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Honey Bee Healthy taste in honey on Flow Hive


I recently harvested a Flow Hive. This is the 2nd year for this hive and I was very surprised at what happened. This colony was given “Honey Bee Health” in their 1:1 sugar water at a specified measurment of 20ml/gal sugar water. It took no more than two gallons total and when I harvested it I got about 2.5 gallons of honey. However when cleaning up after the harvest, my wife asked if I had tasted it so I did and we both agreed that it had a tasted & smell of honey bee health. I paid $120 for a gallon of this stuff that everyone swore by. Has anyone else had this problem? The honey is not ruined but just has a funny taste.
Mighty Mike


Not quite understanding. Are you saying you were eating honey be healthy while the flow frames were on the hive?

That is likely the issue if that’s the case. Any and all feeding of your bees should cease-and-desist at least a week or so before putting your flow frames on your hive. Otherwise, you’re only going to get the product that you were feeding them as a harvest.


No, sorry you did not understand me. “Honey Bee Healthy” is added to the 1:1 sugar water as an additive that helps the bees build a stronger/faster brood. They love it. It is widely used and even recommended to build a colony larger and faster. I added the correct amount 20ml/gal sugar water as specified on the bottle. Maybe I made the wrong conversion but I do not think so. Anyway, I have not heard of this and wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
Mighty Mike


Let me re-ask @Martydallas’s question… :blush: Were you feeding the bees with the Flow super on the hive? If not, when did you last feed, and how long after feeding did you put the Flow super on? The point is, bees move honey around all the time, and they can certainly move HBH syrup up from the brood box into the Flow super, just ask @Red_Hot_Chilipepper. He spent a couple of years getting sugar syrup contamination out of a hive. However, if you were feeding with the Flow super on, that would be an even better way of getting HBH into your extracted honey. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Dawn_SD, thank you, coping with the wording :-). I use honey be healthy and think a lot of it it is a very good product. I actually have a recipe on how to make it myself.

It should not be fed to your bees at any time during a honey flow. Or you will taste the syrup. I’ve had my honey sent off to the University to have tested to see what kind of pollen they were bringing in. They were actually able to detect the fact that syrup was brought in to the hive as opposed to nectar.


Thanks to everyone for the feedback/answers to my issue. I did feed the colony one time (one gal 1:1 sugar water with the addition of 20ml HBH) with the flow super on the hive. I fed them through the flow super. I should of removed the flow super and feed them through the brood box. I messed up!!
Now, the next question is what to do with 2.5 gal of honey that has a slight “Honey Bee Healthy” taste. I am not a big fan of wasting honey!
Mighty Mike


Feed it back to the bees in the fall. That is what I did with the remaining uncapped honey I had in the flow frames when I took them off for the season.

I bought a small aluminum pan and then poured the honey into the pan. I placed a small chunck of wood for them to walk on to get to the honey without falling in it. I placed it on top of the inner cover then put the flow hive roof on over top of it.


@John_Yeager’s idea is better, but… You could make 20 gallons of Honey Lemon Spearmint ice cream, by adjusting this recipe and leaving out the vanilla. :smile: Per quart, I would add 1/2 cup finely minced mint leaves and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.

Perhaps I should explain my thinking for those who haven’t used Honey-B-Healthy. The main components of it are non-GMO Lecithin (as an emulsifier), Spearmint Oil and Lemongrass Oil. The ingredients are not listed on the bottle, but it is widely quoted that those are the main ones. Mint and lemon in desserts together are a very common combination, and taste good. While lemongrass is not quite the same, citrus lemon is probably close enough that it would work. The lecithin has negligible flavour.


Thanks again, I have not checked on the amount of honey per gallon but as I think about it, that is a lot of ice cream. I just got off of an HCG Diet and after loosing 40 lbs, I cannot have ice anywhere near me. I love it!! I think feeding them with it in the fall is a great idea also. I sure due appreciate your help. I belong to a Bee Club that does not want to discuss Flow Hives. I think it is the only way to go once I get used to changes and mistakes like this. My wife purchased a Flow Hive from a China source. I don’t know how the Flow Hive part will function but I do know the box for the flow hive and brood box are poor quality and I had difficulty putting them together. I think it would be better to just buy the flow hive part. I will also say I was not aware I had to remove the flow hive for the winter. It worked great last year. We got around 7.75 gallons of honey.


