Frequently Asked Questions
How to Reset a Flow Frame
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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.
What pests and diseases do I need to lookout for?
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There’s a ton of information on beekeeping in books and online. It’s often said that if you ask one question of two beekeepers, you’ll get three answers!
No one person has all the answers, so it’s best to read widely. You might find that our Pests & Diseases fact sheets offer a good starting point.
Managing cross comb
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The most important part of foundationless beekeeping is getting the bees to build straight combs. Once you remove the foundations, there’s nothing stopping the bees from building in any direction they please. It’s not uncommon for the bees to build across multiple frames if you give them the chance. The result is that you will have a very hard time pulling up frames without destroying comb and angering your bees.
The best way to handle cross-combs is to avoid them in the first place with comb guides, pressing all the frames together tightly into the middle of the box, and by performing regular inspections as the comb is being built out – this way you can correct any cross comb before it becomes an issue.
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As a Flow beekeeper you’ve probably harvested with friends and chances are, after experiencing the excitement of honey flowing from the hive straight into a jar, they fancied the idea of owning a Flow Hive themselves… So how can you help?
Our Refer-A-Friend program offers $50 off your friend's first purchase of a Flow Hive, Flow Super or Flow Frames and as a thank you for sharing the love, you’ll receive a sweet $50 reward!
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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:
- Flow Hive brood frames viewed 46,592 times
Why aren't my bees filling the Flow Frames?
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The two main things we have found that increase the rate at which bees fill the Flow Frames for the first time are:
Leaking honey from my Flow Hive
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It's not uncommon to have a small amount of honey leaking from your frames inside the hive whilst harvesting. The majority of the time this is not a problem as the bees will mop up the excess honey even if it reaches the bottom of the hive.
The amount of honey leakage that occurs will depend on the way the bees have capped the cells and also how you set up your hive for harvest.
My hive has different coloured woods, is it made entirely of western red cedar?
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Western red cedar is a beautiful timber with a remarkably fine and stable grain structure. With unique fine grain characteristics that minimises shrinkage and swelling, along with being a hard-wearing softwood, it’s a popular choice for bee hives around the world due to its durability.
The colour variation of the grain is cedar's most distinguishing feature and makes it highly sought after as a material for feature joinery. Visually, western red cedar is favoured for its rich and inviting colours. The colour ranges from a yellowish-white, to pale-brown, through to a richer dark-brown. It has a fine texture and straight grain, with growth rings often visible.
Minor repairs & complete Flow Frame re-assembly
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At Flow, we have aimed to design and create products that are enduring and that can be easily maintained.
Beekeeping is such a varied practice, with many beekeepers finding the need to move frames around when cleaning or performing routine maintenance, which can result in Flow Frames needing small adjustments.
Crystallised honey & Flow Frames
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If honey has crystallised in the Flow Frames, you have two options:
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.
Where to locate your Flow Hive
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It is important to consider the location of your new beehive prior to installing your bees. You can’t move a beehive around your paddock, yard or rooftop easily. Bees have highly developed navigational skills which are extremely sensitive to location. If the hive is moved only a small distance, they become confused and will return to the original site. For advice on moving a bee hive once the bees are housed please consult a beekeeping book, the Flow Community Forum on honeyflow.com or your local beekeepers’ association.
There are three important things to consider when selecting a site for your new hive – your bees, your neighbours and yourself.
Cannot fit Flow Frames into Flow Super side by side
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Place each frame into the Flow Super ensuring that it is butted tightly against the adjacent frames. Ensure that the rear end windows sit snugly against each other.
Some boxes will have a packing strip that can be removed or perhaps shaved to make it thinner. A gap less than 2 mm (1/8”) is acceptable. The bees cannot get through this and will gum up the gap over time.
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Cannot remove caps from Flow Frame operating slot or honey trough
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From time to time the Honey Trough Caps and Key Acess Caps can become a little tight or hard to remove. Using pliers to grip the cap and then pull can assist with removing these.
Flow Key is really hard to turn when opening the frame
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The cells of the Flow comb are sealed with beeswax by the bees. Sometimes this wax is particularly tough and the key is really hard to turn.
To make it easier, you can open part of a frame at a time.
Honey not flowing after opening the Flow Frame
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Check that the Flow Key is inserted in the LOWER operating slot. Turn the key 90 degrees to the vertical position. Leave it in this position until honey starts to flow.
Sometimes the wax is particularly tough and the Flow comb takes longer to open. You can leave the key in the vertical position for an hour or more.
Cap doesn’t fit on the Flow Key operation slot
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The cap can only be replaced when the frame is properly reset.
Insert Flow Key in the UPPER operating slot and rotate 90 degrees.
Ants attracted to Flow Frames
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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.