Frequently Asked Questions

How to Reset a Flow Frame viewed 39,855 times

It is important that you reset your Flow Frames before adding them to your hive to ensure that they are in the correct position for optimal honey storage.

It is not uncommon for a few cells to move out of alignment after being transported, which can be difficult to spot – this simple frame resetting process will allow you to add your Flow Frames to your hive with confidence.

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How do I care for my bee suit? viewed 30,022 times

When the weather warms up, it's time to tend to your apiaries and check over all your beekeeping equipment.

Aside from ensuring you have the best hive equipment, it's also essential that you have all the appropriate safety gear which will assist in making your beekeeping season a great one, and a safe one.

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Flow Hive Hybrid / colony maintenance viewed 17,023 times

The Flow Hive Hybrid incorporates both Flow Frames and traditional timber frames in the Flow Super. This gives beekeepers the opportunity to experience the ease of harvesting with Flow and the advantage of being able to manage their colony by rotating traditional timber frames between the brood box and the super.

This can be beneficial for keeping your worker population strong and can also help with winter preparations or encouraging the bees into the super for quicker uptake.

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Leaking roof viewed 19,378 times

It’s important to ensure that your Flow Hive roof is weatherproof to keep your colony safe and dry.

If the roof of your Flow Hive is leaking consider the following treatments:

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Flow Hive brood frames viewed 47,365 times

The traditional timber brood frames that are supplied with our Flow Hives can be used in 4 different ways:

1. Foundationless frames

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Wintering your Flow Hive viewed 125,999 times

We cannot emphasise enough that it is best to consult local beekeepers on this topic as advice will vary greatly depending on local conditions. If there is a bee club near you, we encourage you to join it or find a local mentor who can offer you support.

Wintering preparations will be based around the needs resulting from your local climate – in areas that have mild winters with winter forage, considerations will be far fewer than for areas which experience freezing conditions.

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How long do the Flow Frames last? viewed 18,978 times

Flow Frames have been tested in the field for over a decade with great success, and have been found to be durable and long lasting when used in the manner for which they are intended.

Manufactured from the highest quality BPA and BPS free plastic, all of our products come with a 12-month product guarantee and all of our trial frames are still going strong after many years of use.

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How do I stop the bees getting to the honey while it’s draining out of the Flow Hive? viewed 34,066 times

We have found we can usually harvest the honey without the bees noticing us at the back of the hive. Nevertheless, it is best to cover the jars with flywire or plastic wrap, or better still, make a closed system. This can be achieved by simply making a hole in the lid of a jar for a tube to go into. Just make sure that there is a little bit of space for air to get in, otherwise it can cause the honey to back-up in the honey trough.

If you are harvesting several frames at once using a larger container, you can make holes through the lid for each tube.

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Are the Flow Frames made from BPA free plastic? viewed 117,897 times

Our Flow Frames are manufactured from the very best food grade materials.

The clear viewing ends of the frames, as well as the honey tube and caps, are made from a virgin food grade copolyester. The manufacturers have assured us that it's not only BPA-free, but it is not manufactured with bisphenol-S or any other bisphenol compounds.

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Small hive beetle (SHB) and Flow - Can they enter and is there a need for maintenance? viewed 24,624 times

Small hive beetle is a common pest and can become a serious problem for weak or establishing colonies. We have designed the Flow Frames and Flow Hive with beetles in mind.

Beetles cannot get into the honey trough or frame movement mechanism. Unlike other plastic frames we have made sure there are no spaces created to harbour beetles.

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Crystallised honey & Flow Frames viewed 67,455 times

If honey has crystallised in the Flow Frames, you have two options:

  1. Wait for the bees to remove it: Attempting to harvest the honey will have disturbed the comb a little. The bees will likely remove the crystallised honey to repair the comb.

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Do I need to clean the Flow Frames? viewed 29,500 times


We haven't found the Flow Comb needs cleaning if it stays in the hive – the bees do a great job of keeping it clean.

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Do I need a special hive tool to pull out the Flow Frames to inspect them for disease? viewed 21,132 times

The Flow Frames are designed so that they can be removed in the same way as regular frames using a standard hive tool.

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Can the honey channels get blocked? viewed 22,355 times

When the Flow Frame is operated the hexagonal honeycomb cells split forming vertical, zig-zag channels which the honey flows down to the large honey trough at the base of the frame.

The zigzag channels are sometimes blocked by a bee or by pollen. In bench tests we have found that the honey will flow around these blockages usually returning to the zigzag channel and down into the honey trough.

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What can I do if I get drone brood in the Flow Frames? viewed 31,893 times

We recommend that you put a queen excluder on the hive and wait for the drones to hatch before harvesting. Make sure the queen is underneath the excluder in the brood box before replacing the Flow Super.

See also our 'Do I need a queen excluder?' FAQ.

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Flow Frame sterilisation / irradiation / disease control viewed 22,576 times

Under normal conditions, it is not necessary to clean your Flow Frames (click here for information on routine cleaning and storage of Flow Frames).

In some jurisdictions cleaning may be necessary prior to sterilisation as a means of disease control—please contact your local department of primary industries for region-specific advice.

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Can I order spare parts? viewed 35,477 times

We do offer a range of spare parts for sale on our international store here, our Australian store here and our European store here.

If you do happen to need a spare part for your existing order which isn't listed, please contact us using our contact form.

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What paint or varnish is safe to coat my Flow Hive with? viewed 100,487 times

Many beekeepers use oils such as tung or linseed oil, however, we have found when finishing with oils in wet climates, that mildew (black mould) can grow on the surface of your hive. While this will not affect the structural integrity of your hive and should not have any impact on your bees, this may not be the look you were anticipating.

It can be a challenge keeping wood outdoors looking like new, especially in wetter climates. If you wish for your hive to stay mould free and to maintain the natural timber look for as long as possible, we suggest you go to your local paint store and ask for a finish that will last outdoors.

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Ants attracted to Flow Frames viewed 18,625 times

Clean up any spilt honey after harvest with warm water.

Remove the honey trough cap and, if necessary, clean the leak-back gap with a thin tool such as a kitchen skewer or wire to allow honey to drain back into hive.

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