I have found that on closing my flowframes the top of the structure cracks. This cannot be normal. Do they need replacing or are the salvageable?
Not normal. Get directly in touch with flow.
How do we get hold of them? This is the only forum for engaging I could find.
There is an after sales on their website that you can contact. @Freebee2
Many thanks. I’ll try to give them a call tomorrow
If you have any photos, you can post them here and we can give you some ideas. However, you could also send them to email@example.com with your order number. If they are genuine Flow frames, they will help you right away.
Can you give some detail of the cracking?
For instance …
Are you hearing a cracking noise that sounds alarming?
Are there visible cracks that you see happening when you close the frame?
Perhaps it’s the following.
The frames are made of lots of narrow vertical pieces like sliced bread. Inside the pieces that you can see along the top are other pieces that move up and down when you twist the key. If you take a frame and flex it slightly you will see the top pieces separate. (too much flex and it can fall apart and it’s tricky getting it together again.)
What you are seeing as cracks might be these pieces separating a bit under the stress of the moving parts. Get into the habit of closing the frame 1/4 at a time instead of all at once. This will reduce the amount of effort you need to put into turning the key.
The only cracked open frame I’ve seen on the forum was one user who had a hole in the bottom channel, with the missing plastic piece lying on the queen excluder. That was a replacement fix under warranty.
Hi, just seen the original post. I had two of my frames crack at the top in the same way. It was first season use.
Flow were great and replaced without question following some photos for proof.
Now I am out of my second season (I am in the UK) and have a bit more experience. I think that opening in small increments and using two keys is the solution to remove stress on the frames. My bees seem very committed to propolis and I suspect that this meant that breaking the joins to harvest created a lot of load when trying to open a large section of the frame (about 30% is my recollection). This year I opened the frames in small sections - say 10% if there was a lot of resistance over a larger section.
It has worked for my now three flowhives.
After asking questions about cracking in Oct last year, early this year mine started to crack. I sent photos to Flow and they replace the frames within days. Here’s where mine went. When I removed the old frames I noticed that there were more broken pieces that were not visible from outside.
Since I put in the new frames I now use two keys to open them for harvesting, with the keys pressing upwards on the outside edge of the frame and not in the middle. It means lifting the keys rather than pressing them downwards as I used to.