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How long should it take to drain a Flow frame?

So tonight was the first time I’ve opened up one of my flowframes to harvest honey. It’s about 23° outside and after 3 1/2 hours they were still honey sitting in the tube and very little coming out. I close the frames remove the tubes and call it a day. I know it’s pitch dark outside :slight_smile:
How long should it take in this temperature to drain the flow frame?
My frames are only about 2/3 capped but I have to train them before winter

It really depends on the temperature and the honey water content/viscosity. This season I had some honey that was very thick and only 15.8 % water content- it took hours to completely drain from the hive. Other frames were drained in under an hour. Unripe/uncapped honey is often thinner and will flow out very fast.

However- in general the majority of the honey comes out relatively quickly- it is the last 15% that takes a long time.

If you use a a set up with a bucket and tubes like mine- and the hive is nearby- you can leave it draining overnight to be sure to get everything. I did that a few weeks ago and it worked well:


It took 45 minutes to an hour to drain one frame on mine. It is pretty thick and more than likely below 18% water content. I base this off my honey from last year that I tested with the refractometer. The consistency was almost identical to last years harvest. The day I harvested it was around 80 deg F (27 deg C). I need to build a system like @Semaphore used to let sit for a long period.

It took mine about 1 hour. I did the crack 10% then waited till the tube was only half full then cracked 15% more, and did this in intervals. It ended up being that it took about 1 hour but I got something like 10lbs of honey out of 2 frames.

I am in PA so it is about 70F here.

When we drained 4 frames, it took about 2.5 hours in SoCal in late June. However, we got 27lb of honey, and it was 17.4% water or less. Almost 3 US gallons of really good stuff.

I took 2 frames yesterday at 26c. I don’t know what the viscosity was, need to get a refractometer. Each frame yielded about 3kg of honey.

It probably took 1/2 an hour each frame, it helps a lot if you elevate the front of the hive, I stick a broken broom handle half way along the base board. Once the flow has slowed to a tiny trickle I close the flow frame up, stick the plug in and move to the next frame. Once the frames are done I find the remains of frame have settled and I take the plug out and get the last bit.