Flow frame is not opening fully

I have a flow hive frame that is fully capped and ready to harvest, however 70% of the frame won’t crack open. I have turned the key a dozen times to open and close hoping that would fix it but to no avail.
The rest of the frames work fine.
Any suggestions please…

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Was the frame set correctly in the first instance?

Can you post a few photos of the frame?

Has the honey crystallised in the frame?

Hi Stuart they can be very tight sometimes. I did two frames in different hives today and it took a lot of turns to crack part of the frame in one. I use two keys side by side and try to keep the keys to outside edges where the plastic doesn’t bow as much.
The issue is if you use the key in the middle the plastic bows if the frames are really well sealed.
Using two keys spreads the load.
Good Luck

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Thanks for the contributions, the two keys did the trick Gary and honey flowed.
Cheers Stuart

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If a single key won’t open the cells for draining the honey then a second key, one at each side, will make it so much easier, Sometimes the leverage of a single key is just not enough. A second key is available from Flow.

Hi Peter, when you say “Sometimes the leverage of a single key is just not enough”. In all honesty, if a second flow key is necessary to open the frames properly, a second key should be supplied.


You are so right Jeff. Flow themselves recommend the use of a second key if the single one doesn’t open the cells so they know it is sometimes an issue. I use two keys to open the cells thinking it might cause a bit less flexing of the frame.
This sustained heat is a bit over the top even in a ventilated suit.

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Totally agree Jeff, when you bench open a Fframe using one key the Fframe twists but using two it doesn’t.
It still irks me that Flow is still advertising opening the Fframe in one go, unless it’s hard to open, when here on their forum we get so many “Frame leaking honey when harvesting” threads and it’s the forum members pointing out the solution for mitigating this problem. I’m too scarred to open in one go, even with two keys…


My first extraction was to open the whole of the Flow Frame in one go and it was a disaster with honey and bees flooding out the entrance when I re-leveled the hive. I totally agree with you about Flows clip about how to open the whole frame in one go. It simply floods the bottom chamber and overflows honey into the hive.
Since I open in 20% increments I have not had flooding at all. Sad that Flow have not listened to the forum in this matter, it is that they even seem disinterested in what is actually happening.

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Hi Gaz-
If you place the two keys side-by-side but not in the middle, is there a preference for one side or the other?
Thanks for the suggestion.

Put one at the far left of the slot, and the other at the far right. Open the frame in 20-25% sections. Works great for me. :wink:

As @Dawn_SD said to the outer edges is best as it will bow less . You can bring both keys together if you like also. You just just keep rotating the keys back and forth til it flows.


Excellent. Thanks so much!

Can you share some more pics?

Hi there and welcome to the Flow forum!

You can see the two keys side by side in this video. I don’t have any of the frame not fully opening, because mine always do… :blush: