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Capped cells leaking into hive when harvesting - photo attached


You could fix it by harvesting the frames inside and having a drip tray underneath to capture the leaking honey:

When you are done, just return the frames to the hive for refilling.

This way, no bees are killed during the extraction process and you don’t set off a robbing frenzy.


Does Canada have short years, or do your bees have 9 days where they don’t need to generate heat? :rofl: :sunglasses: :thinking:


Good eye Dawn…we’re not as fortunate as California…land of dreamers. My bees and myself dream too… for more than 9 days when we can finally turn down the heat!

Dawn_SD Here’s a screen shot of isotherms across North America taken about a week ago.

I’m located in that whiteish-pink area northwest of Edmonton and that morning it was only -31C with a windchill of -40C (which equals -40F)…slightly cooler than your part of the world. That pink area you see is likely as large as the continental USA…alot of fossil fuel burning environmentalists up here.:sunglasses:


Brrrrrrr. You guys are tough. :smile:

I am bilingual in C and F - lived in the UK until about 20 years ago :smile:


“The Humidry was placed in our comb room and turned on August 21 at 4:30 p.m. The outside tempera-ture was about 85 degrees and humidity 66 per cent. There were 130 supers in the room at the time, also the chemical units which had been there for several days. These units were removed when the Humidry was turned on. A sample of honey was removed from a section to take a water content; it showed 21.0 per cent (sample A). On September 1, sample B was taken and showed 18.6 per cent; sample C taken on September 13, showed only 17.1 per cent. Here was the proof! We had removed moisture from the comb! Temperature and humidity readings were recorded twice daily during our test, water was weighted daily. From 4:30 p.m. August 21 to 8 p.m. September 13 we removed 222 ½ pounds of water from the Humidry. During this period the average temperature of the room was 79 plus F. and humidity 32 minus per cent.”–Carl Killion, Honey In the Comb, 2012 reprint, pg 99


Actually the tough ones live above the pink mass…and that land mass they live in (subarctic/artic) should be included in my reference to “large as the continental USA”.

You may chuckle when I say we are experiencing an “El Nino” winter. And weather patterns change bee patterns…sometimes with exciting results…sometimes not. The discussion on this post referenced elevated moisture content in honey…this is what grain farmers in my area were faced with this last fall. No wonder my moisture levels in honey were through the roof.

If you look closely at the wheels on the combine/tractor etc…those aren’t tires…that’s rice harvesting tracks that they use in the southern States and tropical countries…photo taken a few kilometers from one of my beeyards…not normal but they had to do this to get their crops off…


So 23 days to go from 21% to 17.1%…good to hear that it’s possible.

Michael_Bush It’s been said previously that bees may cap honey to keep moisture out of ripe honey…any thoughts on that?


It’s amazing how this topic has gone from “capped cells leaking into hive when harvesting” to moisture content of honey. Are we saying that the honey was too wet & that was what caused the leak? @Peter48 commented about flooding, I assume on his first extraction, that was during a period when honey was quite stiff on the coast here.


For what it is worth- my Mums coastal hive tends to produce thinner runny honey than my hives slightly inland- though her moisture content is usually 17 or below. She has had slightly larger leaks than I have experienced. However never anything that has caused an issue for the hive- and most times no observable leaks. the biggest leak by far was the first harvest- and that was all frames at once and fully cracked first go. It makes sense to me that thinner honey leaks more.


here we are praying for some of your cold. Australia has been roasting lately with all kinds of records getting smashed. Some towns in South Australia have had 49C days. here we have had many days around 40C. Today it’s 34C already at 10 am- and by thursday it will be 42C. However the bees seem to be coping: yesterday I inspected two hives and they had those awesome fully capped frames of brood I haven’t seen in months.


I agree Jack, that thinner honey leaks more. The situation remains that leaking/flooding does occur. I suggest to new flow hivers I come in contact with to use a setup like @Red_Hot_Chilipepper suggests, in order to avoid flooding onto the brood.

