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Flow frame removal for inspections


Not sure if anyone else has come across their Flow frames being difficult to remove from the hive when full of honey so I thought to put it out there and see.

The other day I notice that the bees had glued my frames to the QX which obviously made it difficult to remove them.

I also noticed on some footage that others had simular issues when doing inspections.

Has anyone come up with a tool to loosen and lift the frames free? maybe some clever person has already done so…

It would good to hear if anyone has any ideas on a solution without damaging the frames preferred…lol


Yes removing the frames can be very difficult if that’s what you’re asking. Getting your fingers in their or the hive tool is very hard.

If you’re talking about removing the box that’s just heavy :slight_smile: Valli made comment to me early on that she thought my hive was too high and I would have difficult removing the top box. I said understood but I think I’m good :slight_smile: I’m paying for that now. It is very heavy and difficult to remove. Experience teaches you a lot more than someone telling you sad to say.

I found this hive tool and found it very beneficial in removing the flow frames. Here is the posting


Bees always glue everything together. It is one of their best and worst qualities. :slight_smile: Here is the tool for the job:


I only have 4 hives that the bees glue the upper frames to the lower frames. These 4 hives are the ones that I inherited from a discouraged beekeeper. The commonality is all 4 hives have plastic frames. For whatever reason, my other 44 hives with wooden frames do not do this.
In order to separate them I would twist the box left and right until I felt it let go (almost 90 degrees).
Plastic frames are slowly dis-appearing to get rid of that problem.


It’s not the plastic. It’s the thickness of the top bar. ON plastic it is practically nonexistent.

A quick search of 50 years among the bees turns it up on page 46.

“When attending that same convention that very practical Canadian bee-keeper, J.B. Hall, showed me his thick top-bars, and told me that they prevented the building up of so much burr-comb between the top-bars and the sections. Although I made no immediate practical use of this knowledge, it had no little to do with my using thick top-bars afterwards. i was at that time using the Heddon slat honey-board (Fig. 6) and the use of it with the frames I then had was a boon. It kept the bottoms of the sections clean, but when it was necessary to open the brood-chamber there was found a solid mass of honey between the honey-board and the top bars. It was something of a nuisance, too, to have this extra part in the way, and I am very glad that at the present day it can be dispensed with by having top-bars 1-1/8 inch wide and 7/8 inch thick, with a space of 1/4 inch between top-bar and section. Not that there is an entire absence of burr-combs, but near enough to it so that one can get along much more comfortably than with the slat honey-board. At any rate there is no longer the killing of bees that there was every day the dauby honey-board was replaced.”
–C.C. Miller, Fifty Years Among the Bees.

"Q. Do you believe that a half-inch thick brood-frame top-bar will tend to prevent the bees building burr-comb on such frames, as well as the three-quarter inch top-bar? Which kind do you use?

A. I do not believe that the one-half inch will prevent burr-
combs quite as well as the three-quarter. Mine are seven-eighths."–C.C. Miller, A Thousand Answers to Beekeeping Questions

Thick-Top Frames
"In the early 1890’s the thick-top frame was introduced to the public but some years prior to that time J.C. Hall, then of Woodstock Ontario, Canada, had been using frames with top bars 1 inch wide by 7/8 inch thick. Soon after he began using them he discovered that the tops of these frames were free from burr combs. Likewise there were no brace combs between the frames. He made his top bars thick, he said, not because of the burr or brace comb nuisance, but because he had desired to prevent their sagging. Dr. C.C. Miller soon called the attention of the beekeeping world to Hall’s discovery and in a very few years the thick-top frame came to be almost universal. After the top bars were made stronger and heavier the end bars as well as the bottom bars were made thicker and wider. The natural result of all this was a stronger and more serviceable frame."–ABC XYZ of Bee Culture, page 314 35th Edition (1974)


I went out and compared and that is correct! It must leave too much space so the bees are compelled to fill it.