Breaking Flow frames

Hearing some concerning snapping sounds as I use the key to close the frames I now find my frames are breaking up at the top section. This is no way the worst but it’s just one of them. You can see in each photo if the section is not broken completely out, it’s cracked and I can no longer close the frame. I have three Flowhives and many(20+) Langstophs. Has anyone else found these issues? Now I have about 7 or 8 frames that are so brittle I have no confidence in them all now. My first Flowhive was one of the original hives. I haven’t contacted Flow about this yet.

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Hi Al, I know someone who had that trouble after one irradiation treatment. Plus there has been other incidents of it occurring from time to time here on the forum.

I have a set of 6 here that I’m waiting for wax moths to clean up. That might be a good thing because they might open & close a lot easier. Plus I wonder if the use of 2 keys would put less strain on the plastic.

Yep, I use two keys every time Jeff. And only open 3 or 4 frames whether I open or close. But I have irradiated them once. I seem to remember reading somewhere, whether it was on this forum or from FlowHive, or elsewhere, that they could be irradiated up to 3 times.

I read something similar, however I don’t remember it being 3 times.

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That could well be the problem then. There was a post on here some time ago about one of the irradiation services saying that they could not guarantee to keep the dose at the level the Flow recommends to be maximum. I found this on the Flow web site:

What you should do when treating with irradiation:

Flow Frames should not be exposed to more than 1 round of AFB sterilisation at 10 kGy. Some Irradiation facilities use beehives as ‘gap filler’ in larger loads. This means a single round may expose your frames to more than 40 kGy.

We recommend you contact your nearest facility to discuss maximum doses. If you are in Australia, Steritech is the only facility that provides this service. If you need to send your Flow Frames for irradiation please mark them clearly for future reference.

Leaving them outside in direct sunlight can also cause this brittle change in the plastic, from UV exposure.


Thanks Dawn. I’ll do some investigation. But I’ll also have to get my brain ticking over to see how I can strengthen the top part of the frame so the cells can close.

Hi Alan,
Wow these frames are in a bit of a bad way. I’m sorry to see this has happened. Would you please also email if you’d like any assistance from the team?