Extracting all frames after 6 weeks

After painting on melted wax onto my flow frames and fitting my flow super the bees showed interest after 5 days and 6 weeks after fitting I did my first extraction of all six frames. No big deal, but it was done on July 1st, in Australia, our winter.

I made sure I had 5 degrees of lay back on the hive and opened 20% of the frames at a time and had no flooding, it all went as I expected though I was a bit nervous, ‘expectant Dad’ syndrome.

Now 2 weeks after extracting for the first time I have removed looked at the Flow Frames and finding they are all about 80% capped so they are almost ready for draining again.

I fitted my other Flow Super at the same time as the first but it was only heavily sprayed with sugar/water, the other suggestion to get bees accepting the flow frames, the bees went into the Flow Super and collected the sugar/water but it was never used for honey storage so I then painted melted wax on those Flow Frames and now the bees are busy storing honey in it.

  1. Painting melted wax on the Flow Frames is the best way to have bees accept the frames.
  2. When you think all the frames are capped remove each one to confirm that is the case, looking in the widows is only an indicator.
  3. Check that you hive lay-back is between the 3 to 5 degrees recommended.
  4. Crack open the Flow Frames 20% at a time to avoid flooding internally. Remember the honey needs time to drain down to the chamber and flow out to the tube so don’t expect to see the honey quickly flowing, I guess mine took about 5 minutes to be visible in the draining tube.
  5. Don’t crack frames so much that the drain tube becomes full of honey, if that happens you are likely to have the much heard about flooding issue, which is not a fault of the Flow Frames, it is an operator error.

My first extraction went well and I had no issues, but took my time doing it.


Well done Peter,those jars of honey look great !
Couple of questions for you, when you say open 20% at a time do you do that by only partially inserting the flow key or partially turning the flow key ?
Wondering also did you keep the honey from each frame seperate when harvesting or did you just blend the lot ?
Regards Brian

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The Flow recommendation is to partially insert the Flow key, but fully rotate it each time per segment. :blush:


What I did was to open 20% of the frame at a time by fully turning the key to the vertical position, then move the key in to another 20%, 20% was enough to almost fill the tube and had I opened more of the frame I am sure I would have suffered flooding that a lot complain about in criticize the flow frames when it is really the operator at fault. Hope that explains it to you Brian.

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I prefer to blend my honey, all my hives are now in the one apiary and to my taste I can’t find a difference from one frame to another. let alone between hives. My aim to sell my honey having a consistent and predictable taste to my customers as much as possible but as the foraging flora changes so will the taste to some extent.

There is ample evidence that a bee will forage on the one flora but I have yet to see that the honey from a Paper Bark, for example, will only be put in a frame of paper bark honey. I call my honey as a " local blend of very local flora of the Sunshine Coast." and “raw, unheated in extraction and as natural as it comes from the hive”. I now don’t use a heated de-capping knife and use a roller de-capper.
Cheers Brian

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Thanks Dawn and Peter, well explained and understood

Regards Brian


I just love success stories. Sigh :smiley:

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Peter one more question regarding your non flow hives,how are you extracting and any tips on the best spinner to purchase if that’s what you do?
I hope to start a Lyson poly hive this year and need to plan extracting down the track. On Kangaroo Island we can’t buy in wax foundation so have to use plastic as I don’t have any drawn comb.
I am hoping to get some comb honey from my flow hive using an ideal box on top of the flow super so will likely purchase a crusher down the track.
Long term can’t see myself getting more than 4 hives
Thanks for your help

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I bought a two frame spinner"extractor" made of stainless steel on EBay that is available in Australia for $106 including freight. It already has the tap and is ready to use.

I spent $550 on a roller un-capper but a long serrated bread knife is a cheaper option when you are not pushed for time. I never seem to have enough of that. With a bread knife you won’t need a crusher, just slice of the comb wax caps. Even if you do finish up with 4 hives I would still think a knife a good option.

But keeping bees is an addiction, I told my wife I wanted a few hives, then it was six, then eight and she doesn’t ask now, or how much I have spent :grinning: thank goodness,

Only too pleased to be of help, it is a great forum with advice given freely, unlike on some forums.
Regards Brian

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Nice one Peter, glad the Fframes worked well.
I like to keep the honey separate as taste and colour varies season to season, some candies quickly which I keep for myself. I have a friend who was throwing the honey out when it candied as he thought it had gone off. My honey candies much faster than store bought so need to let my customers know it’s the price to pay for unfiltered raw honey around here. I guess I could always feed the bees rice syrup like the blended store bought. :wink:
Original Flow videos showed the frame being cracked all at once and I reckon it’s a few bright sparks on this forum that sorted the flooding issue out by the incremental cracking. The percentage to crack is directly related to the viscosity and above all the air gap is critical to mitigate the flooding. But, not everyone is reading this forum so flooding still happens unfortunately.


And heated and ultra filtered… Most of the pollen is gone from most commercial honeys too - tell your friends that the crystals mean that the honey is totally pure and you haven’t adulterated or processed it. My customers snap it up in less than 2 seconds. :wink:

Hey Skeggs,
I see Capilarno is going to the Chinese so I guess it will be more diluted than the present honey.
I kept a couple of jars from my extraction for myself but demand has outstripped what I have, I was amazed how a local honey sells so well at a fare price. I am making up 4 more hives and will do splits yet again as the colonies build up. Then I will sit back, relax a bit, and have a wine watching the bees all return at sundown.
Wife used to say she is a Men’s Shed widow, now she says she will see me when all the bees have returned for the night. :grinning:
It is a great Forum and glad I came across it.
Cheers mate.


I have found I don’t get to do my prepared speech as to the benefit of local honey that is fair dinkum honey. It sells itself and word of mouth is the best and cheapest advertising.
Funny, I wanted to get back into bee keeping with a couple of hives for honey for me and to give me another interest in life. Yeah, right, I’m spending all my spare time at it now, and loving it. :sunglasses:

I sold all of mine is less than 24 hours last year. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Has anyone tried harvesting with the key only partially turned?

The videos I have seen where there is honey leakage during harvest, it seems like the honey leaks out of the face of the frame, lower down, especially from any uncapped cells… Maybe having the cells only partially open would slow the flow and allow the honey to flow internally better (as the cells are angled downward toward the middle of the frame?

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I have not tried that, but it might be tricky. My experience of harvesting is that the Flow key is very stiff to turn when all of the cells are waxed. As you have to use quite a bit of force, it would be hard to finesse a partial opening. I deal with this by opening just 20% of the frame at a time. If I see signs of a leak (honey dripping from the slider or the entrance, or bees bearding at the entrance), I then have the option to close the frame again before the leak gets disastrous.

Having said that, once you turn the key, not only do the cell wall seals fracture, but the capping layer necessarily partially shears off the cells. Closing the cells helps reduce flooding, but it can’t totally stop a leak. :thinking:

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After you prematurely re-close the cells to reduce excess flooding does honey still come out of the tube, albeit more slowly?

Yes, very slowly, although I have to say that I have never had a real flood. Once or twice, I have drained the super in the kitchen, under direct observation. The most that has leaked was about 50ml, and as you say, most of that seemed to come from the arc of uncapped cells at the bottom of the frame. That area continues to drip even when the cells are closed, and some dripping continues from along the sheared edge of the cappings.

Not partially turned but partially inserted. :smiley: