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Author Topic: Flow Hive leaking water  (Read 549 times)

Offline Honeyeater

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Flow Hive leaking water
« on: June 09, 2020, 02:53:24 am »
Hi. I have a Flow hive that whenever it rains I?m finding water pooling on the Corflute bottom. The roof was leaking water but I fixed it.

When the Corflute slider is in the top slot, any water that finds its way inside will have nowhere to go and adds to condensation.

This is a design fault from what I can see. I told Flow about this but didn?t really answer my question and told me to put silicone on roof gaps.

Short of replacing the bottom board which I can?t do now in winter are there any tips?


Offline Acebird

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 09:13:35 am »
Hives should tip slightly towards the entrance.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 09:31:50 am »
Not Flow Hives and their Bottom Boards.

They tip backwards to help harvesting the Flow frames, but the actual bottom is level. Even if they tip forward, they have a lip that prevents water to pour out.

Was wondering whether there are any Flow hive users here, that use the Flow Classic bottom board and have this problem too.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 06:31:00 pm »
Honeyeater - beautiful picture! I'd like to see one of those birds in real life someday.  :grin:

There are several flow-hive users here. But they are around only sometimes. I'm not one of them. ... if you don't get a response, bump the post in a couple weeks.

Welcome to Beemaster.
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Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 08:03:23 pm »
Thanks Coobees. That's a Western Spinebill, a type of Honeyeater, which I sometimes get in my garden.

I did post my question on the Flow Forum first but a friendly chap there warned me not to expect a lot of community help because of some moderation issues  and members lost faith in the forum.

I also emailed the company and told me to silicone the roof even after I told them I had already done pretty much that. To help me further they want my order number which I do not have because this hive model was bought as new but second hand.

It is not broken or missing parts, it is just a design fault and thought it would be good to know how people deal with it.

Have a good day!

Offline Skeggley

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 02:36:33 am »
Hi mate, I'd recommend fitting a migratory top and a solid bottom board. Our migratory top, different to the northern hemispheres which telescopes, fits inside the pretty Flow roof so aesthetics aren't compromised.
As to the other forum, there are posters there who are helpful and knowledgeable, I just can't stand the beard. :angry:

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 04:19:04 am »
Thanks Skeggley. Fitting a migratory lid under the Flow lid sounds like a good idea though I?m pretty sure I fixed the leaks for good now.

Replacing the Flow hive bit by bit is like the Ship of Theseus. Can?t replace the bottom board till spring anyway but still have to sort the water pooling there.

Yeah FlowHive have let me down this time. The same girl replied my email lecturing me on how to silicone the dodgy roof instead of giving me a solution for the design fault of their bottom board.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 05:26:02 am by Honeyeater »

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 06:34:18 am »
If your hive doesn't slope to the fron, when It rains the water can run down the front face and into the entrance.
When you come to harvest slope it back if you have to.
Don't the flow hives have a mesh floor?

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 09:50:10 am »
Don't the flow hives have a mesh floor?

They do.

But then there is a plastic Corflute slider that goes under the mesh. It has two positions. The top slot is where I like to keep it so it becomes like a solid bottom and reduces draft, and keeps bees warmer in winter. When it is in the top slot, any water gets trapped because it becomes a tray with no open sides.


Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 07:31:22 pm »
Just crack it open 1/8" to let the water out, if the bees think its a draft they will wax or propylis it up.
We run some paradise hives that have a mesh floor and we don't cover it up in winter. There are no vents in the lid and so the warm air is locked in the top of the hive.

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 10:33:23 pm »
The bees won?t be able to seal it up because the slider is under the mesh, so they won?t reach it.

Probably the simplest solution is to just check it after rain and empty the water.  Not ideal, but hey....

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2020, 06:37:04 am »
If you crack it open at the entrance end I bet they wouldn't seal it, if they could.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2020, 10:19:56 am »
I think there may be some confusion? Oldbeavo only meant good. There was a not so nice comment made in between your comments  that seems to have been taken down?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2020, 10:24:01 am »
I think there may be some confusion? Oldbeavo only meant good. There was a not so nice comment made in between your comments  that seems to have been taken down?
Ben,
No confusion.
I had to delete the thread Honeyeater was referring to and send a warning.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2020, 10:26:41 am »
I think there may be some confusion? Oldbeavo only meant good. There was a not so nice comment made in between your comments  that seems to have been taken down?
Ben,
No confusion.
I had to delete the thread Honeyeater was referring to and send a warning.
Jim Altmiller

Thanks Jim, I just wanted to make sure Oldbeavoi understood Honeyeater wasn?t referring to his last comment lol
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2020, 10:28:03 am »
Just in case 😊
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2020, 10:45:46 am »
Oh... that last comment of mine above is a reply to another comment that is now deleted. Maybe mine can be deleted too to avoid misinterpretations.

