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Resetting the flow frame position


I harvested few of the capped frames and I reset them back with the key. However not the whole frame was reset and ended up looking like that after bees filled it out with honey again.

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Did you put the key in the upper slot 3 times? Left side, center and right. Then turn in each position? If you don’t put the key in exactly the middle, the image you show can happen. If you want to fix it when it is partly filled, just put the key only in the upper slot, then place it at the left, turn, center - turn, and finally right and turn. That will align the last few cells without breaking those already sealed and filled. Good luck!


Hi Bass,

Normally turning the handle a couple of times back and forth in the upper slot when closing, is enough to move all the leaves and close all the cells.

Please feel free to contact us directly here so we can assist you with this issue: http://www.honeyflow.com/contact/p/3

Some questions to help troubleshoot this:

Was this the first time this frame has been harvested?
Have you tried any more frames to see if the same issue occurs?
Was the key turned in the frame any other time other than harvest?

I haven’t had this issue myself, so If you don’t mind, before disassembling the frame, can you try these ideas to help free the stuck leaves (the moving part) and see what works? Once freed, i’m really interested to see if it happens on your next harvest with the same frames.

  1. Put the key in the top slot and turn it again and see if the cells return. If the frame is still in the hive you can look down the slots where the key goes and see if all the leaves have moved down. (note if the cells have been open for more than a day in the hive, the bees will start to really gum them up with propolis and wax, which is likely to make it harder to get them moving freely again)

  2. If the leaves still haven’t moved down, try putting the key in the top slot once more, turning it 90 degrees to put the pressure on, and leave it there for a number of hours and see if the cells then return.

  3. If the leaves don’t move try opening and closing repeatedly using the upper and lower slot. Note, if you have opened any cells with honey in them, you will need to leave them open for half an hour and harvest the honey.

  4. If the leaves are still stuck. Remove the frame from the hive and try and get the cells moving by using an implement such as a kitchen fork. To do this, put the key in the top slot and turn 90 degrees so the pressure is on, then using the fork, try and assist the lowest part of the leaf (bottom cells) to move downwards into cell closure position. The leaves inset from the frame face are the leaves that move. Place the fork into the lower 4 cells of the inset leaf and apply some pressure to move each leaf down to cell closed position.

  5. If this still doesn’t work, try bending the section of the frame with the stuck leaves to help crack the propolis/wax.

  6. Failing all of the easier thing to try. You could use heat from hot water or sunlight to melt the wax/propolis.

  7. Disassemble or partially disassemble the frame, clean the stuck parts with hot enough water to wash away the propolis and wax and reassemble.

One more idea I have had is to put the frame in a freezer for a few hours, pull it out and operate it. The propolis/wax becomes brittle and may crack off…

I look forward to your feedback on what helped. Can you please mark the frames to see if when you next harvest, the same issue occurs.




Hello Cedar,
This is the first harvest, I waited to have at least two full frames that showed they were capped, didn’t open the hive when I harvested.
I only tried it with these two frames so far, waiting for the others to fill and get capped before I do collect them. I may actually end up leave the other frames over winter, unless we get a Fall nectar flow.
I only turned the key back after I was done harvesting, but didn’t pull the frame to see how the cells look.I was able to put the cap back on.

I have put the key in the top slot, before checking your response and turned it, it did not move into the proper spot like the other cells due to the capping. But I hope they moved enough that the bees can work them. I’ll have to check again in a few weeks. If they do not move I’ll have to follow the steps you provided.

I’ll keep you posted and thanks again for the response.


I now have three frames in various stages of not being reset. Using a kitchen fork is a pretty tedious, messy and unsatisfactory way of fixing an expensive piece of equipment. It works, but with three frames to go I’m less than happy. This was their first tapping. I’m now worried that after resetting each cell with the fork that they will not open /break next time I want to tap, and then what?? They can’t be opened with a fork.


Hi Robert,

Sorry to hear you are having issues with resetting the Flow Frames. Can you please email customer support so that my manager can look into this issue directly with you.


I was able to get it reset after removing the frames for the winter. With the colder temperatures the wax will break easily. I just made sure the key went all the way in. It was getting stuck at a certain point, but if you make sure that it’s all the way in and then turn it and keep it down for a minute it will reset the rest of the frame.


The critical issue here is that the bees will not go near cells that are not near perfect hexagons. I have reset the frames but not all cells are aligned. Result - bees will not use that frame. I watch through the window. They crawl across the frame, get confused by the non - aligned cells and leave.

These are founding partner frames from >2 years ago. So 2 years in the field and they are unusable - a very unsatisfactory outcome and one that for consumer goods would lead to a product recall.

The newer frames are made of a different plastic and so far they seem easier to work.

Perhaps those with founding partner frames deserve to have them replaced with a decent frame.


Not true. I have founding frames and the newer frames. As an experiment I placed an original between two of the newer ones in a hybrid. In my observation the frames were worked and filled with no discernible difference. Likewise the harvesting of the frames.
Although I’m all for founding members getting free frames… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I too have original frames and reset them carefully before use, bees just adopted them right away, no issues at all


Thanks skeggley. I agree. I have only 3 problem frames and they are all original founding frames. The other 3 work fine and give me no problems, as do the 12 others that I got in the second half of last year and early this year.
But if the reset doesn’t work 100% then it’s not worth having those frames in there.
Not much doubt the newer ones are different plastic and easier to work. What do you think?

Bob Pritchard 0413825552


Have you tried tightening the wires a few twists?


I’ve had some of my frames do something similar to this on the second harvest but was resolved once pulled apart and cleaned. I was unnable to open some of the frame to harvest the honey. It just flexed the plastic without cracking.


I wasn’t aware that the type of plastic was changed since the original frames.
It might be a good idea to pull the frames after harvesting to confirm they have been reset to original position.


The type of plastic remains the same, the cell form thickness has become thinner.


I’m sorry to hear you are having issues with your Flow Frames.

Prototypes that were used by Cedar and Stu have been functional for over 5 years now, so I do not think it is the model type.
Please email customer support with some photos or video so that my colleagues who work in Flow Frames Troubleshooting can help you.
info (at) honeyflow (dot) com