same: first time we used a flow hive we stared with a Nuc- we put it in the flow brood with 3 more frames which the bees filled out in 3 weeks. We added the flow super: we didn’t wax the frames or do anything like that. The bees immediately began to fill them and 5 weeks later had filled the entire super. We put in the tubes and cracked all six frames completely in one maneuver. The bucket started to fill! Hooray! Flow is awesome.
A minute or three later: honey started to flow out of the front entrance! Soon bees were clustered all over the front of the hive flecked with honey. We harvested 20+ kg’s- the bees bearded all afternoon, and soon licked up the pool in front of the hive.
So: we had some big leaks- if I had to guess maybe 500 grams or so. The hive was disturbed but we saw no deaths- and they didn’t skip a beat- refilling the flow frame 6 weeks later.
After that- we have always done it in increments, only 2 or 3 frames at a time and always used a bucket with tubes- and never once have we see any evidence of leaks like that first time. 90% of the time you see no evidence of leaks at all. I suspect some leaks always happen: but I really feel they are no different than removing standard combs, breaking cross comb, cutting out burr comb- etc- I do not believe that there is any such thing as 100% leak free beekeeping… . And the bees can deal with it. When you break frames in increments if there is a leak- the bees can lick it up almost as fast as it leaks out. There is very little danger of hurting the queen or causing anything beyond a localized minor disturbance.
but you do have to think about what you are doing- and take a few steps. So the flow frames were not quite as easy to use as the original campaign suggested- but they do largely work as advertised- and by God- I so much prefer the prospect of a Flow box harvest than taking off and spinning a box. I do both and there is no comparison: the first is so easy- it is a joke. A beautiful joke…
But: that’s not the whole story: I now have more standard hives than flow hives. In many ways there are still many advantages to the tried and true langstroth system- as it has been done for decades. If you have a lot of hives- it makes a lot of sense. Spinning a single box is a pain- spinning 10 boxes is efficient. Economy of scale is a big thing when it comes to traditional uncapping and spinning. It is not that much harder to do 10 boxes than 1. But if you only have one or two hives- I would always recommend the Flow… (at least for areas similar to where I keep bees).