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How to safely remove flow frames for inspection?


#1

Hi All, Very new flow user here. The other day, before adding the Flow super to the flow hive, I tried to get the frames out just to make sure everything was running smoothly, but the “make sure frames fit tightly in the box” part might have been overdone… I couldn’t take one out, my fingers don’t fit to grab a frame, and I didn’t want to force it too much with the hive tool, for fear of breaking something. Has anyone have experience with this, and how did you guys get around it? Thanks!!


#2

This is the problem when too many frames are put into a hive.

What size box are you using? How many Frames and Flow Frames are in the Box?

Picture would be useful


#3

Thanks @Valli, it’s a Flow super with 6 flow frames. I will take a picture next time I am at the site.


#4

That are fairly tight but they should come out OK. Just lift an end one out then Move the others as you need to like normal frames. I’m assuming you are looking to see how full they are?

If you find it difficult you could always take one out - on the end oppersit the window and put a plain frame in


#5

Bees will propilise the frames, boxes and whatever else they can stick it to. You could by yourself a Frame Gripper to help you get the frames out. I have thick finger and I use one all the time. It doesn’t get in the way and you have less chance of squishing a bee than you might with your fingers. Plus they help wit examination as you can turn the frame around to see both sides without setting frame down. They cost about $8.00 to $12.00 depending on you buy them from.


#6

I just looked at that and the frame gripper I purchased fits a normal frame great but the flow frames are too wide and I dare say not rugged enough even if the gripper did fit over to extract them.


#7

I hear what your saying. My flows just arrived and got them in the super before you could draw breath. Then I tried to take one out and yes it is not easy.

My technique now is to pry the back (the open end where the honey is collected) of the frame, where it sits on the ledge up with the flat edge of the hive tool. You can get it up about 2 cm (3/4") quite easily then grab the front of the frame and slowly oscillating the hive tool the front comes up quite easily.
Now I am not sure how this will go once the frames have been modified by the bees.


#8

I should have read your question better. I didn’t realize it was about the Flow Frame. I might have to check that myself. I don’t think I’ll be using a metal gripper on a plastic product being that it could snap some plastic off and I wouldn’t want that to happen. Anyway, Mine will be in a regular Lang boxes so there won’t be away to view them without removing to see how full they are, but I just learned the Flow Team finally has mailed my frames, should be here in the next week. Looking forward to getting them ready for the early honey flow.


#9

A further suggestion which probably won’t go over well with some:

I have used a piece of cord but a narrow piece of ribbon sewn into a ring which just slips over the end and placed between the ledge and frame end like the cord, could be used.

The plan for me is to just do one of the outer frames. First out, last in, with the hive tool prying the other (open) end. After one frame is out all the rest can be moved to get a good grip.

Anyone see a problem with this.


#10

Not a thing wrong with invention and intervention. I got my frames now and have to convert a couple of lang boxes. doesn’t look difficult. I might utilize this but did get a new frame grip and it opens very wide, wider than the flow frame is so it might work as well. Just have to experiment.


#11

I’m sure there is a warranty if one accidentally breaks.


#12

Thanks everyone. I have now very carefully removed on of the frames and tightened the little screw at the back of the frames a little bit, to allow more room between it and the wall of the box. Removing the first one was the hardest part, the others were easy once you give yourself some room.
The trick is, like @busso said, to lift the side of the frame where the flow key goes in with the hive tool, grab hold of it, and gently start lifting the frame until you get to the end.
Finally, the flow frames are being filled with nectar, but it is a bit late in the season here in NZ to anticipate any harvest. Going into Autumn now, I am not sure how is it going to work. Here is a pic that I took the other day: