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The space in the hive can be increased by nadiring (i.e. adding new boxes under existing boxes as the existing boxes fill). This means less empty space in the hive, making it more thermally efficient (and thus simpler for the bees to control temperature / more likely to survive the more extreme temperatures). See More
The honey provides an insulating layer which aids the hive's temperature regulation. Outside of equatorial regions, the brood naturally moves upwards into the honey supply during winter feeding. Thus having the honey above the brood avoids bees not finding their honey supply and starving during winter. See More
This means you can only get liquid honey; not honeycomb. Also, it is also believed by many that the natural wax is superior to plastic for a number of reasons: Plastic causes "off-gassing"; i.e. the release of airborne particulates / chemicals, dubbed volatile organic compounds, which may be harmful to the health of the hive. The cell size is fixed. Cell size relates to the sex of the bees produces, so this restricts the bees ability to alter their drone:worker populations. Bees communicate by vibration; natural (wax) comb will vibrate as expected, whilst plastic will not. Wax can store pheromone information which may be important (though as yet there is no science to support or discount this claim). http://www.honeycolony.com/article/3-reasons-to-go-against-the-flow-hive/ https://attheapiary.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-flow-hive-solves-a-problem-that-doesnt-exist-exacerbates-a-problem-that-does/ See More