Cappings and storage of Flow Frames

Hi I’ve harvested the honey from my flow box and now want to store the frames over the winter. So…how to remove the capping? Could I dip in pot of hot water on the stove or will this destroy/warp/melt the plastic comb?

Any ideas? I don’t want to use more plastic to wrap the frames up and I haven’t got freezer space.

I’m concerned that the capping will attract some kind of pest or disease if I leave the flow super with frames covered in capping on my bee gear shelf.

David, Sydney Australia

Are you able to put the frames in a sealed bag(s) and box?


Thanks I guess that’s going to be the only way to go.

Harvest the honey then remove the frames and let the bees clean the comb and take it back to the hive for a couple of days. Then put the cleaned frames into a box which you place into a large black plastic bag, there is no substitute for a plastic bag, seal it very tight then put that into another plastic bag and seal tight again. Store in a cool dry location. Throw some rat-sack about the bags and some cocky baits as well.
Another option for the climate in Sydney is to just leave the Flow Super on the hive with a queen excluder on if you are in a frost free area so they can forage over winter, some areas of Sydney have very mild winters in bee terms.
I would advise against cleaning the frames with hot water when the bees will do the job for you.


One other thing I would suggest is to watch out for vermin (you may have had that in mind when you said pest), and therefore store them in such a way to avoid that being an issue.

if you have a good dark storage area… I would consider just wrapping them in an old sheet so they can breathe and stay completely dry. You can dip/submerse the frames in warm water to remove any honey traces before letting them dry out. You can also lightly scrub them with a brush in the water to remove a lot of the capping wax. Next year the bees will clean up whatever is left over.

Stick them above your inner cover for a few days. Your bees will rob the out completely so then you can easily store them.



Best removing capping is done by the bees.
After harvest, return flow frames to collecting position, and the bees will clean them up In a way you never could.
If you wish to take your flow frames out, be quick, before they fill them again.
I would never take my flow super off around here atm. Too much coming in.

1 Like

@Webclan We are having the same up here on the Sunshine Coast, still having warm days to 28c and the hives are very active foraging pollen and nectar, and expanding the honey stored. For the last 3 weeks of Autumn it is much like March weather and the bees are hard at it.

1 Like

Gees thanks everyone for all these suggestions. it seems clear and obvious now that I should put the box back for at least 24 hours for a clean up. Really appreciate the feedback. Thank you very much.



If you decide to take the Flow super off the hive for the winter leave it in after harvesting till it is well cleaned up by the bees, they will even clean up the wax, it might take them up to a few days to take the honey down. A final wash with warm water and dry in the sun prior to storing and the job is done.

Sun deteriorates the flow frame plastic, as does gamma radiation. Best not to risk leaving them out in the sun.
For drying, I put the frames in a box or carton and put a towel on top. Works fine.

I am not sure they would deteriorate that much in the sun till they dry, there is not a lot of harshness in the sun at this time of year, maybe the concern has to do with them buckling or distorting in the summer sun.

Not quite. As @Webclan implied, the UV radiation in sunlight makes the type of plastic unused by Flow deteriorate and become brittle. I just let them dry in the kitchen sink over night. Not a big deal.

One option not mentioned, is that you can store the Flow Frames in the freezer if you have one big enough.
Then you don’t have to worry about washing, drying, vermin, etc.

You can then take them out in Spring and pop into your Flow Super ready to go :slight_smile:

But he said he didn’t have the freezer space! :blush:

I use this in a compromise method. I freeze empty frames for 48 hours, wrapped in cling film, then put them in a huge rubbish (trash) bag and tightly tie off the top. They stored perfectly over winter that way. One frame still had a bit of capped honey in it (cells didn’t all operate to open), so that one stayed in the freezer over winter to prevent the honey from crystallizing. That worked too. :wink:


Woops my bad. I even double read to make sure nonone mentioned freezers. :zipper_mouth_face:

1 Like

We still love ya, @Faroe! :blush: Happy cake day, by the way. :smile:

I didn’t realise I had a cake in my title :astonished:

1 Like

Hi Dawn, can you tell me if Gamma radiation is different to UV radiation or not? I am thinking it is different but hey, I could be wrong !!!

1 Like