We just harvested honey from our Flow Hive for the first time. As the honey was flowing out the tube, we also noticed some honey dripping out the bottom of the hive. Has anyone had this private before? I can’t figure out if the frame has a crack, or it something else is going on. We were afraid to try any more frames, in case we were doing something wrong. Any advice?
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! You were very wise to do just one frame for your first extraction. I always do only one or two frames, never more than that.
First of all, may I ask if you opened the frame in one go, or in sections? Most of us open the frame in 20-25% sections (you can mark the Flow key with a Sharpie to help measure this), then wait for several minutes to make sure an airlock is not forming in the Flow tube before opening the next section. If an airlock forms, you can get a big back flow and flood into the hive.
Second, did you use one key or two keys? One key will flex the frame and break the cappings more easily than 2 keys. This can also cause a leak into the hive.
Third, did you check that the frames were capped by lifting them out? Looking through the windows is not enough, you need to look at them directly. If there is an arc of uncapped cells in the frame, honey will leak out of the uncapped cells.
This is a very common issue, but there are ways to work around it. If you want some more ideas, just use the Search tool magnifying glass at the upper right and enter something like Flow frame leak.
Just so that you know, I have extracted frames off the hive, and had less than 2 ounces of honey leaking from 4 frames when I used the methods described above. I also made a short video if you want to see an on-hive extraction.
Hope that helps!