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Drainage channel


Info on bacterial growth in honey…

Info on water activity/humidity and honey…

Info on biological growth in food at different water activities


The only case of botulism I saw in a child when I was practicing Paediatrics was actually from a child living near a building site. A large development near their home resulted in a lot of old soil being turned over - likely the source of the infection. The antitoxin was fearfully expensive, and we actually had to wake up the director of the hospital to get his permission to buy it for the patient.

In 25 years, I never saw a case from honey. There were some cases in the UK from canned corned beef from Argentina that wasn’t processed properly, but not from raw honey. Of course, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but I agree, it is very rare.


Just to let everyone know - Flow has received the email and is looking at getting the official response from Cedar and Stuart. Sorry about any official delay.

If you are concerned about the cleanliness of your Flow channel, my personal recommendation - Clean it.
A piece of dowel or similar, hole drilled near end with a cloth zip tied on like a flute cleaner would work great.

Interesting read guys.


Hi, are there any updates on whether cleaning out the channels is a recommended practice? I haven’t read through the other posts yet, so the answer may well be there I know, but I’m curious!


There has been no ‘official’ update on this.
Personally speaking on this - I have not needed to clean the channels in ordinary beekeeping. I do twist the channel caps if I see any nectar / honey building up in there to keep the little flow back hole open at the rear of the channel.
This has always kept channels clean for me.


I have also found I have to twist the little plugs- and I also have to pull them out and poke the little holes with a twig to remove any wax or propolis the bees leave. Otherwise the channels can be up to halk full of honey after I have robbed a frame.

Also I noticed that on my last robbing the honey was not 100% crystal clear liek the first time the frames were robbed. It was 99% clear- with just the odd speck of dust.

It does bother me a little bit- not so much from a health perspective- but I just liked that there pretty much zero need to strain Flow honey. I am now thinking I might get a bottle brush and work out a syphon/pump system to periodically wash out those channels. If you poke your finger in there it is nice and warm- all the time

Does anyone think a small amount of water dripping over the brood frames would cause much of a concern? The channel is made up of segments with small gaps in-between and I am thinking if you flush water through them a very small amount will end up dripping through the brood box. If I was to do it I would only do it on warmer and drier days.


Considering that you use a Boardman feeder to water your bees, and they take the water, I don’t think so! :wink:


my bees love their internal water fountain! :heart_eyes:

However it’s a little different: if any water spilt from it it would just flow out through the screened bottom. Still- I think I will wash out my honey channels periodically from now on. I have one hybrid flow super that the bees just haven’t managed to fill all season. those frames have never been harvested- yet the channels have quite a lot of what what looks to be powdered wax in them- from the bees constantly working and reworking the frames.


If I was to clean out my channels in situ- I would take warm water and a chux cloth type thing - and a long piece of dowel or similar - and attach cloth to the end like a flute cleaner.
Damp the cloth and clean them tubes.

I am going to clean my channels off the hive - but that is a whole different story (flooded hive :frowning2:) .


I was thinking along similar lines: a bottle brush poker thing- then use one of those little syphon pumps to pump through some warm water- just a few hundred mills. Most of it should just pour straight back out the back.

But you idea sounds good- I might try that- i’d be wanting a (cotton?) cloth that didn’t shed fibers…


I ended up wrapping a wet chux cloth around the opening key and just spun it around and around, all the way to the end of the channel and back… and then I unplugged the little gaps at the bottom - some of them were completely closed in with propolis/wax. I think I’ll clean the channels again before the next harvest just to make sure everything is as it should be! (Mind you, the next harvest won’t be until next Spring, so the channels may need a little clean by then anyway :wink: )


I just picked this up for $3.50:

It’s the perfect length and size. I’ll dip it in a bucket of hot water- insert- twist- dip- two or three times. I think I’ll do it immediately prior the every harvest :blush:


I think if you have the extraction tubes in place…which when inserted correctly…seal off the hive. Then if you do flush the channel no water can go through the hive.


I think it can. The channel is made up of segments- it’s not watertight.