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Flow frames no longer sitting on metal strip

I’ve got two Flow hives, one is two years old and the other coming up one year old. Both assembled well and when the flow frames went into the super they sat on the metal strip as they should. Both have had no problems so far.

I was out at the hives today and they are now 2 or 3 mm above the strip.

The supers are sitting as normal on the brood boxes, plastic QE in both. It is as if the box itself has grown taller or the flow frames have shrunk. Both hives are the same. The top of the flow frame where the key enters is sitting on the box as it should.

The only difference from normal is the level of condensation in the hives, as we’ve had almost constant rain for months (a few days on and a few days off) and with cold winter nights the bees are not finding forage so their numbers are well down. However, I can’t see that condensation will expand the wood in only one direction. I’m about to get some better ventilation set up.

You can see the gap here. The thin line of propolis is where they used to sit, and you can see the excluder inside.

You’ll also see that the frames are empty. It looks like the bees are not finding forage and have emptied well stocked supers on both hives. I’m about to start feeding them through the rest of winter.

There have been a lot of posts about this issue lately. All of the authors have been in similar climates to you ie cool wet winters.
I would almost guarantee that is is just expansion due to moisture. They will go back to normal in the spring when the timber dries out again.
I’m not a fan of leaving the super on over winter in cool, wet climates for this reason as well as a couple of others.

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Thanks for the info. We’re not normally this wet here in Newcastle but the last six months has been crazy with rain back and forth all the time.

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thanks for the awesome information.

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Looks like this may be a common problem as my pine hive is getting worse every winter.
The hive was double under coated and double top coated outside from new and when I remove the rear window the bees can walk out the gap under the frames easily.
I have no doubt rain is getting into the brood via this gap

Hi Snapper
Just wondering if this problem has at all rectified itself over the last little while?
I am in the southern highlands nsw and have noticed exactly the same issue with our Flow Hive Super…
We have just had another hive delivered yesterday in a Flow bundle (older version) and it is perfect bottoms of the frames tight against steel strip but our flow 2 supers are like yours above…


Cheers

Hello,
Sorry for the late reply, been very busy with bees.
I pulled all the frames from the super which were full of honey, I then cleaned any wax from the top rebate on the super including under the back and front lips of the flow frames.
Next I swapped out the queen excluder which had a build up of wax and also carefully removed wax build up under the frames.
The gap has now reduced enough to stop the bees moving through it.
I think also sealing the super top and bottom edges with paint will help with water expansion and paint about and inch or so into the super as well
Regards Snapper

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Thanks Snapper for your information i will see how we go with your recommendations…