Our experience was the same as @thomasalbert. Even when we opened the frame in short increments, flooding still occurred.


we go around in circles over this issue- and I fully understand your caution and concern- and the additional issue for areas with hive beetles… But for me- the fact always remains: we have half a dozen flow hives going on 3 seasons- and leaking honey has never been a problem for us at all as far as we can tell. There has been no noticeable bee death, no queen loss- and most of the time no visible leaks.

Also- I know some people say they avoid all leaking using traditional hives- but I have honey leaks using traditional hives, albeit relatively minor ones: when I break bridge comb- when the bees have built honeycomb on the top of the frames and/or in the roof, etc. I’ve had frame slump down into a hive, frames where the top bar breaks off- cleaning up poorly set up hives, and other issues.

As things stand- for our conditions- I see no problem at all harvesting flow frames on the hive. I even am not that concerned about cracking a frame all at once if I have too.


Hi Jack, you should not be concerned about cracking a frame all at once. That’s what you’re supposed to be able to do, with peace of mind.

The “issue” keeps coming up. I’m just putting forth my theories as to why it happens. Especially in the manner of the flooding in this instance.


That is right Jeff but I didn’t do an eyeball on the frames so it might not have been fully capped, but it didn’t ferment either. Thinking back I think I cracked the frames open in 3 motions, but the honey ran down the outside of the cells. It hasn’t happened again so I put it down to human error or ‘Flow Frame 1st time flooding’. That was the end of July so the honey would have been stiff as you say mate…


When you open a Fframe out of the super without any side supports like the frames beside it in the super the frames twist, equal and opposite reaction thing the Fframes will twist, easily seen using an empty Fframe. Unless fully supported on each corner the honey leaks hold no merit in my eyes, it’s out of design parameters.
As for opening the frame in one hit as per design, well that’s another story. I can’t say my experience because I’ve not done it.


Consider myself fortunate to have viewed thomasalbert video…worth a thousand words and theories. Nice when a novice beekeeper can teach an old dog a new trick and we have the Flowhive forum to thank for being the vehicle to transport unique ideas.

thomasalbert You wrote:

Any ideas - because I am about to give up.

I view the Flowhive technology just too attractive…even with it’s imperfections…to give up. thomasalbert I hope you keep adding to this forum…I like your mindset because it goes beyond asking questions…keep up the good work!


Have any of you Flowhive beekeepers or the Flowhive team experimented with increasing the spacing between the Flowhive frames to encourage the bees to build out the individual cells a bit more. It’s been mentioned previously that this may alleviate frame leakage somewhat.

With traditional commercial beekeepers in Canada (in my area), 9 FD frames were often run in a standard 10 frame Langstroth. Some operators even ran only 8 frames in a 10 frame Langstroth with very little burr comb being built…the frames were built out surprisingly wide and some guys said they actually got more lbs/super with this configuration.


I think @JeffH does this in traditional Langstroth supers. I certainly used to do it in WBC hives (same size as British National). We would gradually increase the spacing by removing frames from the super after extracting, and putting special spacers in the box to hold everything evenly. It makes uncapping much easier, because the caps protrude much further beyond the edge of the frame. :blush:

I haven’t done it in Flow frames, because I think that 3.2 kilos per frame is plenty of yield for me. :wink: Also, increasing the spacing would disrupt the integrity of the “bee barrier” formed by the back of the frames in the Flow super.


Thanks for the encouragement Doug, I am amazed at the discussion that my topic has generated. The information I have found out in the last couple of days is immense:-

Wet capping and dry capping,
Convex and concave capping,
The bees extending the flow frame plastic cell sides further out with wax before capping,
Flow frames need to be fully capped before splitting,
The moisture content of the honey being affected by the prevailing humidity,
Even that the moisture content of the honey in capped cells can be higher than in the honey in uncapped cells in the same frame,
The reassuring feedback that many people have had the same problem, also reassuring that the majority of people with flow frames do not have this problem.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think my problem is my colony is not strong enough. They have a langstroth honey super which they use quite normally, and they seem not to need the flow super for storage but maybe use it as an area for curing their honey. My solution could be to remove the langstroth honey super and then they would have no choice but to use the flow super.

Thank you to all, for your welcome suggestions and knowledge. Tom.


You are a brave person to show us your experience. I think we all respect you for that. :blush: