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Flow frames and position


I put my flow frame on a couple weeks ago, (on top of 2nd brood bozx) ubfortunately been alot of rain.

The bees seem to be exploring them but havent made any progress yet. I sprayed them with sugar water and hopefully that will help.

Also want to make sure they are in the right position.


The top photo shows that the cells are open. The bees will have a hard time using them in that position. I can’t see the alignment in the lower photo, because of the lighting. Looks like you need to use the Flow key to close the cells though. I would smear some burr comb from the hive onto the frames too - it helps the bees to get the message. :blush:


Dawn is correct: in the first photo the cells are open- you need to insert the key into that frame and set them to closed. The second photo is hard to see- but it looks like they are correctly closed. It can be slightly tricky to see if the cells are open or closed unless you look at them at the correct angle. You want to see all the columns forming hexagons- not zig zags. the zig zag affect is when the cells are open- which is when you harvest them.

You will notice that the little caps that cover the hols where you put the keys into do not fit in correctly when the cells are in the open position. this is a nice little touch from the Flow designers.

When you insert and turn the key- it is fine to turn it multiple times. You can also move it to either side of the slot and turn it- this ensure that all columns are correctly set.

I think it’s a good idea to take out a frame and work the key several times watching what happens when you do so so you can learn exactly how the frame is supposed to operate.


Thanks. Yes they do seem to be open. But surprised because i havent touched them since purchsse and thr caps seem to be on tight


well- the cap can fit in if just the very first columns are in the closed position- so that can be a little misleading. It’s possible to turn the key and have most of the columns shift - but have a few that don’t for some reason. If this happens a lot on one particular frame you need to check the tightness of the wires and possibly add a few twists- which is not that hard. I always check each frame visually before I install it- and doubly check it just to be sure :wink: .


I think this is one of the reasons that Flow amended their instructions recently to advise people to open and close the frames a few times before installing them. Sometimes they seem to shift to the open position in shipping - I know that some of mine did.

At least it is not too late for you to fix it, but it may have reduced your chance of getting a harvest. :cry:


Thanks, I was out adjusting them now, It is dark here, They became agitated I"ll have to finish the rest tomorrow, I was unable to put the little strip cover on, Im sure they will be fine for the night, maybe that will get them goin now, gettin the frames in right position and sugar spray


What will get them going is warm weather a decent nectar flow and all frames drawn and filled with bees underneath


@Vince_Fillah what are other beeks in your area up to these days? I’m in SE Pennsylvania and the nectar here is dwindling now - we’re heading quickly into a dearth and neighboring areas are probably already in it. The bees recognize this and will start organizing their efforts accordingly, to be ready for winter. You mentioned your bees became agitated when you were fiddling with the Flow frames - colonies do get more defensive in a dearth and are on guard for robbers, so that could be a sign to you that filling your Flow super may be unlikely at this point.

Still, if you make sure the cells are closed, you might see the bees at least seal up the joints and complete the cell openings in the time we have left. That would be a huge head start for your colony next year!


I am seeing the cells open in both of the pics Vince. I would advise checking them all to be sure the cells are closed. I had one frame in the open position when I got my frames so I figure they were sent that way after they were assembled and checked that they operated correctly. I really can’t see how they can open in transit.
I put 2 flow supers on the same day on 2 hives in the same apiary and about equal hives as an experiment. I sprayed one with sugar/water and the other I brushed on molten bees wax. The bees collected the sugar/water and after 2 days that was the last I saw of the bees in the flow hive. The hive with bees wax was after 2 weeks being used to store honey and the middle frames nearly ready for capping, and this is supposed to be our mid Winter in Australia, but it is all relative and some would call it close to Summer temps.
On my experience and treating the sugar/water hive with melted wax after 2 weeks of no interest, but with the wax after 3 days the bees were sealing up the gaps I would not waste time with sugar water.
Cheers Vince


Hi Vince,

As others have mentioned, your Flow Frames are definitely open. Did you receive an instruction manual with your Flow Frames?
In the instructions, it guides you on how to reset your Flow Frames when they arrive, before you install them in your hive.

Complete instructions on this page:


Without pictures, I also wonder if your hive is ready for the Flow Frames. The brood box needs to be bursting with bees before you add your Flow Super or second brood box (depending on your location).

Please view this topic:

Also, its best to ask local beekeepers how many brood boxes they use in your area, or check this topic thread, based on location also: