Extracting honey from flow frames previously filled with brood

I had a mishap this spring. I missed the queen during my inspection when I added the super and she got trapped behind the excluder. She laid her brood in 4 of the flow frames in the super.

When I went to extract honey, most of the cells in the frames are frozen. The mechanism is causing the wax caps to break away from the frame on some parts and the other parts are immovable.

Instead, the honey drips outside the wax caps and creates a huge mess. I am collecting the drops into a tote, but they’re not draining properly and it’s really difficult trying to separate piece by piece and scrape each little bit. I’m honestly not sure the frames could handle a spin extractor…. Of course, after I’ve uncapped the wax from each cell one by one……

How would I go about removing the honey from these frames without taking the whole thing apart piece by piece, scraping, cleaning and reassembling the frames? (They’re obviously not designed for this and I am aware that often times the frames don’t function correctly after the repairs)

Is my whole super doomed and the 20lbs++ of honey going to be too much work to be worth it? Please help!
**some of the cells did not get fully capped but they are full of nectar. would I need to let that cure for some time to allow the moisture to evaporate? I am ordering a refractometer so I can properly test and assure the honey is suitable for bottling.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

One possibility would be to borrow a honey spinner (centrifuge). Often local bee clubs have one that can be loaned out or rented. You can then carefully uncap the Flow frames with an uncapping fork and spin the honey out. You would need to be slow and gentle with the spinning, to make sure that the frames don’t fall apart from the centrifugal force, but it can be done.


Thank you.

I’ve actually been a flow hive keeper for about 2.5 years. I haven’t ever had issues requiring help until my queen got trapped and laid in the super. I finally put it on early in the second spring. I lost 2 of 3 hives in the first year. this last one got close to death over the winter but rebounded. The hive is doing so well I’ve harvested 4 standard frames so far and 4 flow frames.

I do have an extractor but I am afraid the frames are just going to fall apart once I get them spinning in there.

It’s def worth taking the time to uncap and slowly spin it out. I really don’t want to miss out on the possible 1.5-2 gallons inside them. I’ll update once I get it done, hopefully.

Again, thanks for your help! I am happy to be a part of the Flow community.


That is definitely a risk, but you could reduce it by tightening the wires if necessary before you start. Plus keep the spin speed very slow, of course. It would still be faster than gravity! :blush: