Flow hive quality issues

Anyone ever encountered any workmanship issues with Flow Hives?

My first FH was the original earliest model. It was all good apart form the roof shingles that had knots in them, and they eventually warped and cracked. Painting instead of oiling would have helped but they were weak to start with. Flow replaced the shingles for me.

Second hive was bought second hand but unused - a newer version of the original apparently. One of the boxes has a twist in it no matter what. Maybe I can try to sand it into shape but I think it’s not as easy for someone with no carpentry skills and basic tools. I have to hope the bees will fill the gap with propolis.

The roof is also not square. Not a big issue, I can deal with that. it can be a tad tricky to put it on.

Now I just bought a brand new Flow Hive 1 which was discounted, but no mention of it being seconds. It is just horrible. Panels are a good 3mm shorter on one end and this will leave a gap between the boxes.

I’m not sure whether this is within the tolerances of brood boxes, but the cheap pine boxes I bought (probably made in China) are perfectly square and fit well.

Am I just unlucky, or am I making an unwarranted fuss. I don’t feel good complaining to Flow all the time, begging for replacements?

And one last thing - anyone knows whether an Araucaria lid fits a cedar super? My understanding from their website is that it’s not…

All said and done the dimensions should be the same with only the timber being different.
Any twist and/or out of square is poor assembly of the box and not a problem with the product. Assembly should be done on a flat surface and a tape used diagonally to be sure the box is square and line of sight is good enough to eliminate any twist.
As for the lids I only use migratory Aussie lids and in my climate I fit a vent at each end to give better ventilation, I have been told the bees will block up the vents but that doesn’t happen here so I take it that the vees like it that way.
Cheers, Peter

I recently bought a flow hybrid on sale recently for a 10 frame hive.

Putting it together, it definitely was not as tight fitting as my Flow Hive 2 is, but passable. I mentioned it to the guys at Flow and they said that this was older stock pre-laser cutting… hence the sale.


I have experienced the same. When assembled there was big gaps between the fingers. I could actually look straight through. When I complained about it, Kieran told that if he send me new pieces, he couldn’t guarantee that it would be any better. So there is definitely a quality issue.

Not in this case Peter. I measured the unassembled panels and THEY are not square. Definitely a manufacturing issue.

There is 3mm gap on the rear side of the super, and the bees cannot access there to chaulk it up with propolis, so water will leak in. It is also full of splinters everywhere and the product looks rubbish.

Maybe they improved their manufacturing of FH2, but I bought it last week and there was no mention that this was seconds, or b-grade or something. I would have been fine with that. It just leaves a bad taste as I supported Flow from the first day on their crowd support campaign, and resisted buying Chinese copies at a fraction of the price with superior dovetail joints.

That’s what I thought too, but their website says it is not compatible. I emailed Kieran twice and waiting for a reply.


That sounds you should have the components replaced if they are not square. After all, if the pieces aren’t square then it can’t be assembled with out issues.Cheers

Yeah Peter… problem is that I’ve already assembled and glued it together, so taking out the panels without breaking it is tricky.

It never crossed my mind to check for squareness and measure each side before I put it together.

Once assembled and put on top of a flat surface I discovered the faults.

… and begging companies for mercy and replacements is my pet hate… I wonder whether I can try to fix it - maybe by carefully sanding it into shape.

I totally understand and neither would I measure components to be square, I would assume they would be as that is critical to make a hive square.
I would get on Flow Hives back for them to sort out the problem with new hardware. Sanding parts night make other issues like bee gaps, etc…
let us know with an update, ok…
Cheers, Peter

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