I’m on year 3 of using a couple of flow hives… Overall it’s been a good experience.
I have an issue that is getting worse.
The big issue is that not all of the honey gets released from the frames.. At first I thought my bees were not bringing in a lot of honey but when I took down the super in the fall and looked things over, it was quickly obvious that there were lots of “columns” where the key didn’t move the cells enough to break the cell and release the honey. About 15% of the honey wasn’t coming out - especially towards the far end of the frame.
I eventually got the honey out by putting the frames in a room and setting the temperature to 95F to soften things up an then and adding some duct tape to my key to make it slightly thicker.
Now I’m about to put the supers back on and I can tell that some of the columns towards the end just don’t move very well and I’m going to have the same issue.
This problem seems to be be getting worse year over year as the columns get stuck with propolis and wax. I have a new frame so I can compare how easy new frames are to move.
Is anyone doing anything to maintain the frames? Can you lubricate the columns? Anyone using a thicker key?
I did used a thin scraper to loosen up the columns but it’s definitely not as good as a new unused frame.