Flow frames won't split - due to wax buildup?

Hi there, due to a back operation I haven’t got to my flow frames for about 7 months and now when I try to split the frames to release the honey I’m swinging the tool down but there’s no movement in the frame and the cells won’t split. Anyone have any ideas that won’t lose the honey?

I did comment, however decided to delete it.

If you have an extra flow key use 2 together at the same time and rotate numerous times over the full 180 degrees and move across the key slot right to the outer edges where the plastic is less likely to flex.
Try doing that with the keys only partially inserted. Sometimes it is only some of the cells that are tight. Just keep doing til they release.
It can sometimes take quite a lot of rotations.
Good luck


:face_with_raised_eyebrow:Are you in right hole.
Bottom to open cells…top to close cells.
Take out the plug and you will see the top hole is wide and the bottom narrow. The plug will not fit in if the gap is not open …meaning you have closed the cells.
Gently prise the bottom gap open with the flow tool and insert it 3 inches and turn, wait for the flow to stop (20-30 mins) then do another 3-4 inches wait .
You can open all or less at once and get on with other work in between hive tool turns.


no worries Jeff, thanks anyway cheers

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Could the honey be crystallized? A toothpick in a cell would soon tell you the answer - choose one near the top, so that if I am wrong, it doesn’t make the frame leak from the hole the toothpick made.

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Thanks Gaz that sounds like a solution. I’ll have to borrow another key - shouldn’t be too hard.
cheers, John

Thanks Busso, yeah I’m in the right spot, they just won’t budge. cheers, John

I agree with @Dawn_SD. My guess is crystallised honey. Your profile indicates you are on the central coast in NSW so I’m guessing you’ve got Jelly Bush or similar nearby and that it is crystallised…

Hi Dawn, no the honey hasn’t crystalised, the wax just seems to have clogged everything up. I thought this might happen with leaving the frames so long, but Gaz’s idea seems worth a try.

cheers, John

Can you double check whether honey is crystallised? Leaving honey for too long it usually crystallises.

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Hey @Ruttneri , no candied/crystalised honey in the frames. I followed the advice of @busso (thanks Wilfred) and just inserted the key a few inches at a time rotating at each step and all frames released and the honey started flowing.

Thanks everyone for your helpful advice.


As @Gaz has suggested a second key is a big help. also only open with the key about 1/5 of the way in, if that works then when the flow has stopped put the key in another 1/5th. Trying to open too much of a frame at once can lead to your issue.
I can’t see the honey crystallizing given the present climate. If it is Jelly Bush Honey the frame will still open but the honey won’t flow out of the cells so I can’t see that as the issue.