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Bring Flow inside house for extraction

We live in Western New York State. This weekend, we will be extracting the honey from 2 Flows on top of our 2 hives. A couple of years ago, we removed the Flow from the hive and extracted from it outside. We will be storing both Flows in the house for the winter months.

Has anyone brought the full Flow into the house and extracted the honey there? I’m thinking that this might be the best way to go on the last extraction of the season. They will need to be brought in anyways and this prevents us from being bothered by the bees still foraging.

The first extraction was done on the hive. This is the last draw and it will be coming off the hives anyways.

What you want to do won’t harm or damage anything, and can be much kinder to the bees especially if you have a flooding issue. I advise marking the length of the key from the elbow to the end in five equal lengths and open each frame in five steps and waiting till the honey reduces to a trickle before opening the next section and that will help reduce the risk of flooding.
It is your hive so do as you wish, if you didn’t have any issues with the first extraction that’s good, I can’t find fault in what you are asking for advice about doing.

I imagine you can extract your honey anywhere you would like. When I deal with honey in the house I always prepare for something to happen. Even when I extracted from my flow I sometimes am all thumbs. I would put flow on a empty box. I would put the box on a pan or plastic storage, just in case. Then drain clean and box it up. That way you can close up and winterize your hive then go deal with the honey. I will do that outside anyways I did have a little flood.


Come on you guys . Give it a break.
There is a big difference in removing a flow super for the winter and removing a flow hive continually during the harvest season. You can do what ever you like with your hive , turn it upside down, take it to the races, and extract and no one has ever said any different. What you should not do is come on this forum and advise people they should always harvest your flow super off the hive. That is wrong.

I’m sure they have. Go for your life, as you say you did it a couple of years ago… I just find it much more convenient to do it on the hive. No heavy lifting (18-20 Kg) or fiddly setting up and you don’t have to worry about bees on the frames. I and the very great majority of bee people with Flow Hives don’t have a big problem with major damageing leaks into the brood box.

trolling ? I hope not.


Sorry that I started a war of words here. I have a plan in place to get the bees off of each frame and isolate the frame afterwards before bringing them all into the house. Each frame will go into a cooler on wheels for easy transporting to the house. I have plastic tub lids on my kitchen counter to sit the boxes on with the frames back in them. The jars will be down in the prep sink so I won’t have to raise the boxes or put a table next to the counter. I think that I’ve done a pretty good job of planning this out with items I have around the house. During the season, we put a shelf on the brood box below to hold the jars.


Make sure you tilt the tub lids back to get a drainage angle of ~3º.

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A less sticky kitchen is a huge one for me! :crazy_face:


Not quite so easy for me… To extract honey from a traditional hive, I have to:

  1. Get the bees off the frames. I use a one way bee escape, so that isn’t hard, but it is a nuisance lifting a heavy super
  2. Bring the super into the kitchen. I don’t have a honey shed etc, so that is where I extract
  3. Carry the centrifuge up 15+ steps on a staircase from the garage. The spinner weighs at least 30lb, so that is a hard job
  4. Uncap the frames and find somewhere to deal with the sticky cappings
  5. Balance the frames properly in the centrifuge
  6. Crank until the frames are mostly empty
  7. Run the honey through a strainer, because there are always bits of wax, and sometimes other stuff (bee legs etc)
  8. Wash all of the equipment and clean the kitchen

For the Flow super on the hive, I have to:

  1. Check that the Flow frames are mostly capped
  2. Open each frame in 20-25% sections, avoiding an airlock in the Flow tube
  3. Wait a couple of hours for gravity to do its thing
  4. Go and clean the kitchen, because I won’t have to clean the honey up from the kitchen surfaces and I will feel guilty if I don’t do that. Besides which, I don’t have to strain the honey either - it is already clean enough

My hubby will tell you which I prefer…



What I do works best for me here after a fair bit of experimenting. Each to their preference in bee keeping and you can only do what you have to work with.
My home doesn’t have any steps so that is a plus, Having an electric extractor saves me time and effort and having a decapping station hold the cappings till they are drained enough to go into the bags to spin the last of the honey out. I always filter all of my honey, most of my honey is sold so must be clean. You can find wax in Flow Hive honey and even the odd SHB that made me begin filtering my honey, you can have them in honey from any type of frame. Just a tip.

Thank you, but i have never found SHB (thank goodness) or anything other than the odd fleck of wax in my Flow honey. I sell some of mine too, but my customers like to see the evidence that it is “Raw and Unprocessed”. Different markets, I suppose. :wink:

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I agree with Busso on this one. They are designed to be harvested on the hive. The question of the OP was whether at the end of season the flow super could be taken off and harvested in the kitchen.

Yes you can but you will also need to watch temperature as you are likely to get wax breaking at lower temps and leading to honey leaks that wouldn’t happen on the hive. One of the other issues that comes to mind is how the frames get cleaned up post harvest. If left on the hive the bees will clean but in the kitchen you may need another plan.

It may have benefits at the end of season where you have already inspected and removed the super as part of an inspection. You could arguably lead to more “stress” to the hive by replacing the flow super, harvesting and removing.

Steve, Peter and Honey Eater have used it to relive the banning of Jeff. That isn’t appropriate for this post, so you are trolling…

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My honey is raw, no heat applied as my extractor isn’t steam heated and a serrated kitchen knife to do the uncapping. Is filtering honey processed, when the only thing done is to filter out stuff from the honey so that it is pure honey with no pollen, wax or anything that shouldn’t be in pure honey. Maybe it is over done but that is the way I do it.

Thank you all for being such a welcoming group. This relatively new beekeeper (3 years) is very appreciative of the roundabout and contentious answers to what I thought was a very simple question. It may be awhile before I approach this group again with a question.

You really shouldn’t be put off asking questions, beekeepers tend to be very passionate and this is nothing. Last time I asked a question at my local supplier I set of a screaming match between the two sales people there that day.

If you ask two beekeepers their opinion you’re going to get five answers usually with an ‘if’ or a ‘but’.


Sorry that your simple question and the advice given go up some peoples noses. They seem to want to attack others who have offered advice and they forget that in bee keeping there is often more than only one way of doing anything.
Don’t give up on the forum, there are some nice folks here happy to pass on sound advice.

Here is a constructive answer for you… I have done it several times. Here is a link to the setup I used to get the right slope and catch any drips:


I like your set-up. I suspect that you were able to save the leakage because you used the baking trays. I set my Flow supers on top of plastic tote lids. I had a lot of leakage and I suspect that it may have been our impatience of opening the frames too quickly.

Although it’s not really clear from your picture, it looks like you have the tray at front perpendicular to the boxes and the back one parallel to the boxes. I’m not really sure where you put the foil though.

I opened them in 20% increments, waiting about 10 minutes before opening the next section, and checking the Flow tube to ensure that there was no airlock.

The front tray is a big one - the only big one I have. :blush: It was positioned so that box rested on the 17" length side. The rear one is a smaller 8x14" tray, oriented with the 14" side under the box.

The foil went over the gap/join between the two trays. A bit like roofing flashing - it just covered the “join” so that any drops would flow into one tray or the other. I can set up a “dummy” reconstruction to photograph if it would help, so that you can see what I mean.

In my case, there has never been more than a couple of ounces of honey leakage when harvesting inside using this method, and I have done it several times now. :wink: