I have two problems
I put my new flow super on and noticed after a few days the front removable door has warped out of shape dew to moisture inside, The side window has misted up also due to high humidity inside. My other problem after removing the panel to see what was wrong, bees all came out from the gap between the bottom of the flow frames and the metal bottom bar. This gap isn’t narrow enough to stop bees escaping. What have I done wrong?
I have two problems
Hi Steve - I believe Flow has helpful videos on the main site that address adjustments that are sometimes needed to snug up your super so the frames fit properly without any bee sized gaps. To me it sounds like you should check the screws on the lugs at one end and open them out so they are braced against the inside of the box better.
About the moisture problem, you either have a decent leak somewhere or maybe a lot of nectar in & very muggy weather? Did you seal your box with tung oil or anything? Hope you can make some improvements, good luck & let us know how it goes!
Thanks for your reply Eva.
I will continue looking for a video that shows adjustments although so far I cant find how to lower the frames as it is along the bottom edge they are getting out.
Regarding sealing, yes I did seal the outside with oil but not inside as wouldn’t want to do that. My bees are taking in loads of water this year, although it is so dry with very little rain for quite some time now. Not sure if I will be able to get the warped panel back into shape now so not sure what to do.
Sure thing Steve, and maybe post some pics for @Faroe and others who’ll know more than I. Some folks have had to add shims along the openings & I recall reading about that possibility in my Flow manual when putting the super together last year.
I once left my rear window out overnight on the ground accidentally and it swelled up from dew so much that it wouldn’t fit back in again. I left it in the sun for a day and it shrunk back enough that it could fit in again… Another time after a big rain- the window panel on another hive swelled up and it too could not be removed. After a few warm days it shrunk back enough that I could take it out again.
As to the gap at the rear: try adjusting those screws in the lugs until the the panel on the other side is flush with the side of the box. When it is flush with the box it meets the metal strip. When you say the problem is at the bottom edge: it could be that the frame is sitting back in the box enough that the bees can get past the metal strip. With the screws adjusted and each clear pane flush with the rear wall of the hive- the frames should meet that metal strip. If they don’t then there is a problem with you hive box- but like I say- try adjusting the screw first.
As to the moisture: put the coreflute slider in the bottom slot if it isn’t already there. This will give more ventilation. If it is still very moist inside after a few days- you might want to cover the hole on the inner cover with cloth or mesh and leave that open too.
Hi Steve, there are a couple of solutions to relieve the humidity problem.
remove the corflute bottom tray, thus allowing more air circulation
open the entrance right up if you haven’t already done so
place some flyscreen over the hole on the inner cover above the Flow frames, use tape, tacks or staples to pin it down, this will allow the humidity to rise up into the roof space
use coins or matchsticks between the inner cover and the roof to allow the humid air to escape, remove if your weather is too cool or windy
Use the side windows as a way to guage how much humidity is in the hive from performing the above actions. This should only be temporary and you should be able to reset the ventilation once the humid weather has passed. The bees do like to do their own ventilation so let them take care of it after this has passed.
You may need to attach some photos, but Eva is right, your Flow frames are not set right.
This will be an issue for many folks, the problem is the treatment of the timber on only one side. Moisture is absorbed into some timbers like a sponge, it expands one that side and then warps. I recommend to folks living high humid environments that if you treat or seal your boxes then you should seal them on the outside and insides and especially into the joints. Its fine for the bees and honey as long as you give it the proper amount of time to dry.
Hope this helps, let us know how you get on.
Thanks for the advice. I will try the solutions given and come back and let you know how it goes
Sorry to hear you are having some issues with your hive. It looks like you have got some good advice below already.
If that does not resolve your issue with the bees coming out of the gap, you can email some photos and information to our customer service staff, my colleagues will be able to give you some more advice about any problems you are having.
Box has now cracked
Top now bending out
Showing the gap
I am really to a loss of ideas. I have this Flow box on a Poly langstroth hive. I have the entrance fully open. Bottem board vent open but Im getting so much condensation the box is warping and cracking. Im going to have to take it off and get it dried out and possibly sealed inside before trying again.
I will also try and sort the bee space out above the metal bar
Steve, I’d imagine that the wood split in the side inspection widow side (photo 3) would go right through one side to the other. Most worrying is the fact that the frames don’t sit on the metal strip. Id be interested to see a photo of the top of the flow frames where they rest on the wood of the back panel. Do you have a photo of that at all? Is warping lifting them up somehow?
@Dee uses poly hives - I don’t think she uses the type of bottom board that Flow hives come with though. Just curious if the setup has anything to do with these issues…
Here are some photo’s just taken. I have removed the flow hive to dry it out and see whats going on before I put it back on. They sit in perfectly but no way of adjusting to lower to close up bee space along front bottom above metal bar
Showing front top
Showing rear top
Rear top with access panel
Just a quick thought. Did the underside of the Flow super box have a shallow rebate for the strengthening bar? It may that the window is on the wrong side of the box - I almost built one of my boxes that way. If you have the access panel facing you, the window should be on the left side. If it is on the right, that shallow rebate will be at the front (non-access) end of the box, where it can’t do its job of putting the metal bar at the right height.
If there is no rebate on the side walls, you might want to chisel or sand one deep enough to fit that bar snugly and correct the frame height issue.
Hi Dawn. Yes I fitted the bar into the rebate. I don’t want to chisel any deeper as it will leave a gap then between the brood box and super. It seems as though the cut out for the frames to sit in has been cut slightly shallow.
I can see that. Might it be worth measuring the upper frame rebate depth and sending the measurement with a photo to Flow? At least they could give you an idea of whether it is within tolerance. Sorry you are having all of this hassle, it takes some of the excitement out of the beekeeping journey.
I have just found this youtube video and at 1.27 minutes it shows the gap and the same problem as mine although my gap is all along the base. Also I can see condensation but is board or hive hasnt been warped
I had quite a bit of condensation for the first couple weeks. I spent lots of time worrying about it and searching the interwebs for a solution. The side viewing window was where I noticed it the most. In the end, I just did nothing and the bees took care of it.
Warping, however, is a different matter. Sorry - can’t help there.