Why do flow frames come with loose wires?

This annoys me no end.

I have a total of 18 Flow frames. All authentic Flow stuff, not copies, not Chinese, and expensive as everyone knows.

Why, all of them without exception, came straight from the factory with loose wires that had to be tensioned to some degree or another. Every. Single. One.

Why - is there a good reason for this? I already had honey leaking from a few frames because I was not aware of this tensioning thing. Is this just sloppy quality control?

It is like buying a Rolls Royce, then you have to inflate the tires yourself. It is so annoying, especially if you realise you have to tension the wires after the bees started filling.


If Flowhive could only consider a simple ‘turnbuckle’. It would solve the problem.

If they do in the future then please don’t leave all of us who have bought FlowSupers in the lurch. Offer it to us at a discount!!

1 Like

I also have this problem and all of my flow frames had to be tensioned between one to three turns, and I too, had leaking frames because I wasn’t aware I had to tension them. Killed a lot of bees, and am lucky I didn’t drown the queen in honey in the peak of a flow.

At one point I thought maybe they leave them loose to allow for different temperatures in different countries, but that doesn’t make sense, because hives are after all a pretty constant temperature worldwide.

Tensioning the wires is probably the thing I hate doing most, because I always think I’m going to break the frame, and although I haven’t stuffed up one yet, I did badly scratch a few of them.

I think the people that assemble the frames cut corners, and just find it easier to put on the wires loose, then it is up to the customer to put right.

BTW, my Rolls Royce came with self inflating tyres :upside_down_face:


:rofl: You smart a…, you didn’t buy it from Flow! :rofl:

My flow frames are new, have not used them yet.
But mine had the same problem, had to tighten all 6 frames.
Lucky I was made aware of this before I use the flow frames.
I agree with Romeoc, surely there should be a device to tighten or loosen the wires,
It certainly was not an easy job to tighten the wires, I was afraid that I was either going to break the wires or the flow frame.
I think this is a problem to all new beeks unless they are aware of this.
I hope FlowHive can do something about it.

1 Like

The tension on the wires of the 15 I have did not need any change. They worked perfectly.


To answer your question “Is this just sloppy quality control?”. The answer would have to be “yes”. I’m sure the problem will be rectified asap. I hope not too many heads roll.

Hi All,

Sorry you’ve had some trouble with re-tensioning the wires - it should normally be pretty straight forward.

Here is a video manual that might help to make it a less onerous task for you in future :slight_smile: https://www.honeyflow.com/resources/starting-with-flow/flow-hive-manual-assembly/bent-mis-aligned-flow-frame-re-assembly-guides/p/433

I’ll mention the suggestion of a turnbuckle or similar too - thank you so much for that feedback.

1 Like

Hi everyone, Free just let me know about this thread,

We would like to look into this further, but it is tricky to determine just how loose the cables were that you are referring to.

It is quite normal to be able to fit your finger tip underneath a cable, the wax the bees put in place along the top of the Flow Frames and underneath the Flow Frames is sufficient to ensure the Flow Frames hold their structure. The Cable on the Flow Frames should not be loose enough, that it is easy to separate cells with minimal force simply by pulling on both ends of the Flow Frame at the same time.

The best way to minimise leaking while monitoring the situation is harvesting in portions, inserting the Flow key just a quarter of the way in, opening and draining this portion, monitor if any leaking occurred, and repeat the process for each quarter. If leaking is noticed while the quarter is being harvested, remove the Flow Frame to compare harvested cells with full cells in the same Flow Frame, email us at info@honeyflow.com. As you are regulating the amount of honey that is in the honey trough, bottlenecking is not possible and the time it takes to harvest is actually around the same as if you were to open the Flow Frame in full.

Cable lengths have changed with different batches.



Hi Kieran, I think this is a separate issue. I suggested in another thread that it would be a good idea if the Flow keys are marked with indents as a reminder. I marked mine with a permanent marker.

I had a total of four sets of Flow frames (two I bought direct from you, and two I bought unused from other customers). I noticed something wrong on the first set because they sagged badly when they were full. It took me a long time to understand the problem.

I found that each set of flow frames needed the same amount of twists to get right, between one and three twists each frame in my case. The last set was only bought a few months ago, and the first set was the original from your 2015 campaign. So the issue is ongoing I think.

I only ever had to tighten the wires on top, the bottom ones all seem to be correct.

Ideally, they will come with the correct wire tension, but it is also important to insert a flyer or something so people will check the tension as soon as they open the box, and before they use them.

The main concern with loose cables is the separation of cells, that could lead to leaking.

it would be very helpful if you could send through pictures of this to faults@honeyflow.com.

Were these the ones purchased from another customer? It is really tricky to find when these may have been purchased, but through further discussion, we can identify if they too are an older set that has simply gone unused till you received them.

I think it would really be best to discuss in private as it would be helpful for reporting to have your details, using the email address linked to your Forum Account I have not been able to locate any orders, and you do not have your full name listed.

I wonder if they all have the same amount of twists at the bottom?

Checks are carried out during assembly, I will discuss this further with our product manager, as it honestly is not an issue that has come up frequently, carrying out preemptive wire tension might not ultimately be necessary, but I can completely understand your precaution.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies from the Flow team.

The issue seems to be more widespread, judging by the results of searching wire tensioning in this forum. I don’t think this is just me being fussy with the issue.

Going by this quote:

"carrying out preemptive wire tension might not ultimately be necessary"
I’m wondering whether the tensioning is needed at all then. On all of my frames, the 18 of them, I could either slide a finger easily under the wires, and on many of them, I could slide two fingers.

Now they are all tensioned to what I think is the right amount of tension, and I can only slide a pencil under the wires. Is this too much then?

I just don’t want to have any problems with leaking honey or sagging frames etc.

Still, if I’m paying for the original product, I expect the frames to come ready for use from the factory.

On all of my frames, the 18 of them, I could either slide a finger easily under the wires, and on many of them, I could slide two fingers.

If you can slide one finger under the wire (and have reasonably average sized fingers) then the tension is about right. Any tighter and you risk the cable putting undue pressure on the frames or warping over time. However, two fingers worth of room is starting to get a little loose, and on those frames the wires could likely do with an extra twist.

The frames generally leave the factory ready for use - however they can occasionally move about en route or while in storage. In these cases a simple twist may be needed for some frames.

1 Like

Finger tip, or whole finger?

I did mine, Kieran’s way. Those that I could slide just one finger under the wire, I could easily ‘sag’ if I put some pressure on the top in the middle. A full frame will take 3kg so I want to make sure it won’t sag when full.

I hope I didn’t over tighten mine then (sliding a pencil).

I can’t see how the wires can become loose in storage or in transport.

I hope I didn’t over tighten mine then (sliding a pencil).

That should be fine :slight_smile:

I can’t see how the wires can become loose in storage or in transport.

The frame is made up of several individual blades that can move about if there is any bumping about or rough handling in transit and this can in turn affect the tension of the wires. They are pretty securely packed, and as you’d expect, often they’re fine with being moved about, but occasionally a little tightening will be needed :slightly_smiling_face:

I have just recently bought my first flowhive, I became aware of the wire tension (though not from this forum), and checked the top wires using a pencil, the pencil fitted firmly under the top wire of all 6 frames. So I’m pleased to say this isn’t a problem for me, and that maybe the problem mentioned here has been dealt with. Though no built in tensioning device has been added to enable future tensioning of the wires.