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Check your flow frames after storms

I’ve found an issue with empty flow frames during a storm. I’m not sure why it happened… it could’ve been wind, buffeting, changing atmospheric pressure, vibration or some other strange happening but be sure to check out your flow frames after each and every storm.

We had TS Colin move through my area about ten days ago and I had just put my flow frames into the super about a week previous to the storm. For some odd reason, the vibrations/pressure/buffeting from the heavy rains, wind and storm conditions caused most of the frames to pop to the open position. In some cases, completely open but most were halfway to two thirds split.

I checked the hives I have but I didn’t take a close look at the flow frames in our flow hive until today. It took about ten seconds to fix it with the hive key. With plenty of bees exploring the frames in the super, I know the girls are looking for more space to work. Meanwhile the hive bodies are exploding. Looks like i’m off to get some lemongrass oil.

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That is very hard to picture… we get violent storms all the time and I’ve had no issues.

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We get storms in Boston and I’ve never experienced that problem. The flow frames include a cover over the Key access point and the frames can only be opened or closed when the cover is removed (using the Key, anyway). The cover is designed so that it only fits in place if the frames are closed.

Is it possible that your covers are missing? Maybe the frames were not closed to begin with…

That is supposed to be true, but I have actually had cells misaligned with the covers tightly in place. That was on several frames too, so it can happen! :wink:

I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it didn’t happen to me. It’s almost as if somebody went back and messed with the flow frames. Easy fix just put the key in the top slot and twist, but really strange. Two frames were opened completely and a few of the others were half open. The covers were in place but I did notice a few of the round caps at the base of the frames had popped out on the two frames that were opened completely. I thought maybe it was extreme vibration or some sort of pressure change, but I don’t believe that anything about the frames is air tight.

It’s not that I don’t believe you all, but I’m just looking for some alternative explanations…

I read on their site a while back that they were having some production problems where the individual panels in the flow frames were assembled incorrectly.

Each flow frame consists of multiple “panels” and some of those panels were installed backwards, which prevents some or all of the cells from aligning properly. There’s a video on their website that explains how to check for that problem and correct it.

The process looks pretty simple, but does involve some minor disassembly.

I wonder if the bees can inadvertently open the frames when manipulating them?