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Flowhive cells capped but empty?

Hi all,new to this forum,have been looking at numerous post but can’t find any that fits my question.have recently taken my flowhive off for winter( all be it a bit late)on inspection of frames i have capped cells with no honey in them.i’m very curious why?is this usual?

the few darker cells on the right do have honey in them


Oh Man!.. that’s the first I have had of anything like this… so @Neal, looks like you had a dig around in some of the cells yourself… are you confident that most of the capped are actually completely empty of honey? Sometimes, the bees will cap the honey going into winter to prevent it going off even if it is not completely filled. If there is an air gap behind the capping then the cell may appear to be empty because it is lighter in colour compared to the other cells that are full.

Good thought rodderick,so i scraped an inch or two off to get a good look at a few,no honey completly empty,some of the uncapped cells have a bit of honey in them.two frames that i didn’t harvest when i did the rest are still full like normal frames.the capped empty cells are waxed up internally,it can’t of leaked out? I’m still very puzzled :thinking:

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Hi Neal,

@Neal Is this a frame that you harvested some time ago and left on the hive? It looks possible that you drained the Frames in the usual way with the honey under the capping draining away into the harvest channel etc as usual. The bees didn’t subsequently remove the capping and refill the cells presumably because there was no nectar flow or something (late harvest?). It looks like a dry capping which is less likely to break on harvest and therefore more likely to be left alone by the bees.


Hey dan2, Thanks for that, makes sense,just not sure ,i sent a pic, the cells look like they have been waxed up ready for honey again,some of the capped cells have a very tiny amount of opaque looking honey in them,the uncapped cells have (clean) normal looking honey in them.hopefully the pic can show something i don’t or can’t see

Hi Neal, I’ve seen some evidence of this sort of thing on my Flow frames immediately after harvest (towards the end of a season) with some areas of dry or higher capping left sort of in tact and the odd cell capped but not drained. In your situation what you see might be a result of factors such as the time of year you harvested (temperature/nectar flow), the strength of the colony at the time (and during the period following) and particularly the substantial (superb) dry capping by your bees. They may not have had the conditions right to prompt them to clean up and remove the capping, particularly if the season had wound right down but they conserved energy and stored the final bit of nectar for the season in the cells that had the capping broken during harvest (after they cleaned them out).

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Thanks dan2, may have solved my puzzle( curiousity), it was a late harvest thanks both rodderick and dan2🤗