open to give you a peek into the inside of the beehive. You easily identify presence of pests and diseases in your honeybee colony early.

You are able to harvest pure honey without brood when you have this beehive in your apiary. Indeed, it gives you excellent honey yields per unit space taken up.

The flow frames used in the beehive are not affected by cold weather. In winter, you may leave the frames in the beehive to hold honey reserves for your bees. If you choose to remove your frames, clean them well using warm water and store them in a cool dry place. The beehive comes with a queen excluder.

Using this beehive is not a substitute for beekeeping experience and good beekeeping practices. Beginners and professionals using it must always ensure they carry out regular beehive inspection and maintenance, just as they would with a conventional hive.

Pros

  • This auto flow beehive is a great package for beekeepers adopting flow technology in their apiary. If a beginner is going to try flow frames in their beehive, then the Official Flow 6 Frame Classic Cedar Hive is a must to consider.
  • 6 flow frames are included in this Flow Hive. They are sized to use the space in the beehive in the best way possible. The frames give you high yield of honey per frame.
  • The beehive features the official Flow logo on some of its panels. This is great assurance of quality to beekeepers. Flow has excellent customer service and welcomes the few complains that may be about its products.
  • Wooden slats are used on the roofing of the this Flow Hive. These keep out the sun, wind and rain well.
  • The beehive is made using cedar wood that bees like. It is not painted on the inside or outside.
  • The beehive is built to work with both traditional frames and flow frames.

Cons

  • This auto flow beehive has only one deep box. While it is large enough for a colony of bees for small scale beekeepers and breeders, beekeepers that want to have a larger colony of bees are not suited by the single-deep box. Flow stocks replacement deep boxes and super boxes that can be used to add space for more bees in beehive.
  • Plastic foundation used in the flow frames may not work well with some types of bees.
Check Price

 

4. Official 6 Frame Classic Araucaria Flow Hive

Best Auto Flow Beehives - Official 6 Frame Classic Araucaria Flow Hive

This is another beehive made by the inventors of  the flow technology. The Official 6 Frame Classic Araucaria Flow Hive promises beekeepers easy harvesting of honey. It also gives pure honey that does not have brood. This is achieved by having a queen excluder in the beehive. You do not need to have had prior experience with flow hives. It is also suitable for use by both professional and amateur beekeepers.

This flow beehive uses high quality food grade materials in its components. It has both plastic and wooden parts. The plastic flow frames come into contact with honey. A honey gate made using plastic is also found on the beehive. This ensures that all the honey you harvest from the hive is safe for human consumption.

The Official 6 Frame Classic Araucaria Flow Hive shows excellent craftsmanship and is very sturdy, not to mention stylish. The exterior of this Flow Hive is made from Araucaria pine wood, which is quite durable and very strong. Araucaria pine is friendly to bees and does not add unwanted flavors and odors to honey. Frames used in the beehive are made of food-grade plastic. They are safe for use with human food.

This beehive makes a great home for your honeybee colony. The beehive can also double up as a standard Langstroth beehive when you remove the flow frames and replace them with standard Langstroth beehive frames. This versatility makes it a great asset for your apiary when you need more living space for bees than honey yields.

Flow (the company) emphasizes on the need for beekeepers to practice beekeeping in its art form. It does not sell its products as a substitute for good beekeeping skills. It is important for beekeepers using Flow technology to exercise proper inspection and maintenance on their beehives and bee colonies.

Pros

  • This auto flow beehive is a great package for beekeepers adopting flow technology in their apiary. If a beginner is going to try flow frames in their beehive, then the Official 6 Frame Classic Araucaria Flow Hive is a must to consider.
  • 6 flow frames are included in this Flow Hive. They are sized to use the space in the beehive in the best way possible. The frames give you high yield of honey per frame.
  • The beehive features the official Flow logo on some of its panels. This is great assurance of quality to beekeepers. Flow has excellent customer service and welcomes the few complains that may be about its products.
  • Wooden slats are used on the roofing of the this Flow Hive. These keep out the sun, wind and rain well.
  • The beehive is built to work with both traditional frames and flow frames.

