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Help fixing dodgy Flow supers

Any ideas how I can fix these two dodgy Flow supers? The first Flow hive I bought didn’t have this problem.

The Flow frames are pressed hard against the back and I have a substantial gap between the bottom of the Flow frames and the aluminium strip. Bees are starting to escape through the gap when I take the back cover off. I’ve been so far putting up with this issue, but I really want to fix it because it is annoying, and also thinking about selling these so I want to make them right.

I was thinking about shaving off a few millimetres off the bottom but I don’t have the tools to re-cut the a neat notch for the aluminium strip.

The frames version codes are BZ6 and BZ8. Flow super height is 250mm - is that correct?

Any other ideas?

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Your not the first to have this issue and my thought is the rebate where the ends of the frames sits is not cut low enough into the box. Sanding the bottom of the super hive box won’t fix that gap.Visualize that the frames are sitting too high in the brood box and you will get the idea.
What you need is the measurement from the bottom of the rebate to the bottom of the box.
I would email Flow about the issue for a fix as the fault is very poor quality control in the manufacturing.
I have trued to ‘ping’ Free for her attention but for some reason it isn’t working.
Cheers

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Yes Peter another Flow user I know on another forum mentioned they had this same issue too. I also saw someone else here mentioning this but he was quickly directed off the forum to resolve by the Flow team so we don’t know how it was fixed.

I also think the problem is the top rebate is cut too high (not too low). It is very hard to take off 4mm or so once the box is assembled and glued. I already had boxes replaced by Flow for other issues so I’m keen to try to fix this myself… it is a waste to discard all that cedar wood that’s why I tried to put up with the problem.

I’m also planning on selling my Flow hives and I rather sell them with the least possible issues.

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Yes the rebate is too high in the box. If you are able to take the Flow Super box only to your local Men’s Shed they might have the gear to do a fix and at a very reasonable price, My local shed fixed the problem with a router and a perfect job for a ‘gold coin’ donation. A perfect fix so I gave them $10. The guy who did the job was very fussy and ‘tickled’ to have been a help.
I understand your last paragraph and I’m doing the same. When your buying the most expensive bee hive there shouldn’t be issues that relate to poor manufacturing issues.
Cheers

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could it just be that the wood has expanded… and wouldn’t the easiiest fix be to plane off a few mm of the top of the box where the frames sit? You’d only need to shave off on the rear end- where there is no rebate…

I do suspect the wood has expanded to some degree because until last season, the gaps weren’t big enough for the bees to come through, and now they are. Unless I have smaller bees.

It would be easy to plane a few millimetres off if it wasn’t assembled, but it would be hard to work on it because the sides of the box will be in the way of the planer. Manually sanding will in theory work, but will take several hours. This is the rear panel - not the one with the rebate.

I’m not aware of any Man Sheds here but maybe one way around it is to put it upside down on a table-saw, with the blade set at the correct height, then I cut several close cuts all along and shave it that way. Similar to the way a dado blade works.

Shaving wood from the top of the box won’t lower the frame in the box Jack. There is a rebate at each end of the box, it is the ‘ledge’ that each end of the box that the frame sits on. A wood plane can’t do that job Jack, The plane blade doesn’t go out to the edge of the sole of a plane. For wood to expand to that amount it would be needed to soak in water for a really long time. All my kits were dry when delivered from Flow, one had the gap under the frames, the other three were fine.
@Honeyeater I was mentioning a Men’s Shed, I’ll bet there is one not far from you and just itching for a job like that to do. They are really big in Aussie and N.Z. and likely world wide. A great place to get things made or repaired at a fair price.
Cheers

You wouldn’t believe what this thing can do in few minutes :wink:

Hi ABB, I don’t have that ‘thing’… and in the wrong hands (mine) it can turn the entire super into sawdust :).

Even in the right chippy’s hands, I don’t think it will reach the far corners of the ledge, am I right? The sanding belt sits some distance away from the machine edge.

This is what needs to be shaved off:

image

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I was rather for sanding bottom of the box off. The part you showing - just sharp chisel or a knife. Yes, will take some time but will be faster than manual sanding and cheap.

Ah. Yes I see. Since I have a table-saw I’d still use that though because I’ll get a nice straight edge which is difficult to get with sanders or knives.

Thing is that I don’t want to rip the box to fix a problem and create another.

Maybe an even simpler solution is to tape a strip of fly screen on the aluminium bar. Not sure what a potential buyer will make of that.

In this case, how about just sticking a piece of a door seal on top of aluminium bar to close the gap?

I have to check that might work and have some off cuts already. The rear door does not leave much space on the aluminium bar for anything when in place. I was thinking the fly screen can be taped under the bar and folded up.

The bees will fix that gap… propolis.

Maybe give them a hint and head start by applying some between the gap…

While extracting the other day, I notice the colony send out a handfull of bees to the rear to patchup the gaps. It was amazing to watch them recycle other bits of wax/ propolis and relaying it.

They won’t Fred because those gaps are not there when the rear door is in place so it won’t bother them. It only bothers me when I take the door off and the bees have a go at me. Even if they fix it I’ll have to break it regularly when I take the flow frames out to inspect.

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It may be easy to cut a small rebate where the aluminium is sitting on the gap side edge. Just mark where the strip is sitting, then remove the strip and with a sharp saw make small cuts where the strip would sit. Then chip out those cuts with a chisel or screwdriver. The strip when fitted should then close the gap.

Hiya Honeyeater, if you’re planning to sell I’m happy to take them as is for the right price. :wink:

Hi mate plan is to build a couple of horizontal hives first then transfer the bees into those and sell them. I’ll PM you anyway.

Just an afterthought, measure the width of the aluminum strip and the width of the internal measurement of the box and slip along to Bunning’s and buy what you need. They sell it in 1 meter lengths so you will have enough to use a couple of lengths together to make the height you need. I would use exterior Aquadhere and glue in place on top of the existing strip. You will need to sand the bottom edge of the door by the same amount.
Cheers

I’d look to use a strip of 3mm plywood secured to the aluminium strip. You’ll also need to modify the cover by the same amount so that it will go in too.