Bees bearding when harvesting

Hi, seeking advice; we have harvested twice now. Just two frames each time. What we have noticed both times is that the bees start bearding at the entrance.
Each time there has been a fair amount of honey(4-5 tablespoons) drop onto the tray at the base of the hive. I’ve read elsewhere that the honey comes from uncapped cells. We only crack 50mm of frame at a time to try to minimise the overflow.
So, is the bearding normal when harvesting a flow hive, or are we doing something wrong?

Hi John, it does sound like honey could be leaking down frames in the brood box. Did you inspect the Flow frames you wanted to harvest before doing it? Sometimes bees leave an open arc for the queen to lay in, which means honey above the arc can ooze out of those cells on its way down.

Hi John, welcome to the Forum. You have done nothing wrong. It appeared right from the start that flooding was an issue with flow frames. A honey customer recently told me that he has given up on his flow hive on account of the constant flooding onto the brood. Sadly, as he said, Flow were unwilling to help him, with that & other issues. He is now using traditional hives.

It’s my theory that flooding occurs with wet caps. So therefore flooding with wet caps starts to happen as soon as you turn the key, & not when the channel is full of honey. My theory holds that flooding shouldn’t happen with dry caps, on account that the honey is not touching the caps, so therefore it wont cause the caps to rupture.

This photo was posted on the forum in Aug. '17.

Hi Eva, we did inspect the super frames prior to ensure they were 80% full and capped. Admittedly, the capping may not have been dry enough. We’ll take more notice next time. Thanks

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Thanks Jeff. I suspected this was the case as you can see via the viewing window, honey running down the capping.
It has the engineering side of me thinking out a possible fix to this, unless someone else has come up with a solution other than go to a traditional super box cheers

You’re welcome John. That photo was taken with the frame outside of the hive. The bloke adopted a strategy of harvesting away from the hive, so as to avoid honey flooding onto the brood, which would likely be the cause of bees bearding at the entrance during harvest.
This is the other photo he shared at the time.

PS @JohnT2 , I just read what you said about the caps “may not have been dry enough”. Just to clarify: it’s how the bees finish the caps. Sometimes they finish the caps with an air gap behind the cap, “dry” cap. Other times, for some reason they leave no gap at all with honey touching the entire cap, giving it a wet appearance, hence, a “wet” cap. Sometimes we’ll see dry caps with the bottom portion of the cap to be wet. That would be a result of honey with less viscosity than honey in a completely dry cap. That being said, it’s highly likely that honey behind completely wet caps have even less viscosity.

Usually bearding is going to occur with or without leaking, as bees uncap the recently harvested cells it creates a lot of humidity in the hive, honey being hygroscopic will draw in extra moisture that the bees then regulate through bearding.

Bearding after leaking is also likely to occurr for all the same reasons as well as the clean up the bees would need to carry out, determining if this occurred is important, 1-2 tablespoons per Flow Frame is quite common. When you refer to only cracking 50mm at a time does this include draining that portion as the goal is to prevent the honey trough filling up completely.

I believe this leaking is a mixture of capping having split but there are 6 cells centred that are not capped at all and this appears to be the majority of the leaking it all adds up.

It looks like those tubes are in backwards.

As you can make out the lip thats meant to block the leak-back gap.