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Flow frames not fitting in my new Flow Hive 2

Hi
I am a new beekeeper, so please keep this in mind ;-). I have been using my flow hive 2. The problem I have is that the base of the flow frames doesn’t fit or doesn’t touch the steel bar that is at the bottom of the flow super. I guess this is not normal. It is fitted correctly on the top part.

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HI Patrick Can you please send a few more photos of the top and rear?
The metal strip should be recessed into the underside of the super so that the super and brood box sits flush. It looks like yours is not recessed. I think that the super ends are the wrong way around. The upper rear edge is deeper than the upper front edge to accommodate the flow frames.
Good luck.

Hi Gary!
Thanks for your reply. I don’t have it with me right now, my apiary is not close from my house. What do you mean by “the super ends are the wrong way around”? There is no way to put it backwards since the extraction holes need to be where the metal bar is. Thanks for your help! It is very strange. I have 3 flow hives. This was fitting when I set it up… very strange indeed.
Thanks!

Hi Patrick sorry I should have said the super sides are possibly the wrong way around.
Each side wall of the super has a notch at the bottom for the metal strip.
Just check that part of assembly document to make sure they are correct.
Sorry to confuse you.
thanks

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Hi Patrick, welcome to the Flow Forum.

Is this a new issue you’re experiencing with this Flow Super? I can see that your Flow Frames don’t appear to be 100% new so would like to know if something has caused this to happen recently?

For example, have you received a lot of rain lately and your hive has potentially absorbed a lot of water, causing the super panels to warp?

Hi Bianca

Thanks for your reply. Yes, this is a new issue. The flow frames are new, I have put them on maybe a month ago to see if my bees where going to go up in the supper and start producing honey but they haven’t… so when I went to check, I saw that there was that gap. I am 100% sure that when I installed it, there was no gap. So I went and tried the flow frame on another super and as you can see, the gap is still there. I have also taken a brand new frame (I have 2 brand new hives that will be receiving bees in the next month so they are completely new), and the gap was still there. It looks like the frame somehow shrink? I know this is impossible, but…
Yes, we have had a lot of rain lately but I assume the super and frames are prepared for all kinds of weather.

I really don’t know what is going on. Can I use the frames even though there is such a gap?

Thanks in advance for your reply.
Patrick

You can put a little piece of wood to block the gap there to keep the bees from getting out and maybe as the weather and wood dry up the gap will shrink.

My concern is the angle. If there is such a gap, how can I make sure that the hive still has the adequate angle for the honey to flow out when I need to harvest?

Where are you? Are you in Spain, as your profile says? Your flow super probably shouldn’t even be on your hive, in winter on a new colony. Lots of other variables, of course, so maybe it would help if you described your situation and colony in more detail.

First of, thanks so much for your help. I am a new beekeeper. Yes, I removed the flow super a few weeks ago, I am in the South of Spain so we still had beautiful days around with flowers. But now it is removed. But my question still remains to know why this happened, it is quite strange that either the super or the frames warps due to heavy rains we had (it wouldn’t make sense to me since I understand they are built for all weather)… On the left the same frame on a brand new, never used, super.

Can you show a picture of the frame rest at the top of the back of the super as well as the front side frame rest of the super?

As far as when to have your super on, you probably should get some advice from local beekeepers.

While reading this thread, I began to wonder, the same as @chau06 about the frame rests. The frame rest, or the rebate should be deep enough so that the frame sits on the metal bar.

You should compare the depths of the rebates on both supers.

I’m currently building some bee boxes from a pine wall unit that was given to me. It’s important that I get the rebates right, otherwise the frames wont sit properly.

Hi Patrick,

Great to see this comparison picture I can completely see what you mean.

The good news is given what you have indicated in your beekeeping with this Flow Super and seeing the timber, I expect that this is just some swelling and it should return to normal.

There are a few factors that I would consider in regards to this.

  1. Adding the Flow Super to the hive before the bees are ready, can result in the colony not being able to manage the space. With bees regulating the internal temperature what can then happen is a build-up of condensation in the unused space. This is evident seeing the moisture on the pictured Flow Frame and also some of the discolouring on the inside of the timber. A strong colony is able to wax the timber before making use of this space and then fan out any moisture quite quickly.

  2. I can see you have 2x Araucaria Flow Hive 2’s, With the Araucaria timber, it is recommended to paint with a primer these are more dense and adhesive coatings that help to soak into the timber and stick to the surface, allowing for 2 coats of paint on top of this to be more resilient. It looks like you have opted for a stain, I can see that the timber does look damp on the edges, but also it seems that moisture is getting in from the outside, as there are stains coming in to the Flow Super from the finger joints. It does seem that both Flow Supers are impacted by this to a certain extend.

Place these in a warm location to dry out even better if you can place them in direct sun (make sure the Flow Frames are stored out of direct sunlight). You should find that as the timber release moisture it shrinks back to a normal state. You should then paint the outside of the timber, including the joints and edges around the covers and openings, to best ensure that moisture can not be absorbed into the timber.

We have seen this previously in similar cases with either Flow Supers being added to early or not protected effectively, or having weathered and requiring further protection.

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Hi there I can’t quite see on the photos if the metal support strip at the bottom is recessed into the sides.
As suggested if we could see photos of the top rests and also of the underside looking at the metal strip.
I don’t have the Flowhive 2 and I am not sure if it is possible for the left and right sides to be assembled back to front which would place the metal strip at the wrong end and not in the recess creating a 2mm gap? When the super sits on top of the brood box the metal strip has to be recessed so that there isn’t a gap between the two boxes.
Thanks

Hi Kieran

Thank you soooo much for such a thorough explanation. I can understand now that the problem might come from the rain we received. It is still very surprising to me that there is such a huge gap. As you can see I have put side by side a used super and a brand new one and the gap is still there…

I understand that the interior of the hive should not be painted. Is there a particular type of paint that you recommend? I used linseed oil in my first flow hive but it looks like it was not a good option. I have 2 more flow hive 2 that are going to be receiving bees shortly so I will paint them.

You are correct, I did put on the super and the colony wasn’t strong enough to manage the space. Now the cold weather has arrived here (South of Spain), so I will wait for the warmth and flowers of almond trees we have around to put the super. I have had any harvest yet so I look forward to it.

Once again, thank you for your reply!!!

Cheers,
Patrick

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