Cons

  • This auto flow beehive has only one deep box. While it is large enough for a colony of bees for small scale beekeepers and breeders, beekeepers that want to have a larger colony of bees are not suited by the single-deep box. Flow stocks replacement deep boxes and super boxes that can be used to add space for more bees in beehive.
  • Plastic foundation used in the flow frames may not work well with some types of bees.
Check Price

 

Benefits of an Auto Flow Beehive

Using an auto flow beehive has a number of advantages. You may start with a few auto flow beehives in your apiary and later increase their number. The benefits include:

  1. You are able to harvest honey without causing too much disruption in the beehive. An auto flow beehive is designed to minimize disruption of honeybee colony activities. Opening up a beehive to inspect or remove frames for honey harvesting is very unsettling to bees. It involves allowing light entering the beehive and the use of a smoker. The process also leads to physical injury of bees that might result in their death. The bees may get riled up and swarm away or sting nearby people and animals. By using an auto flow beehive, you avoid all these negative effects on your honeybee colony.
  2. There is less destruction of honeycomb in the beehive. With a flow beehive, the structure of the honeycomb remains intact. Harvesting honey with flow frames does not require uncapping or removal of the frame from the beehive. Bees later uncap the cells and restock them with honey before capping the honey cells again. The minor damage done during harvesting of honey with flow frames is easily repaired by bees.
  3. Your honeybee colony recovers fast after harvesting honey. The honeybee colony in a flow beehive uses up little time to recover from the loss of honey. It is able to replenish honey stocks quickly because the colony is saved the time spent drawing comb.
  4. Safer honey harvesting for the beekeeper. By not having to open up the beehive, beekeepers have less interaction with bees when using a flow beehive. This reduces the chances of bees stinging the beekeeper. Additionally, you can set up your flow frames such that you approach the beehive from the side or the rear. The bees hardly notice that you are in the area. Nonetheless, harvesting honey should be done with full protective gear. Beekeepers are still at risk of being stung even when using flow beehives.
  5. Easily package honey as you harvest it. An auto flow beehive has an outlet for honey. It allows you to collect honey into a wide variety of containers. You can put the honey into packaging containers as it flows from the beehive. Storage containers for honey also work well with auto flow beehives. The honey you harvest is clean. It has very few impurities, and these are easily removed using a simple honey strainer.
  6. Get better control of honeybee colony pests. Beekeepers using an auto flow beehive benefit from better prevention and control of parasites and pests. The destructive wax moth is one of the pests that are easily controlled by use of auto flow beehives. Larvae of the moth do not easily move through flow hives due to the plastic material used to construct flow frames. By limiting their ability to feed, flow beehives contain the larvae to small sections of the beehive. The infestation does not spread far or quickly, allowing the beekeeper more time to control it.

 

Purchasing Authentic Auto Flow Beehives

Beekeepers using auto flow beehives in their apiaries need assurance that they have the best products. They know that beekeeping gives you good yields and is easy to carry out when you have authentic equipment. Since their release, there have been plenty knock-offs of the original Flow Hive, and as such, purchasing authentic products is thus important for these beekeepers. It is easily done by following the following pointers and guidelines.

  1. Authentic products bear the logo of the manufacturer. The logo is often found on the sides of beehive boxes and on the Flow frames. Beekeepers that do not see the logo of the Flow hive manufacturer on the beehive they have bought have a right to question its authenticity.
  2. Buy auto flow beehives from reputable retailers and re-sellers. You can purchase directly from the Flow website itself or via the Flow page on online sites such as Amazon.
  3. Confirm beehive serial numbers with the manufacturer. The beekeeper who buys a Flow hive should send the serial number or code to the manufacturer who would then confirms its authenticity. This will allow beekeepers to have peace of mind knowing they have an original and high quality Flow hive.
  4. An authentic auto flow beehive has high quality components. Look at the beehive components and assess their quality. Visual inspection is often adequate for this assessment. Low quality components such as frames and boxes in the beehive package are a major indicator of a product that is not authentic.

 

A Final Word

Honey that is harvested using honey flow frames is free of impurities. Auto flow beehives allow you to enjoy the benefits of honey flow technology in your apiary. It must be noted however that using auto flow beehives is not a substitute for experience and learning about beekeeping. Beekeepers should take it upon themselves to know about keeping a healthy colony of bees. Along with the information on this site, there are very good beekeeping books that will guide you in learning how to be a good beekeeper. These auto flow beehives give both beginners and professional beekeepers the variety of choices in beekeeping that they look for.

Do you own any of the auto flow beehives on this list? Which auto flow beehive(s) do you think should be added to this list? Leave a comment below and let us know.

GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS BEFORE YOU GO!
As our gift to you, we're offering you our very own eBook bundle on getting started in beekeeping. Just enter your email and we'll send them to you.
No thanks, I don't want the free ebooks.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Skip to content