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Black spots/mould? at end of honey flow channel



Ive been noticing in one of my older flow frames that some black spots are appearing.

Any thoughts on how best to clean it and why it has occurred? Just happing on one frame.

This is my third season beekeeping so that frame has been on the hive continuously since late Summer 2017.

Was thinking of bending the end of a straw cleaner with a fine bristle brush end and seeing if I could clean it like that.



There’s some related info discussed in this topic, not sure we really got to the bottom of the issue though? Maybe @semaphore has some further updates on the problem? Mine is OK this season since I’ve really kept an eye on condensation compared to last.


That looks suspiciously like common black mold to me. If it comes off easily with a wipe of say a pipe cleaner, as in a tobacco pipe, then take it as being mold.
As it doesn’t have much honey in it I would take it out of the hive, wash it out with warm water then soak it in a warm water/bleach solution for a few hours, wash it again, dry it with a hair drier on low heat then paint some melted wax onto the frame and refit it to the hive.


Maybe it’s mildew? There is a difference though I would give the external parts a wipe with some household bleach as mildew will be cleaned easily. Additionally, you can wipe the internal part with a damp cloth by wrapping it around the flow key and inserting it and wiping it.


Thanks for the replies.

It’s taken me some time to get back in the super, but I did remove the frame yesterday and have attempted to clean the mood spots as suggested both on the hive and off it.

Those that can be reached wipe straight off.

The mold spots are ONLY at the end of the channel in the sections around the tube hole, which are recessed back and so almost impossible to get at. The bent over end of a pipe cleaner does work to some degree, but the gap at the top of the tube is very fine and so not easily penetrated.

I doubt these marks are propolis as I am not sure how the bees would get propolis in there but would be happy to be wrong, if anyone cares to disagree.

I have soaked the whole channel in a very mild bleach solution for 15 mins, then washed it thoroughly out, Then soaked the end in 50/50 apple cider vinegar and warm water.

Photo is post cleaning efforts. Hmm…


I just had a brain storm, what about trying a baby’s bottle cleaning brush, it is about the right size and fairly firm bristles.
Are the spots near the end where the tube slides on on the inside or the outside? Apart from there it all looks like you cleaned it up well.