Oldbeavo is being helpful of course.

Thanks moderator for the quick response.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 10:49:50 am »
Jim does a great job!
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 10:53:49 am »
Actually if Oldbeavo is a good sport I can see humor in this situation!  lol 😂
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2020, 05:31:46 am »
Thanks Skeggley. Fitting a migratory lid under the Flow lid sounds like a good idea though I?m pretty sure I fixed the leaks for good now.

Replacing the Flow hive bit by bit is like the Ship of Theseus. Can?t replace the bottom board till spring anyway but still have to sort the water pooling there.

Yeah FlowHive have let me down this time. The same girl replied my email lecturing me on how to silicone the dodgy roof instead of giving me a solution for the design fault of their bottom board.

Hey mate,

Don't have a flow hive so can't comment on their roofs but I've used MG covers with hive mats, inner cover + telescopic lid and currently inner cover with a meshed vent + gabled telescoping tops.

I have to say that I'm not really a fan of MG tops for a variety of reasons and am moving back to the telescoping types, the gabled ones are good for keeping rain off and provide abit more air space for heat management, but they also provide a place for ants to colonise so watch out for that.

My favourite is definitely the inner cover (no vent) with a flat telescoping top as that is what I had when I started out, I find them much more solid and heavy so it never blew off, but you can put a brick on it too, and when you do inspections the upside down outer lid makes a great place to put any boxes you take off. The inner cover can be harder to pry off but I prefer that to burr comb under an MG cover, I find my bees usually block off the MG vents too.

I intend to move back to these kind of covers when I can find some decently made ones, as all my local Aussie suppliers seem to have moved completely to MG covers.

I've also used several different hive bases with varying levels of success. Started with the old flat type with risers and cleats and a retrofitted SHB trap ($30). wasn't too bad. 'Upgraded' to ones with full mesh bottoms and a pull out oil tray ($85 each), these were good at catching beetles but also had design flaws that harboured beetles too - not ideal. They will also let SHB in in huge numbers if you try running open bottoms for ventilation (learnt that the hard way and almost lost two hives to sliming overnight).

Looking at Flows baseboard and how basic it looks I don't know how they think its worth $140+ (depending on what timber you use), seems like gouging to me.

I've just changed my hives over last Saturday to two new bases made out of marine ply and stainless fixings and after two days I think I can already see some noticeable improvements, they are also more economical than the aforementioned bases I've used and look like they will last for years. They have a version to suit Flow too.

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2020, 03:27:33 am »
Hi there buddy, I just saw comment.

Yes every one here seems to go with migratory lids. I think the reason is because that's what commercial beekeepers use, as they find them easier to stack beehives with flush lids on a truck (hence "migratory" I think).

My gabled Flow lid also blew off once on a windy night - the cedar is quite light, and loose fit too.
I think some people like migratory lids with hive mats to gauge hive population, and give them room to move up to before they swarm, and hot days. I do not have enough experience to see the value in that. I block my hole in the inner cover. I also have slatted racks under the brood box and am yet to be convinced of their usefulness.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2020, 04:07:18 am »
I'm not sure when migratory beekeeping started here, probably after WWI and expanding after WWII, and after we had decimated most of the other populations of native pollinators with the mass use of pesticides in farming.

When I started my first hive in 2013 my beekeeping shop still stocked crown boards & telescopic tops and now it's just MG or the newer insulated one I'm adapting to. They thought I was pretty old fashioned because I wanted telescopic lol.

I don't find flat telescopic lids harder to work with if anything I prefer them, and I'm really not convinced that bees need upper vents all the time, I mean our MG tops were designed so the hives didn't melt down when stacked against each other on a semi during transit, not for backyard use. The hive that never had vents was always my strongest, I've only had problems since using MG.

I like the gabled ones cos they keep the rain off but they provide a place for ants so I might go back to an oversized piece of cement sheet on top of the lid with a spacer like I used to use.

Here's a very old film about our beekeeping industry, I do not understand how they are lifting three story hives off a truck so easily even if they have no stores, superhuman strength there!



