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Honey Flooding during extraction


During extraction I am having a problem with honey flooding from the bottom of the frame (see pictures). I have read the forum and have not found an answer to this problem. I extract one frame at a time. I removed the flowhive box during the extraction process for demonstration purposes at a harvest party. I have lost a fair amount of honey which the bees are recovering. What is the solution to this problem. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?


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Swarm...this early in Summer? Singapore
Leaking honey from flow frame during harvest
(Almost) Perfect Ikea tray for screened base

There is always some spillage, but bees are very adept at cleaning up spillage as long as it is not an overwhelming amount. When you pull it off the hive, there are no bees to clean it up.


This was talked about quite alot lately. It’s recommended to open the frames sectionwise rather than all at once. Thus the honey can flow out without building up back pressure, which would otherwise promote leaking.


@AngoraAngy is absolutely correct. Only open portions of each frame at a time and let it flow out before you open up more. I have seen multiple posts regarding this plus youtube videos of Flow hive owners having the same issue.

@Faroe Since this subject has been on the forum quite frequently as of late it may be a good idea for a how to video on the website


Quite a few people have mentioned it and there are several possible causes. First of all, have you read the Honeyflow harvest checklist? http://www.honeyflow.com/resources/harvesting-checklist/p/197

It was also discussed extensively on this thread:

Perhaps you will see something helpful there. :wink:


As everyone else has said, and read Stu’s post here - Has this happened to anyone else?


I think a lot of have had this issue to some extent. Trick is to nsert key 25% into flow,turn,drain,and then move key in another 25% and repeat. It takes a bit longer to harvest but you get the goodies, bees do not drown, and the ants stay away


This happened today as 3 frames were being harvested(not mine),It was leaking from inside and coming out the bottom.
The honey was thin and the hive is a coastal location.
At least the bee’s will clean it up.


The bees may clean it up, however it can involve a lot of the worker bees in the process which leaves the brood temporarily unattended & very vulnerable to SHB infestation if beetles are in your area. The beetles that are normally kept at bay will quickly tunnel through the comb & lay eggs at the base of the brood. Therefore the beetle larvae will consume the brood from the inside first.

Bees don’t like honey on their bodies, one day I saw a bee on my back verandah take over 15 minutes to clean her body of honey before she could fly.

A spill like that onto the brood of a hive is, in my view a major disruption & should be avoided.


Wow, I’m sorry that happened to you…and the bees: That’s just awful :frowning:


Thanks JeffH I will pass this onto the owner of the hive.
I think the main problem was not all the cells were capped allowing the honey to flow out of the uncapped cells. He also opened the whole frame at once, if it was done in steps it may not have been as bad.


Thanks Red_Hot_Chilipepper.
Lucky for me it was not my hive but it is not good for the girls.


yes- that is a very bad amount of honey to leak out- I have never seen so much. I would tell that friend to:

a) Make sure frames are fully capped before harvesting
b) Crack the frames in 1/5th increments- allowing 20+ minutes between cracks.
c) Only harvest one or two frames at once
d) Harvest when the weather is cooler if possible

If you do the above the leaking will be minimalised. By only harvesting one or two frames at a time- the bees will have a much better chance to clean up- move out of the way- and deal with the leaks.

personally I would also first clean the coreflute and then put it in the bottom slot- if it is in the top slot and that much honey leaked it would pool at the bottom of the hive and bees would drown in it.

It’s interesting you say ‘coastal’ my mothers hive is also coastal- and her honey tends to be thinner than mine- and she has had more visible leaks. However by following the above rules the last 3 times we have harvested that hive we have only seen very very small leaks- certainly nothing like in your photo.


I am a different continent, but similar climate and very coastal. Like 100 feet from the water coastal. :smile: Minimal leaks here, but as Jack says, I open the frames in 20% increments over about 30 minutes, and the hive has the recommended tilt on it.