Jellybush, Manuka or Crystallised Honey in the Flow™ Hive

Hi all, I am very new to bee keeping and super excited to test out this flowhive when it arrives in a good few months time. I have been told by seasoned bee keepers that the system won’t work with manuka. What are people’s thoughts, could the flowhive frame honey be heated somehow to get it flowing during the manuka period?

1 Like

what’s so special about Manuka honey to stop it flowing? Isn’t it just honey from particular trees?

Manuka Honey is a thicker jelly honey from my understanding.

Hi @Michael,
I know Cedar and Stu have done some tests with Jellybush honey. This is similar to the New Zealand Manuka honey. The test they did was with about a 50/50 mix of ordinary honey and jellybush. On this test opening/closing the Flow mechanism almost all the honey would flow out. So nobody is sure yet how it will go with 100% Manuka honey.

I look forward to hearing from people who use it with Pure Manuka honey.

Hi Jake, thanks for your reply. I look forward to trying it with Manuka when I get the chance this season. Hopefully it goes great,

1 Like

Hi all I’m from england, I’ll be experimenting with oil seed rape honey which sets solid in comb as we’ll.

We will be the first using these frames! basically it was a gamble from the start But I’m still looking forward to it. I’ll be one of the few beekeepers with honey on tap :).

Plus you will get a lot of experienced beekeepers which will not want to change there methods.

Manuka honey is problematic to say the least at the extraction end of things. It is thixopropic in nature and needs to be “broken” in order to flow from the frames in an extractor. The jelly nature of Manuka honey means a lot more work at the extraction end of the game. Heating manuka does very little to helping it flow as it is jellyish, not liquid. I live in an area where we get good manuka and clover. I personally will not consider manuka as an option for the flow system.


I am interested to see whether the ‘breaking’ of the cell walls when the flowhive is cracked open will act as enough agitation to cause thixotropic honey to flow. Even potentially opening and closing the frame a few times. We won’t know for sure until early next year.

1 Like

This was the only thing that worried me when buying this product. I suppose even if it don’t work with this type of honey. You could work round it and only use the flow frames at certain times of year ?

Pretty sure Flow hive won’t improve Manuka extraction pipeline. Anyway, I’d be also worried with honeys such as willow honeydew or ivy… the worst that can happen with Manuka is not to flow out… but with the above mentioned the risk is to break flow combs!

I suppose when this happens you could just extract the honey from flow frames the same as beekeepers have been doing for years.

Then pop the frames back in the hive and hope for sum honey which is more suitable for the flow frames.

1 Like

what beekeepers did for years and actually do with ivy and willow honeydew is to melt the comb…

Right okay, I hvnt heard beekeepers round my area talk about that. The biggest problem they seem to have is oil seed rape honey. Which dosnt run and can set in comb.

I’d love to think the flow hive is the solution for every beekeeper but I’m guessing if you have honey that is notorious for crystallizing or if you have large amounts thixotropic honey it may not work so well.

As people in all corners of the world start to use the flow hive over the next months and years I’m sure we will get to know what we can and can’t do with them. From what I have seen it works brilliantly with various honey types in northern NSW Australia, it has also been tested in Canada and a few other places around Australia.

1 Like

Hi, I’m in Mallorca looking forward to starting beekeeping with my new Flowhive some time next Spring.

I’m studying with local beekeepers who use the traditional methods and who ask me what I’m going to do about set honey in a Flowhive. Do you have a link to any information about spinning out honey from Flowhive combs? I’d like to be able to answer their questions properly. It’s difficult to imagine how spinning would not wreck the mechanics of the frames without having handled one.

1 Like

We have had crystallised honey in flow frames and when the lever was turned the crystallised honey did not drain out.

The bees then noticed the comb walls had split and over a few days they removed the crystallised honey and began refilling with liquid honey again.

If you are in an area that is prone to crystallised honey we recommend harvesting as soon as the honey is ready.

In a worst case scenario the frames may need to be removed from the hive and soaked in warm water.
This is from our FAQs page

I’m not aware if anyone has tried putting the flow frames in an extractor. I just had a little play with one just now, flexing it in the middle to see what it would do… then spent the next 5 minutes putting it all back together. If it is supported down the length of the frame it might be OK to put in an extractor. It is unlikely that it will actually break the frames but you might have to click all the pieces back together if it is not supported in the middle.

1 Like

I wonder if one could apply suction with a hand pump… i.e. seal the tube into a jar for collecting the honey and having a second tube from the jar feeding some belows or foot pump. Issues would be if it drew too much air through the cracked wax or if it drew the wax into the chambers or honey.

I think suction is unlikely to work as there would be too many little air gaps.

If it was done in an extraction room, one could wrap it in clingfilm and only expose sections of the face of the comb at a time?

Josh will be interested to see how that gets on!!