And another old but interesting report:

https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/07-059.pdf

And another (WA specific):

https://researchlibrary.agric.wa.gov.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1259&context=bulletins

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2020, 05:10:48 am »
Thanks for that, some great info there.

I do like my gable lid, but it didn't keep the rain out at all because the timber warped, until i fixed it really well. What I don't like is that I can't put a brick on it, and it is rather useless upside down when inspecting - can't put anything in it. But I do like the extra space for a small feeder, and insulation.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2020, 06:54:49 am »
There is a line between hobby BK'ing and commercial.
Sometimes commercial has adaptions and simplification to allow you to handle a lot of hives.
Lid vents vary between BK's, also floor vents are also variable.
Transporting bees changes how you view your hive set up.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2020, 07:45:22 am »
I guess my point was that commercial style migratory equipment had become the norm even for sedentary hobby beekeepers because that was just what was easier for most suppliers to simplify stock etc.

It's only recently that these older style non-migratory lids have come back into fashion again thanks to the Flow hive design and also a resurgence in interest in Warre hives prior to that.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2020, 08:36:49 am »
Lol, just realised I posted a link to the wrong youtube clip, this ones actually about Australia:


Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2020, 09:54:11 pm »
Hi. I have a Flow hive that whenever it rains I?m finding water pooling on the Corflute bottom. The roof was leaking water but I fixed it.
When the Corflute slider is in the top slot, any water that finds its way inside will have nowhere to go and adds to condensation.

Hi Honey eater. I find that the corflute slider cups down with heat or whatever. When it does that there will be a gap big enough for any water to run off, if the  bottom board is sloping back. Sometimes I invert the slider, with the cupping bowing upwards, and that makes a better seal inside the bottom board, but it also traps water that comes in through the entrance.

I agree it is not a good design, maybe they fixed it on the newer versions (which I do not afford).

Another thing you can do to minimise water coming in through the entrance on Flow Hives is screwing in an eave on top of the entrance. Some flashing or angle aluminium will do. It will however create problems if you want to install a robbing screen in a pinch because it will be in the way.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2020, 11:37:11 pm »
Lol, just realised I posted a link to the wrong youtube clip, this ones actually about Australia:



That was a good video. I have not watched your first one yet.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2020, 03:24:38 am »
The first one I posted must have been the flow on from the first clip, it's a trailer for a film about a US beekeeper.

Here's another Australian one from the 1920s, the Pender family were formerly one of our largest beekeeping equipment manufacturers as well as starting 'The Australasian Beekeeper' magazine, and our version of the 7 5/8" depth hive is known as the WSP as it was made common here by Mr Wyn Pender in the 1940's I think.


Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2020, 06:43:53 am »
this ones actually about Australia:

Those boxes seem very light when they come off the truck do they? And they swap the migratory lids with telescopic once on site.


Another thing you can do to minimise water coming in through the entrance on Flow Hives is screwing in an eave on top of the entrance. Some flashing or angle aluminium will do. It will however create problems if you want to install a robbing screen in a pinch because it will be in the way.

I actually have a 25mm overhang over the entrance already to keep rain out. Maybe needs to be more than that.

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2020, 07:47:55 am »
I was thinking they should be heavier but I suppose they were extracting all the honey before moving on so they would be lighter but it's still alot to move in one go.

If you made that film today the younger bloke would have been standing around playing with his iPhone haha.

They were both returned servicemen, the older man (described as 'wild') served in WWI and lost his son in WWII, the younger man was in WWII and they worked together in the Bega area for years.

I think the covers they are using are the US style MG top that you flip over and add or remove a screened ventilation box, but they do seem to add a telescoping top to some hives as well.

I guess the design was simplified even further to the one we have now with permanent vents, but I'm moving away from the 'if the commercial guys do it, it must be best' mantra I get at most suppliers.

Btw did you notice the improvised rock handbrake on their truck?

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2020, 09:41:02 am »
Btw did you notice the improvised rock handbrake on their truck?

I remember my dad used to keep a rock in the boot to use when parking on a hill. He had found this rock, which was roughly wedge shaped, and he eventually sold it with the car. :grin:

Online Garigal

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Re: Flow Hive leaking water
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2020, 09:56:19 am »
Btw did you notice the improvised rock handbrake on their truck?

I remember my dad used to keep a rock in the boot to use when parking on a hill. He had found this rock, which was roughly wedge shaped, and he eventually sold it with the car. :grin:

Lol like an optional extra, for some reason that reminded me of this: