Bee hives are homes that bees live and work in. Honey can be made and collected right from the hives, allowing for beekeepers to make this into not only their hobby, but some use it as a job. Bee hives can be constructed by beekeepers with bee hive plans, though they are often found in the wild and constructed by bees themselves. These hives that are constructed from wood and can be purchased for keepers are ideal to keep bees in, as they do not know the difference if they have their queen there.
While building a colony and getting involved with bee keeping, I had to find the best bee hive plans that not only work with my land and space, but also are ideal for the bees. In order to meet my bee keeping expectations I looked at many different bee hive plans to find the best ones. Here is the one bee hive that makes it to the top of the list above some of the others due to the ease of use, as well as the ability to choose one that is great for beginners, such as myself, that are new to beekeeping. Find out more about the Flow Hive and learn what it is able to bring to the beginner that wants to start collecting honey from bees.
The Flow Hive
Made as a crowdfunding campaign, so it is somewhat new to the beekeeping scene, it is also one of the easiest hives to manage. Known as the Indigo Flow Hive, the product is usually top of the list because you can see the honey as it is gathering, right inside your own jar, and then can be gathered, topped and put somewhere else without disturbing the bees at all. Many like to use mason jars, but the hive is able to accomodate any jar that you would like to use to collect your honey in. It is recommended that you keep your eye on the jar to make sure it does not overflow.
The Flow Hive is the hive that is recommended to those that are new to the beekeeping world simply because you can watch the bees at work and you don’t have to disrupt them if you do not have a whole suit and the gear needed to do so. With some of the other hives, you’d have to have this attire and extras that are required in order to collect the honey from the hives. It is best to leave the bees to do what they do naturally. This is the hive that allows you to do just that, while giving your queen the comfort that she needs to keep the hive motivated.
- Easy to pull out the honey without disturbing the bees
- Sleek, modern look
- No mess, no fuss
- Cedar wooden frame
- Comes with everything you need to start with one box
- Instructions for beekeeping
- Window to watch the bees work
- Special home for the queen to sit
Pricing for the Flow Hive
The price that you pay for the Flow Hive should be worth it. Not only do you want something that fits your budget but also comes with the extras. This Flow Hive comes with everything you need to build it, get started and make honey. The Classic Cedar 6 Frame runs about $599 on the Flow Hive Official website, www.honeyflow.com. The website also has versions that are closer to $299 and as high as $899. They also provide additional beekeeping products that may be needed later on when you become more familiar and comfortable with beekeeping. There are many additional items that can be added or purchased with the classic frame, but this is all something that is up for personal choice.
How it Compares to Other Bee Hives
When searching for bee hive plans, the Flow Hive came out first on top of these other brands that were similar but just didn’t stack up to the benefits and ease of use that this hive comes with. Here are three other hives that stack up close to them, but do not quite give the same benefits that the Flow Hive gives when it comes to ease of use, quality and the ability to learn beekeeping without having to do a bunch of work to do so.
- SummerHawk Ranch Bee Hive Kit
- Ease of Use (4 stars)
The SummerHawk Ranch Bee Hive Kit gives the Flow Hive a run for it’s money only because it can collect the honey from the hive in mason jars that are left there. While this is somewhat the same concept, the SummerHawk is a bit more messier, but still provides more ease of use. It is also one of the most recommended bee hives that are out there due to being one of the most known.
- Assembly Time (2 stars)
Assembly was a bit much to put together, which is something that you may not be able to get together right away. Prepare to spend a decent amount of time putting this together though, because there are many pieces that come in the box. This is one of the harder models, though they have smaller, easier to put together units, but they are not comparable to the Flow Hive.
- Build Quality (3 stars)
The build quality, once you do get it together is decent. For the price, you can expect it to be a good quality but something that is not top shelf quality. If this is something that you are looking for, then perhaps more expensive bee hive plans should be considered. The quality is one of the things that many like for the price, as it is a higher quality at a lower price.
