Roof not forming good seal on top tray

Have just noticed lots of robbing going on and can see bees climbing up through a gap on one side of the roof. It appears the roof does not form a perfect seal over either the brood box or the top tray. Has anyone else got this problem? Do I have a faulty flow hive? Thanks.

Hi Anthony. Does the roof sit flat if you took it off and sat it on a flat surface, or does it rock from side to side as if warped?

do you have the cedar or the hoop pine version? Also- are you sure you are putting the roof on the correct way around with the little cut out section at the rear where you remove the small panel where the flow key goes? Also are you making sure when you put the roof on that it is going over the inner cover? the way I do it is I stand at the rear of the hive and lower down the front edge of the roof over the inner cover then lower the rest of the roof down.

Finally is your inner cover sitting flat on the box below it- or is it warped?

Hi Dan,

After removing the roof and comparing it to the instructions it turns out there were no side rails in the package with my flow hive. That’s why there is a gap running along both sides. I have just made up a couple of rails using some pine I had lying around but I fear it’s too late and the damage is done. The hive has been decimated by both robbing bees and wasps. I might have to start all over again in Spring if that is the case.



sorry to hear of that- I am sure if you email flow they will send out the necessary parts.

I’m left wondering how on Earth you got the roof together without the side rails? And even without them I assume you must have left the hole in the inner cover unblocked/screened? That hole is not intended to be left open- you don’t want the bess accessing the roof area. The hole is their for ventilation and/or feeding. If you want to use it for ventilation it should be covered with screen mesh- if not you can cover it with a tile or piece of wood, etc.

The hole was blocked when the new queen and nuc were put in but uncovered later for ventilation. I was told to do that by flow hive themselves. It appears the side rails are meant to have a step to them but they were not included in my package. In fact my instructions are different to the new ones I downloaded so it must be a modification flow hive made due to the original fault. Shame they never felt the need to inform me of the error in the first place!

if flow say to leave that hole uncovered- that’s surely a mistake- the hole should either be blocked completely- or covered in mesh. Otherwise bees will build comb in the roof cavity which you don’t want. They should probably ship a small piece of mesh…

also I am not sure- but I don’t think that design changed- I have assembled original flow cedar hives- and then the later hoop pine ones and from memory nothing changed? The side rails were always stepped and angled to meet the roof and the end parts?

So far they’ve not done anything at all in the roof space with the hole uncovered. My beekeeper also told me to leave the hole uncovered for ventilation.

they may have done nothing yet but they will given time. It’s fine to leave it open for ventilation (if you want top ventilation) but put some flyscreen or similar over it.

Thanks, will do. I’m curious why no one from flow hive recommends this?

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Hi Anthony - flow will send rails to you in a situation like this I would have thought. Sorry I’m confused about how the instructions vary and what you mean by the original fault?
Ventilation opinions vary widely amongst beekeepers. For instance I found my bees entirely propolised the flyscreen I used so I abandoned it in any case.
Edit: I block the hole now with a piece of wood. That was the recommendation from Flow in their pamphlet. It is a hole for a top feeder.

Hi Anthony,
I don’t cover the hole in the inner cover. I find if the bees build in the roof space or crowd up there, they need more space. Once they have more space downstairs, they leave the attic alone. One time I found beautiful honey comb up there, yumm. Took a brood frame out and harvested a couple of flow frames and they never went up there again. It’s a way of communicating.

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It’s your choice but I’ve always covered my crownboard hole with fine screen. That way wax moths can’t sneak in thru the top or anything else unwanted.

Adding couple pix’s of one of my crown board.

. Not had issues of any of my three peaked roof colonies up in the attic.

Now time for sleep here (good luck),