Depending on where you live you don’t HAVE to remove the flow super for winter. Treat the flow super the same you would any other super. You should never be feeding with your supers on… any kind of super.
If its from China it’s not a Flow Hive… so I wouldn’t call it such.


I Michael,

Becoming beekeeper we will making bo bo’s
along the path to becoming “Great Beekeeper” if n when we get there… Mistakes will happen as we are all learning along this path…

Odd taste on the Honey is a small Boo Boo so don’t sweat the small stuff. As I often say, it’s a learning curve. At least you have several options for the unique “Flavored” liquid gold. All is not a waste n I’m guessing you won’t do this twice. So put this unintentional Wrong “Behind You” n move on keeping the info in your “Not Do Again List” of experiences.

Glad the folks here could help you. And Yes, there’s still a large pockets of prejudge n misinformed old Beekeepers out there that can’t move on n get it in their Pea Picking Brains that using a Flow-hive ain’t no different until using the Plastic frames n Flow-super. I’d guess a number use or have some plastic foundations or frames in their own hive system. Just keep you mouth shut about the “Flow-Supet”. Just glean from their years of beekeeping experience ! Most of us have bumped up again the beekeeping Ignorance n have survived. Or like me … At 72 years old … I really don’t give a S---- ! I’ve rubbed shoulder with ignorance in many fields thru-out my life n lived to live another day. Just bite your lips n learn n do your Beekeeping Thing. :smile:

Aren’t we having FUN yet ?!? :sunglasses:.
Welcome abroad bro… Keep on keeping on !



Thank you so much, a much needed pep talk/memo.

Mighty Mike



No problem bro. I keep screwing up but less n Less n Less. Have a great rest of the week n weekend.

Ta Ta,


Thanks a million and hope to chat in the future.


You too. I’m 62 years old and only have a three year run at this bee keeping hobby. My son bought me me 1st Flow Hive and it was great until this little bump in the road.


[quote=“Michael_McLaughlin, post:9, topic:11257”]
My wife purchased a Flow Hive from a China source. I don’t know how the Flow Hive part will function but I do know the box for the flow hive and brood box are poor quality and I had difficulty putting them together. I think it would be better to just buy the flow hive part.[/quote]
Ok so let’s just clear this up. It sounds like you do not have a Flow hive. If it was NOT purchased through Flow they are NOT Flow frames they are copies and should not be described as Flow frames even if the workings are similar.
Maybe the taste is the plastic leaching from them…


Michael…are you saying you have one bought by your son and one by your wife? Perhaps each is different?


Yes, the flow hive my son bought was an actual authentic flow hive and the one my wife bought was from ebay. I am not positive but the frames look identical. Go to ebay and search for flow hive. By the way, that was the only thing identical. Honey box, brood box, and roof required modifications as I saw fit for my use. I have never had a harvest on the frames so we will have to wait and see.
Mighty Mike


OK, let me say this, I do have a Flow Hive as you see refer to it and no the taste is not coming from the copied version. You can put a name on anything you want and call it authentic and the real thing but you need to wake up and look around. A large percentage of everything we use is made in China. I do not like it either but when you consider the price you pay it becomes a valid point. Many American companies farm out subsets of a part to other countries. I believe this is what Trump is trying to make us aware of and/or change. When you stand up and say it is not a Flow Hive if not purchased through Flow, you remind me of the old bee keepers that are rejecting the Flow Hive. Who cares what you call it. I am a mechanical engineer and have few patents that are not even honored in China. Lets address the issue I am speaking about and if you have read other replies, it has already been solved. Have a great day.


You aren’t wasting honey because it isn’t honey. It is sugar syrup that the bees condensed and capped.