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Caps remain intact after extraction


When I harvest during warm (25-35 celcius) weather I often find that the cappings are not disrupted. I’ve gone back to a hive two months after harvesting and the flow frame is still capped, the hive is otherwise full of honey, but there’s no honey in the frame I harvested. It’s as though the bees don’t even notice the honey is gone and don’t consider it a valid place to stash nectar.

My current solution is to remove the frames after a harvest and go around with a stiff toothbrush scratching up the cappings so the bees realise there’s space available. This is a bit of a pain in the bum. Anyone got any suggestions?



Just to clarify, by the time the bees start storing the loot, it’s actually honey. It maybe unripe honey, but it’s still honey. (in my opinion)

According to Cedar, that shouldn’t happen.

I would advise removing the frame before harvest, not after. In fact, some folks harvest honey away from the hive, so as to avoid honey flooding onto the brood. If you was to do that, that would be an opportunity to remove the caps.


I have a theory about that: the bees only uncap the frame if they need the space. I have had hives where the frames are uncapped by the next day- you even see the bees furiously uncapping them even as you harvest the honey. then I have had another hive where it took them two months to completely uncap frames- in that case they had no honey to put in and were clearly busy doing other things. I think the bees always know when the frame is empty- they can feel it with their feet. They are incredibly attuned to vibrations and would know the cells are empty.


firstly sorry i can’t put capitals where they should be. i have both hands bandaged with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. it is great to be out of hospital and back with the other bee keepers on the forum.
your bees knew almost instantly the cells were being emptied. when there is a honey flow the bees will work on the cappings within minutes if the bees have a need for room for storing the honey that is coming into the hive.
when there is cells already being used for honey storing they will continue to use them till they decide to use the frames you are discussing.


Hi Peter, I’m pleased to read that you’re out of hospital. Stay well & have a speedy recovery. I’ll relish any comment you make, knowing the effort you’ll go to in creating them. Let me know if I can be of any assistance up there, cheers.


Peter, so sorry to hear of your injury. Take care and heal well.


Ouch! keep safe @Peter48 hope next year is less eventful


This has been my experience also…not only with Flowhives but especially with traditional Langstroths. It appears to show up when I have over anticipated the honeyflow…i.e. given the bees too much room. A stretch of rainy/cool weather in the middle of a honeyflow…a queen slowing down and affecting the workforce size… can also cause this phenomenon. Is this a problem? Not as big of a problem as would of existed if I gave them too little room for nectar storage. I just use a capping scratcher on the frames if the presence of cappings with no honey underneath is excessive. After 3 seasons of using Flowhives, it doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem.

Photos below show typical capping pattern on Flowhive frames and then the aggravating…but not that bad…problem on a tradtional frame.