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Differences Honey Flow vs Traditional Hive


Hello, What are the differences between the flow hive and traditional hives?
Has the honey for flowing high water content? Is it storable or has to be consumed promptly?
Kind regards from Italy!


The difference? Only the extraction method. Everything else is exactly the same as traditional beekeeping.
Why do you ask Amaldo?


Because of the extraction. The honey is very liquid while some kind of
honey varieties are dense and my guess is that cannot be extracted…
Does the honey of the flow hive have high water content? Is it storable?
Grazie mille


If the comb is capped the water content should be fine like standard frame comb.
I’ve been following everyone’s progress on this forum and haven’t seen any issues with dense honey. Having said that its only early days and I’m sure it could be an issue however as yet I’ve not heard of it. Hopefully if someone does have issues they will share which I’m sure they will. People love to knock the unknown.
I believe it’s not so easy to spin jelly honey out of frames either. :wink:
I have extracted once here in sunny Perth Australia and had no problems whatsoever. I’m very happy with the results.


Cost and harvesting procedures.


No. Exactly the same as traditional honey. In fact, one of our forum members extracted some yesterday with a water content of 14.5% (very low). The honey was very thick and delicious according to him:

Any honey with a water content of 18% or less can be stored at room temperature, including Flow hive honey. :blush:


Hi Arnaldo,
I have noticed a few Italians are concerned over the water content in the Flow honey from the video that is on facebook with Italian subtitles.
As the others have mentioned - before any honey is harvested it should be ready/ripe.
To know if the honey is ready - the cells are capped with wax.
The Flow Frames should be capped before they are harvested.
To be sure, you can just pull the Flow Frames out and inspect them before you harvest.
We have a few customers in countries with thick honey and different flowers such as heather, rape, etc.
What are the flowers in Italy that make the honey thick? Do you know? I am curious if it is the same flowers as in other countries, or specific to Italy.
We also have a lot of Italian flowers in Australia (from what I have seen).

Here are a couple of faqs about thick and crystallised honey -

From what I observes on the Facebook video, there seemed to be a lot of people thinking the Flow Hive is fake because the honey ran out like it did.
I guess the thing to remember is those videos were taken in Australia, and we do have honey that runs out like that.
We also have thick honey…
I am in Italy now, and I have seen both thick and runny honey…


Hello Faroe,
Here in Sardinia we have lots of strawberry tree or arbutus whose honey is
very dense, paste like.


Hi Faroe, I’ve searched the forum for tea tree/Manuka in flow frames but I can’t seem to find an answer as to whether or not it flows out. Any feedback so far? Tea tree honey of course is notoriously difficult to extract so if that works, I guess that would have logical relevance to the questions being posed.


I don’t have a flow hive, however I had experience with jelly bush honey early last year. There was NO WAY that honey was going to spin out of the frames. To get it out, I had to hold the frame above a bucket & scrape it out without fracturing the foundation & then do the other side. Luckily the bees did a good job of repairing the combs.

I think it would be very challenging to extract jelly bush honey out of a flow frame.

@aspicacci, if the honey in your area is “paste like”. a good test would be to see how easy it flows off a knife or spoon in warm weather.


No sorry, no update.
We don’t seem to have heard from any New Zealanders and their experience with Manuka.
I have heard jelly honey is a bit different to manuka, so hopefully it will work.


Thanks Faroe, I guess the flow super would need to be in an area where the tea tree nectar is the primary source of honey too, otherwise the honey might be too mixed to give an accurate result. Will keep waiting!


Yep, I think there was a commercial beekeeper near byron who’s main honey was tea tree (similar to Manuka from what I know) and it worked fine. But we don’t have the feedback coming through yet from New Zealand.


Thanks…that sounds like promising news for the flow hive as tea tree (which is Manuka- I’m pretty sure) has been described as “almost impossible to extract”. (Beekeeping in Tasmania -Harold Ayton, Apiary Office, Dept. of Primary Industry Tasmania-1991).


Hi @Faroe. Extracted a flow frame yesterday and it took almost all day for the honey to come out. I also think there is still some honey left in the frame. It may be jelly bush honey, at least in part.
The honey is really dark and thick, 16% water. I am very curious now and would like to have that honey tested in a lab. Would you or anybody else know where I can get a honey sample test done?


That’s good to hear that the honey came out even though it was really thick :slight_smile:
Sounds like tea tree honey. I used to buy delicious tea tree honey from the West End markets that was really dark and tasty… yum yum :yum:

Did you try opening and closing the Flow Frames to try and make it run out faster?
The agitation is supposed to help the honey flow apparently.

I’m not sure where you can get it tested. Do you want to test it to see what type of honey it is?
Maybe the Lismore university has a lab where you could get the honey tested. You could see if someone wants to test it there as a project?
I know they used to have the naturopathy course there, so they may be interested to help.

I will also ask my colleague who works in research to see if she knows somewhere local to get it tested.

On another important note: how does it taste? :smile:


Here is a link to the research team doing tests on Australian Leptospermum honey samples.



Hi Faroe, the honey has a huge variety of flavours that come through one after the other, in the end it goes towards caramel. All flavours are strong, but I can’t pinpoint anything. I do know since I last harvested this particular frame the bees have been on Mexican salvia, golden penda, basil, farmers friends, lupins, cordyline and a variety of wild flowers. The few leptospermum growing wild on our land are not even flowering.
But we are surrounded by the Mt Jerusalem National Park (Nightcap in bee range) with rainforest pockets, so there may well be heaps of leptospermum. It’s not easily accessible to find all the plants, but I can see on maps there are varieties of leptospermum up here.
This honey is certainly not just Manuka type, but I would like to have it tested for medicinal properties and also for pollen types. For my own use and to purposefully give away.
The naturopathy courses at Lismore got scrapped years ago, but I can ask anyway. Could also try Bond. Thanks for the idea.
Just harvesting another frame and I keep opening and closing the cells. It’s just as slow as the last one. I just let it run all day.


Hi Susie, this is a great link with a lot to study and explore. It shows how many types of leptospermum we have and where. The best is it invites us to contribute.
It’s about time we study our Australian ‘manuka’. There’s a lot of financial advantage for our beekeepers. I’m just a hobby beekeeper, but I have an interest in the outdoor and lab part of this research.
There must be a fair bit of leptospermum down your way too.
Thanks for the link.


My research manager has said that the university of sunshine coast has a honey lab but she doesn’t know if they are testing anymore :slight_smile: