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Is my super missing shims?

I was about to paint a couple of supers I have to be ready, but just realised that one of them doesn’t have the four pieces of shims in the corners like the other.

Does anyone else have Flow hive boxes with extra wide gaps like this?

@Freebee2 will be able to assist.

Yeah, it’s Friday, and probably closed for the weekend, so I thought I ask here. If they are needed I may have to fix some popsicle sticks in the corners.

I thought after going to computer cutting the issue bad fitting joints was over but it seems not to be the case. It smacks of poor quality control in my opinion.
If Flow won’t come to the party with a good fitting box maybe an option over popsicle sticks would to fill the joint with ‘No more Gaps’ or an epoxy.
The issue is not that you are missing shims, it is poor manufacturing.

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Hi Peter, I think our friend @Zzz is in fact missing shims, and there is poor quality control of manufacturing.

I can see two issues: there should be four thin pieces of wood, “shims”, in each inside corner, these are to keep the flow frames in the correct position inside the super, and bees won’t come out from the back when harvesting.

Popsicle sticks might not be thick enough, though they might work. If @zzz has access to a table saw, he can cut four thin pieces of wood at the correct thickness.

The finger joints are also of very poor fit. There shouldn’t be any gaps at all.

I also had similar issues with mine, and to fix I had to fill as deep as possible otherwise it will crack, and water sets in, causing rot. No more gaps is a good option. I used two-pack builders’ bog and worked the compound with a blade as deep as I could. It was quite time consuming to fix properly, and I was disappointed.

I think for an Australian made product quality should be better controlled.

Yeah I had the shim issue also, I used a thin strip of aluminium bar to fill the gap, to stop the bees coming out the back.

I didn’t notice the vertical shims missing to pack the frames tight together, I was sort of taken back by the poor fitting joints, sorry about that. A double fail with ill fitting box joints and an incomplete hive kit sent to you. Pretty poor for an Aussie made product in my opinion.

Hi @Zzz

Could you please PM me with your order number and your name and email address so we can resolve this for you.



Ok thanks all, looks like I’m not alone with these issues.

Today I put the flow frames in, and they fit very loose in this super, the shims are needed.

I don’t have any aluminium strips, but I know someone with a table saw as suggested, and will go today and get it sorted. I think that is the easiest and quickest.

The poor fitting joins are a bummer, but I can’t wait for a replacement. I just have to fill them up and hope for the best.

Flow please note, these issues don’t match the price :frowning:

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Hi mate, Flow has an excellent record for customer service and will require the batch number to rectify any on going issues.
Yes there have been issues, which isn’t great, but generally you only hear the bad. (When I’m right No one remembers, when I’m wrong no one forgets.)
I understand you’re hoping to get the super prepared, but Australian consumer law states that they must have an opportunity to rectify the issue in a fair and reasonable time period which I’m sure they will.
It’s a shame Flow doesn’t keep spare parts here in WA, and elsewhere, to speed up this kind of issue @Freebee2

I used the wooden starter strips provided in the kit when I converted a hybrid to a full Flow.


Those gaps are expansion gaps :crazy_face:

Better than a tight fit which may cause it to crack down the track…

Unfortunately there’s so many variables with manufacturing wooden products. Temp, humidity, moisture content…

Fortunately, flow have exception customer service.

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If they allow for that much expansion, you might find your 8-frame hive have become a 10-frame after some rain. Not bad. Just keep a stockpile of some extra frames Fred : )

I can vouch for that and my experience with Flow has been exceptional. They reply to emails promptly, and rectify issues in a reasonable and timely manner.

Having said that, there is room for improvement in their manufacturing. They are now five years old and should have ironed out most niggles.

I bought three Flow hives and all three had issues that had to be rectified. One time, the replacement was also defective. To their credit, unlike other businesses, they do not shy away from admitting that the products were faulty. Still, it can get frustrating and time consuming to sort the issues out.

If I had to review them, I will give them 4 out of 5 stars, and I think that they are a truly great company.


Thanks all. I found a plastic “tongue” which is a strip of plastic used in wood flooring to join boards, and seems to be the right thickness, so I’ll use that as shims.

@fffffred, I’m pretty sure those are not expansion gaps mate, I assume you were pulling my leg : :rofl: They are very random.

To be fair to Flow, they do have a good customer service, and they did replace some roof parts in the past. But I also have a dodgy bottom board which didn’t get replaced, and some other bits, which I fixed myself. Sometimes it is easier.

I really like their product a lot, but I think it is fair to say they need to pay a closer attention to manufacturing. I buy my Langstroth wooden ware from a guy in Claremont, made from NZ pine, and they have really neat tight joins. Or from Guilfoyle but more expensive, they’re also good. And so should Flow’s, especially for the price.

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I’m probably talking to the the wise but remember the adjusting screw at the back top of the frame to adjust its position in the box in a forward/aft position.
I also agree the gaps are not for expansion of the timber, if that was the case there would be an equal gap on every joint.
The plastic strip idea is a good result in thinking the problem out.
It is super frustrating when you buy something and expect it to fit together with no issues and you want to put it to use straight away. But life is not always kind, eh?


Speaking of shims make sure you fix them flush to the top and bottom edges of the super.

One of my Flow hive supers came with the shims protruding about 2mm from the top. When the inner cover is on, this left a gap all around wasting a lot of the bees energy to propolise. An experienced beekeeper would have picked that up, but as a beginner I didn’t at the time. This is a defect one would expect from a hive made in China not Australia.

I do love the Flow hive but for me it is just another company, not a cult.

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Thanks for the heads up. I fixed the four plastic shims in each corner, to find that the frames fit snuggly on one side, but too tight on the other end. Then measured the box and for some reason, it is 2mm narrower at one end. Grrrrr…

Fortunately I know someone close by with a table saw, and managed to get four pieces of wooden strips and now the frames fit right.

Hi @Zzz

We would love to assist you with the issues you are experiencing. Unfortunately you have not responded to my invitation to contact us with your email address or order number, which makes it very difficult to investigate what has gone wrong and assist with your query.

Without being able to access your account I don’t know if you have a hive from current stock, from an old batch, from discounted ‘scratch and dent’ stock, or from a cheap fake.

I did try to investigate further for you based on the email you signed up to the forum with, but we don’t appear to have an account under that email address.

We want all of our customers to be completely happy with their hives - and again - we would love to assist you - so if you are willing to accept our assistance in resolving the issue please PM me with your order number (if you still have it) or the email address you would have used to place the order so we can help.

Many thanks

I think Zzz had a problem, he asked for advice, advice was duly given, and he was resourceful to fix his little problems in the limited time he may have had available.

Sometimes life just goes on. It is always good to know that Flow are there to help when needed - not that I had any doubt.

I do agree with this comment though, because sometimes with beekeeping things cannot wait for delivery.:

I think from his other posts, @Zzz is now more concerned about his worsening reactions to bee stings… and that his posts got deleted on another thread :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the feedback @skeggley and @Wandjina. Usually we can get the spares across fairly quickly, as long as we have the necessary part in stock. It would be great to have spares close handy to all customers who might need them. However, as a global company this is logistically difficult. Currently we keep the spares in the same warehouses as we keep the hives. We have been investigating options for our customers in WA in particular though, as it’s crazy to us that you guys are in the same country yet it can be faster to get something shipped overseas than to outback WA. The hives are more of a concern though - small items that can be posted are usually not so problematic.

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