- Warranty (2 stars)
The warranty is good for a year from the manufacturer, but sometimes it can be tough to speak with the company regarding any broken parts or issues you’re having with the product. They give one, but it is not one that covers a lot of things, which again, might be something that you don’t want.
- Williams Sonoma Backyard Bee Hive
- Ease of Use (2 stars)
The product is a bit harder to use. Not only do you have to open up the box and remove the hive to get the honey out and pour it into a jar, but you have to then put them back. This can disrupt the bees that are making the honey. The ease of use is lacking with this hive, but it is comparable in size, style and price with the others.
- Assembly Time (3 stars)
Assembly time is a bit longer than expected, but this is common. However, it was somewhat easy since it is a simple box that is put together and that holds the right amount of honey. Since it is simple though, it does not have the ability to collect the honey like the Flow Hive and you will not be able to see the bees make the honey inside it.
- Build Quality (3 stars)
The build quality is nice, though not five star rated since it is made from regular wood and not a thicker, harder version. The product is expected to last for years, though. This is a plus and pushes the quality up higher. It is not low quality, either though which is a good thing when spending a decent amount on a hive to hold the bees.
- Warranty (2 stars)
The warranty on this product lasts for 2 years, which is ideal when you want to protect yourself against any problems that might arise. This means having to contact the company regarding any issues that you might have with the product within those 2 years. This is a longer warranty that you can make use of when something happens with the product, though it cannot be any fault of the purchaser.
- Handmade Cedar Top Bar BeeHive
- Ease of Use (4 stars)
The product is extremely easy to use and it even comes with a window that you can look at the bees through. This provides you with a look at the honey, at the bees and what is happening and then the combs come right out through the top. This is a good thing but it might not be able to provide you with the benefits that the Flow Hive provide.
- Assembly Time (3 stars)
The product comes mostly assembled, so you don’t have to worry about having to put it together for hours. However, what there is that does need to be put on the product might require some time to figure out. This can take a little bit since the instructions are written by the maker. This is somewhat confusing to some, but it is still a good way to go for those that have already been keeping bees.
- Build Quality (4 stars)
The build quality of the product is top of the line since it is handmade by someone. They used cedar to create the boxes which repels a lot of the issues that you might find with other types of wood. The quality of the product is at its highest. This is higher than the others out of these three, but it is worth it if you want quality.
- Warranty (1 stars)
The warranty on the product gets a one because they do not provide warranties on their products, since they are handmade. This can be a big downfall when choosing a bee hive or bee hive plans to put together. This might be something that breaks the entire deal if you want a bee hive that is able to be covered under a warranty in case something happened to it.
Pros and Cons
There are numerous pros and cons that come with the Flow Hive to take note on since this might be the most ideal choice to go with when going with bee hive plans to put your bees in. Every product has its own set of pros and cons, but when you are new to beekeeping, you need to go with a product that has pros that outweigh all of the cons.
- Easy to use
- Great price
- Mostly assembled
- No collecting necessary, the jars grab the honey
- Combs are able to be replaced
- Comes with a queen section
- Has everything you need to get started
- Great for a beginner
- Comes with full instructions
- Watch the bees work inside the hive
- Great for urban areas where there is not a lot of space
- Comes with a great warranty in place
- Has customer service for any and all questions
- No hassle, completely stress free
- Made from higher quality cedar wood
- A bit more pricier than other options
- If you are established, this might not be best
- Comes with many things and a lot of information
This bee hive choice is one of the highest on the list. Many others that started beekeeping actually recommend this bee hive to those new to the hobby. This is because it provides all of the pros and little to no cons, which is something that you would not be able to get from the other products on the market. With bee hive plans that provide the user with ease of use, even if they cost a bit more in the end, it can provide the essentials that are needed when starting beekeeping. The ability to watch the bees make the honey and then have the honey drip from the tap into the jar is a great benefit in its own. As compared to the others, the Flow Hive is the best bee hive to choose if you’re a newbie to beekeeping and you want to keep things simple, easy and providing you with a lot of information to get started. It is the best first step to take for a stress free beekeeping hive that has you covered when adding bees to the mix and to the hives that are helping you gather honey in them.