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Brood Box Panels Not Flush Together



My brood box is not going together flush. Even after I put the screws in it looks like air will still be able to enter the brood box. Is there something I can do? Is this o.k.?



A few people have had problems but they have all been sorted.
Post us a picture



This is the only side (since I’ve tightened all of the screws) that is still gapped. I can’t seem to get them any tighter. I don’t have a working drill right now either.


Try taking out all the screws and tapping everything home so there are no gaps.
Clamp it up then replace the screws.
I prefer nails in my boxes but I suppose the flow comes with screws.


That was the best I could do. I tried flipping all of the pieces to see which fit best etc… I’ll try hammering it together but really didn’t want to break it. Thank you!


@Chris1 Looks like you have not pushed the frame snug in before screwing - I’m afraid that is a build issue - They did suggest a clamp to square up the box - I don’t have one, but did square up my box by hand and held the pieces in place with my knees - it worked OK. Sorry


I pushed and even used a mallet to try and get the parts in place. I also am using 2 clamps as well. Now the super’s rear window cover cannot be removed as it is too tight. The cuts do not seem right to me.


Please don’t hammer it with the screws still in place. You have a bit of a problem now, as your screws have made guide holes into the box wall. Here is what I would do, if you are interested:

  1. Go out to your local hardware store, or www.amazon.com and order or buy 2 wood clamps, if you don’t already have one. Here is the one I use for my hive boxes:
  2. While you are there, get a square layout tool, like this one:
  3. Buy a good quality PVA wood glue. I don’t normally like glueing hive boxes, as it makes them hard to repair later, but if your screws are not in the right place, some glue strength may be a good idea for when you re-screw them. Here is a decent glue:
  4. Use the square tool to check that each corner is an exact right angle on your box, as it is right now without correcting anything. If any of the corners without gaps are not exactly square, I would undo every single screw in the hive box completely.
  5. Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of the “valleys” in the finger joints, and use a soft rubber mallet to tap the parts together. Check that the corner is square. DO NOT screw it up yet!
  6. Repeat the same process with the other wall pieces, glueing all of them in the same way, and checking that they stay exactly square.
  7. Apply one wood camp lengthways and tighten well, but not enough to dent the wood. Check the corners are still square.
  8. Tighten the other wood clamp crossways, and tighten. Check for square corners again - yes I know this is obsessive, but it is one way to get the best possible result, and this is your last chance to make sure it is right and correct it if it is slightly off.
  9. Walk away for at least 24 hours, to let the glue set properly. You could take the clamps off after 30 mins, but I would leave them on.
  10. Use a drill on ultra slow speed, or even better, an electric screwdriver to replace the screws. You could put a tiny blob of glue on the tip of the screw if you wanted, to overcome some of the looseness of the screw in the re-drilled (by the screw) hole.

Hopefully, that method will cure the problem. I am not an expert carpenter, but I have built a lot of hive boxes, including quite a few from www.beethinking.com who supply the Flow hives. I have never seen a problem like yours with their boxes before, but hopefully my method will help you sort it out and make a nice home for your bees. Good luck!



I should say a rubber mallet that is.


Whenever I put hives together from any source, I have to remind myself that this is not interior furniture. Good enough is good enough. You can get some 200 or 220 grit sandpaper, and gently sand the cover all around until it fits better. Too tight is a LOT better than too loose - light in the hive is not what the bees want! :wink:



I sanded the rear window cover so now it is sliding out good now. Thanks! :slight_smile: As for the brood box, my husband says it may swell once it gets wet so there might not be an issue.


Hi Chris, I think you should take all the screws out & start again using clamps to get things tight before putting the screws in. Sadly the holes are already there, the screws will want to follow those holes. After clamping everything tight, you may have to re-position the screws into new holes.

I can see what’s happening, your trying to close the gap at the same time as pull against the screws of the heads that are visible in the photo.


Some great advice here. If you are making up lots of boxes, a jig would be very handy. Make the jig square (ie right angle corners) and you won’t need to use the T square at all.

I didn’t have a jig and I’ve assembled only 4, 8 frame boxes in total. I used a dead blow mallet to persuade the sides together and I used polyurethane glue for the bonding. I clamped the work from both sides and checked for square. When I was happy I nailed everything together with 40mmX2mm flat head galvanised nails. Every bump on every side got a nail. I figured with high strength glue and the clamps, screws were unnecessary.

What I didn’t do was check the “winding” of the boxes. A couple of them have a little twist so they don’t sit perfectly flat on each other. I sorted this problem with a couple of besser blocks on top of the hives. The twist was only a few mm and the weight of the besser blocks have straightened things out perfectly.

I will build a jig before assembling any more boxes and I will try and video the build.

Here is a link to sequence of pics showing how Michael Bush uses a jig to assemble three boxes at the one time.



That’s what I was trying to say. That’s why I prefer nails. No misplaced screw holes to follow


I have to agree. The use of clamps really helps making beeboxes. Jigs are the best of course, but clamps are the way to go for the hobby beekeeper.

If you are using clamps what works well for me is to alternate sides. One or two finger joints on one corner and then one or two finger joints on the other corner. It helps draw everything down.


All you need is one pipe sash clamp. Clamp it together, nail/screw one end, move the clamp to the other end, nail/screw. Repeat the process for the opposite side. The remaining 2 sides don’t require clamping because of the nails/screws holding it tight.


I have some unmade boxes if anyone wants to see it done.


Video, please!!! :sunglasses:


I think Jeff deserves a gold star for all the videos he’s posted here.
I think the one where he is making a split as pre-emptive swarm control is excellent.
All beginners should bookmark it so that they can see how strong a colony should be before you split it. You shouldn’t be able to see the frames for bees :slightly_smiling: