Waxing flow frames

This is today’s newbie’s silly question but can not find an answer. A kind person recently made me a present of a Flow Hive., The probable source was SE Asia. Should I be waxing the frames with a thin layer of wax, using a paint roller? As this is my first hive keep it simple please.
Cheers, Mac

I just mushed a bit of bur comb onto the centre of the frames. Check out the video posted here:

John in all likelihood then it isn’t a geniune flow hive containing flow frames. Just be aware that it comes with some risks and likely not work as well as the Aussie patented flow frames.

I just rubbed some hard wax on my flow frames, it sort of flakes off like a grater and that was enough to get them going.

Others heat some wax and use a roller or paint brush to go lightly over the cells. You don’t need a lot and in fact if you get to many you may lose some storage space for nectar and honey.

Good luck.

You are in part quite correct. The Flow Frames were purchased separately from the hive. I have checked with an Australian equipment supplier and sent them photo’s of using the key to break the cells. They seemed to think that the frames would work as intended.

Having said that I will certainly give the frames a light waxing. The nuc only went into the brood box today so I will wax tomorrow. If it works this will make my life as a wheelchair Beek a whole lot easier.

Many thanks, Adam
Cheers, Mac

PS: My bee mentor has not used Flow Frames hence my reason for asking here.

There’s no rush to super your brood box. They need to be almost bursting at the seams before you add a super. Given our recent rains and forecast sunny days, this might happen sooner than you anticipate.

Are you able to share the photos you mention?


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I think so Fred. Having a few problems moving photo’s between PC and iPhone 6 at the moment. It is a problem that I need to solve so will give it a go tomorrow.

Cheers, Mac


Hi John,

I use the heat and paint method as I believe that it gives the bees a head start on filling in the gaps between the moving parts. I ensure that the back of every cell has been filled sufficiently with wax to close the gap.

I am in the unique position of having a camera inside one of my hives to observe the girls working undisturbed.

In the zoomed shot below, you can see the difference in colour between the wax and the plastic cell (horizontal line) on the back wall of the cells. The girls take the excess wax from the bottom, clean the plastic and coat it with a thicker wax layer filling the side gaps as they move toward the outside. You cannot see a differential between the side joints and the wax due to the depth of wax they apply.

I sometimes spend a significant amount of time remotely observing bee activity on the frames.

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I have found the best results in getting the bees working fastest by using a $2 junk paint brush and painting melted wax over all of the cells on every frame. that way the smell of fresh wax will get the bees interested in sealing up the gaps in the cells so much quicker. I also tried rubbing on bur comb which was about 4 weeks faster than a ‘clean’ Flow Frame but not as fast as freshly melted wax.
Don’t rush into fitting the super on to early which is a common mistake by beginners, that can actually set the hive backwards as the bees do much better in ‘high density living’.


Very many thanks gentlemen for your good advice. Off to Bunnings to procure a cheap brush/roller in a few minutes. I have done the wax melt part but may need to repeat depending on how long it takes to solidify which is what I am trying to discover at the moment.

At the moment our new girls seem very happy and are clearly busy already. I shall report back soon.

I guess by now you have found will change back to a solid very quickly. I just melt mine enough that I can dip a brush into it and quickly work the brush over the comb, it might sound like a difficult job to do but it is easy to do, just keep the heat down enough to just melt the wax.
Cheers John.