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Installation of Flow frames- Open Or Closed?


How can you tell if your frames are closed? In the manual I have, on page 10 it says to insert the flow key in the UPPER operating slot and turn 90 degrees. When I do this, there is no sense that I am turning anything… as though there is nothing in there to turn. Then it says, “Remove key by twisting it back to horizontal.” This is confusing: if I have just closed something by twisting it 90 degrees, (in an unspecified direction according to the manual) then why would I now twist it BACK to the original position before removing it, thereby undoing what I have just done?

Unfortunately this hive and super were given to me with bees already in them and the giver did not read the manual; I have no idea if the frames are open or closed. Bees are already storing honey in them, so if they are not closed, how do I proceed?


If you turn the key in upper slot, that always closes the cells in the position that bees need for storing honey.

If you turn the key in the lower slot, that opens the cells for harvesting honey.

The way to tell that the frames are closed is by looking at the frame face. If every cell is hexagonal, it is closed. If the cells make a kind of zigzag pattern up and down the frame face, it is open.


Thank you Dawn!

Can you help me to understand, if I turn the key in the upper slot, and nothing turns, in other words, I meet with no resistance, does that mean it is already closed?

Does the Flow Hive company normally send new frames in the OPEN position??


Should be, yes. However, I have turned the key and sometimes not all the cells close. To make sure they do, I turn it 3 times, once in the left, middle and right of the upper slot. That way you can be sure.

They are shipped in the closed position, because the cover on the key slot won’t stay in place otherwise. However, it is possible for them to move during shipping, and at least one of my frames had half the cells open. So it pays to check before putting them onto the hive. :blush:



Dawn has given great info … You can’t go wrong with her notes.

Also. The plastic rectangular caps will NOT into the top slots if the frames are not set in the Opened Mode I believe. Give that a L👀k-see …


Enjoy !



Jerry means CLOSED, as in not set to drain honey. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: If they are in draining mode, the caps don’t fit properly.


Yaaaaah ! Thank You much Dawn. I need all the correction help I can get ! :wink::+1::exclamation:

Ta ta my friend,
Jerry :sunglasses:


Thank you all for your helpfulness!