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Honey leak behind my tube access cap



I have some honey build or leak under my flow frames that has only recently started to appear. In Texas the temps have been above 100 degrees for the past two weeks, I am not sure if that is the reason for the slow leak down. Three of the six frames have the leaks and only one of the three is “almost ready” to be tapped. Trying to see if anyone else has witnessed this as well (photos attached… I think)



Just a thought, and maybe more applicable if this is the first season of the flow hive. With the sustained heat over the past 2 weeks the honey has become thin and leaking out of the wax cappings and cells, at that sort of temperature that the wax could also be slightly melting, it would be very interesting to know what sort of temperature is inside the hive with ambients of 100+.
Remedy would be to rig some shade over the hive and see if the leaking stops.


I have two flow hives, first season for both. One of them has the same issue and I thought it was just me.


I get this after I’ve harvested the super but I assume the bees clean it up


Problem is, I haven’t harvested yet. LOL I get to watch the golden loot drip away.:smirk:


Tim - Thanks at least we are not alone now. Ill have my second flow hive in August and cant wait!


Might pay to take the cap off, clean out the “grove” behind it so that the bees can clean the channel of the leaked honey before you harvest.



Could it be a wax melt from the heat? How hot have you been recently? If over ~105F, that might be part of the reason. You might want to consider providing some afternoon shade for the hive, and make sure the bees have a water source nearby.

Definitely do not inspect in that kind of heat though. Hard on you, and the wax can be very “slumpy”.


You see this from time to time- and you almost always see it in the weeks after you have robbed a frame. A few things you can do:

  1. twist the cap on that frame whenever you can every few days, just turn it around few degrees wiggling it back and forwards. This is because the bees often proplise or wax up the little hole where they can lick up that honey. By twisting it around every few days you keep it open and the drain often empties. If it’s really blocked poke it with a small stick. nail, whatever.

  2. buy a long bottle brush and before you harvest the frames get a bucket of hot water, dip the brush in it- and poke it all the way into the extraction trough twisting as you go. Take out and rinse in the bucket and repeat until it all comes out clean. If you can leave the plug out for a bit so the channel can dry/air out. If possible do this a few days before you harvest.

  3. when you harvest use a bucket with tubes- and place a fine strainer on the bucket so that any little particles are filtered out as you harvest and you can pretty much jar the honey straight away.

usually if you do all this the leaking goes away- or isn’t an issue. If it continues to be an issue in one particular frame I would check the wire tightness on that frame and tighten if it’s loose.


I would also add that you should get a good smell of it in case it has fermented in the time it has been sitting there and probably clean it out before you remove the wax build up that the bees have put in the little groove which Jack was just describing (the feedback groove which the bees can clean up any excess from) otherwise the fermented stuff will go down to the bees. Not the best for them, I don’t think. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.


Hello Cathie, as he has ambient temps of 100F plus for 2 weeks, so the temperature inside the hive would be considerably higher. I am thinking the problem would come from the wax possibly melting and the honey consistency being closer to water than honey.
That heat won’t make the honey ferment though. Fermented honey is mead which was a very common drink in England of yesteryear and about as alcoholic as wine.


Oh ok Peter. I have just been finding very liquid honey that has a fermented smell in the channels when going to harvest in the last couple of days. When I take out the cap it is pretty gunky and I assumed the bees had waxed over what should be a small open place for any drips of honey/nectar to feedback down to the bees. i cleaned the channel the best I could before harvesting and re-opening the groove at the bottom of the front of the channel where the tube slots in.


I am puzzled about the bees waxing over the hole and you are far from the first to mention finding that. Logic says that if the hole provides honey the bees would want it open but the bees don’t always follow logic.
Try pushing a chux into the channel with it over the end of the hive key to clean out the channel, another trick is squirting warm water into the channel and moping it out with a chux. It is fiddly and probably the worst feature of the Flow Hive.


Hi Peter, can you please describe and/or post a pic of a “chux”? I’ve also noticed some buildup of honey in the channels and have been wondering how best to deal with it. Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:


Chux is just the common brand name of a fairly open weaved ‘kitchen cloth’ that can be used as a washing up cloth or a bench top wiping rag bought in the cleaning section in a supermarket. They are blue or blue and white in color. I will post a photo if you like.


Having a forward tilt on a hive as you do with traditional bottom boards sometimes honey or nectar that does leak through to the drainage channel may not be obvious until you tilt the hive back when you set up to harvest.
I have harvested one set of frames four times and have not found the need to wash the channel yet, nor do I filter. Fframes to bucket to jar. Easy peasy, fresh no mess. It’s been said that the Flow honey tastes so good because of its minimal exposure to air.
Speaking of mead, looking forward to the end of Dry July so I can get into last years Joes Ancient Orange to ward off these cold nights. :wink:
@Peter48 I think it’s propolis, not wax that they seal the drain hole with.


Thanks Peter - I always find it fun to hear about little differences between our everyday items & names for them :slight_smile:️ I had a very inaccurate picture in my mind of what a chux might be, thinking it was something more specialized & long-handled or something!


That makes perfect sense skegs. That happened with a couple of my Fframes when we had to (carefully) jack ithe hive up in front after the level revealed a decidedly forward tilt from settling. I still think that the heat of the day could have weakened the cell seams and created some leakage when we lifted the front end, but I can see how collected honey in the channel that was already there might just have flowed back then.


They look very similar to this:


Looks like what I’d call a handiwipe