Sustainably sourced timber


Sustainability is one of our core values at Flow, so we work closely with our suppliers to ensure we only use sustainably sourced timber for our Flow Hives.

FSC is our preferred wood certification, and we’re working to make 100% of our hives from FSC certified sources. When FSC isn’t available we use PEFC and have a wood sourcing policy to ensure forests are being looked after. If you can help us source FSC certified timber please get in touch.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) aims to support  environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. FSC is the scheme preferred by organisations like WWF and Greenpeace.  Read more about FSC.

PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)

The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) works throughout the forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that forest-based products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Read more about PEFC.


Timber types

Western Red Cedar

Our premium Flow Hives are manufactured using Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata). Cedar is a beautiful timber with a remarkably fine and stable grain structure. It is sustainably sourced in North America.

Characteristics of Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is often used as a hive timber in the USA, UK and other regions, because of its durability. It's not uncommon to find feral honey bee colonies living inside hollow Western Red Cedar trees.

  • Premium timber option and the most durable of the Flow Hive timber options
  • Its fine grain minimises shrinkage and swelling
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in natural preservatives providing resistance to borers, termites, rot and fungus growth
  • Fine texture and straight grain with growth rings often visible
  • Beautiful, rich colour variation ranging from yellowish-white colour, to pale brown through to a richer dark brown
  • Maintain a natural timber finish by oiling or staining to accentuate its natural colour variations.


    Our mid-range Flow Hives are manufactured using Paulownia (Elongata). It’s a super lightweight and durable timber that is often compared to the lightweight but strong properties of Cedar. It has an extraordinarily fast growth rate, at around five years from seed to mature tree, making it an icon for sustainability.

    Characteristics of Paulownia

    Paulownia is very light, fine-grained, and warp-resistant.  It has natural insulative qualities – great news for cold climates and overwintering.

    • Mid-range option
    • Highest strength to weight ratio
    • It’s durable and more resistant to decay and weathering
    • It's lightweight making it easier to lift when caring for your colony
    • Natural insulative qualities
    • Highly sustainable
    • Requires two coats of weatherproof sealant (such as low voc exterior house paint)


      Our most economical hives are made from Araucaria (Araucaria Cunninghamii) or Hoop Pine – a premium Australian native cabinet timber highly regarded for its stability and durability. Our Araucaria is sustainably harvested from timber plantations.

      Characteristics of Araucaria 

      Araucaria is a first-class softwood with very few growth rings, knots or prominent grain, and is not to be confused with lower quality Radiata Pine, which is far softer, has knots and rots easily.

      • Our most economical hive
      • Highly durable with a fine, even grain which is warp resistant
      • Australian native softwood timber
      • Sustainably harvested
      • Varies in colour from white to cream or light brown
      • Easy to stain and paint making it the perfect canvas to create your own personalised hive design
      • Requires two coats of weatherproof sealant (such as low voc exterior house paint)



          World class manufacturing

          Cedar inspecting timber work

          Precision laser cutting Flow panels

          Cut observation window covers

          Rear window latches on the production line

          Cedar side panels with windows

          Routing Cedar window covers