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Space between the bottom of the Flow frames and the metal strip

When I put my hive together the Flowframes fitted well and there was no space beneath them and the metal strip below them. Gradually a space has developed between the frames and the metal strip (about 1/2 cm) and the bees can now get out thru that space. They have propolised some of the gap but not all. It’s winter here and there’s been alot of rain. Does the arcacia wood swell with moisture causing the wood box to become bigger so there’s a gap? Sorry no photo as the bees rush out of that gap when I open the back cover (and they’re angry).

Sorry to say, but yes this is a common occurrence. Mine have never gone as far as yours but they do expand and contract with the weather.
Out of curiosity… how did you finish your hive?

Next time you’re suited up take a pic. Maybe you can fill the gap with something that they have a hard time chewing through? Or maybe you can take the box off and get it to fit together correctly and do more durable water resistant coating or more paint.

Thanks for yr reply. I painted with 4 coats of marine grade varnish. The finish looks great but I wonder if this would have happened with normal paint. I will have to see what happens when summer comes - will the gap disappear? In the meantime I will try softening some burr comb and squashing it in the gap (when I’m fully gowned up! )

Thanks for replying. It’s interesting to hear from the other comment that it’s a common occurrence. When the weather warms up I will gown up, take a photo and try and block the gap.

From experience paint I certainly the best option for the hoop pine boxes both for timber movement and to reflect heat.
The gap will change and more than likely close up enough to stop the bees as the timber dries out in spring.
As Alok mentioned, you could fill the gap for now with something.

If you want to get a photo, just get your smoker going well. Puff plenty of smoke as you open the back cover. That should drive the bees back inside the hive for you.

Hi Maureen,

This issue with the gap increasing seems likely to indicate the absence of the notch in the timber that the metal strip would normally sit in. Do you know if the notch is present or missing?

If this is the cause - you should be able to easily create a notch by chiseling into the ends of the side panels, this will prevent any further movement.

Alternatively, feel free to email info@honeyflow.com for further support - a couple of photos would be really handy.

I noticed you also mentioned using marine grade varnish. While this sounds like a sensible choice and you’ve obviously taken some real care with protecting your hive by adding four layers, I am a bit concerned that marine grade varnish can have a tendency to cause condensation and swelling or deterioration of the timber, as it doesn’t breath very well. Did you leave the inside natural? If so, this will help somewhat - however, MGV is still not ideal. It’s up to you - but you may wish to sand it back and try a decent outdoor house paint, which is what we recommend for the Araucaria timber (two coats, outside only aside from the roof which can be painted inside and out). Again, please do pop us through an email if you’d like any further advice or assistance.

Hope your bees are thriving and not too bothered by all the rain :slight_smile:

Many thanks for your thorough reply (I missed yr response). I finally got my gear on and opened up the back of the Flowhive and plugged the gap between the bottom of the Flowhive supers and the metal strip with some softened [quote=“Freebee2, post:8, topic:30906, full:true”]
Hi Maureen,

This issue with the gap increasing seems likely to indicate the absence of the notch in the timber that the metal strip would normally sit in. Do you know if the notch is present or missing?

If this is the cause - you should be able to easily create a notch by chiseling into the ends of the side panels, this will prevent any further movement.

Alternatively, feel free to email info@honeyflow.com for further support - a couple of photos would be really handy.

I noticed you also mentioned using marine grade varnish. While this sounds like a sensible choice and you’ve obviously taken some real care with protecting your hive by adding four layers, I am a bit concerned that marine grade varnish can have a tendency to cause condensation and swelling or deterioration of the timber, as it doesn’t breath very well. Did you leave the inside natural? If so, this will help somewhat - however, MGV is still not ideal. It’s up to you - but you may wish to sand it back and try a decent outdoor house paint, which is what we recommend for the Araucaria timber (two coats, outside only aside from the roof which can be painted inside and out). Again, please do pop us through an email if you’d like any further advice or assistance.

Hope your bees are thriving and not too bothered by all the rain :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies. I finally gowned up, opened the back window and pushed some softened wax into the gap. See photo.

I will see if the space shrinks back in summer as the wood dries out. I was aware that Flowhive advise painting pine wood with exterior paint and knew I was taking a risk using MGV.