Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Leaking frames during harvest

I have been using the frames for a few years now. Every time I harvest, I notice honey oozing from the hive base which has wire netting and diatomaceous earth for beetle control. The bottom of the hive is inaccessible by the bees. When I check the bottom tray it is full of honey.
This year I remove the super and place it on a table to find out what happen during harvest. As soon as I start, honey start leaking from the capped cells. I collected the honey on a tray. I got close to a half kilo jar for 4 frames
This is serious design fault as I cannot use the flow hive as intended, that is to reduce harvest time. This takes me longer than conventional frames. I am going back to traditional frames.

There are a number of threads with troubleshooting tips on harvesting and preventing leakage into the hive - and some strong opinions (shockingly).


It seems that some of the common ideas relate to hive tilt and opening the frames in segments but there are some contributors that harvest remotely.

If you can post more details about your situation maybe the brain trust can figure out a solution.

Does the honey seem to leak more toward the back or front of the hive? Can you describe your set up and your method for harvest?

I try to avoid honey spills onto the brood & bees as a hive beetle mitigation strategy… However

You said that the bottom tray was “full of honey”. I assume that was after harvest. I think a good idea would be to sanitize the bottom tray before harvest so that honey spills, if any, that drip into the tray can be used for human consumption.


PS. I don’t think the leaking issue is a “serious design fault”. That is if my theory is correct. My theory is that the leaking will occur more often with wet caps than dry caps, due to the surface tension of the wax cap, which is adhered to the honey. As the honey moves, it will tend to drag the cap with it, thus causing the caps to separate, as in this photo.

Therefore if my theory is correct, no improvements in design of the flow frames can stop this from happening.

As beekeepers we need to work out how we can work with this situation so as to achieve the best outcome for our bees.

Double cheers

have you been inserting the key the full l;length and harvesting the entire frame in one go?

we have reduced leaks a great deal by inserting the key 1/4 of the way at a time- turning- then waiting for 25 minutes or so before putting it in another quarter and repeating. We also only harvest 2 frames per day- and frames that are not adjacent to each other. the bees are quite good at licking up leaking honey- if you do the harvest in increments you give them the best chance to keep up with the leaks- not get overwhelmed- and stop the honey from reaching the base. Using these methods I gave had no adverse outcomes to the bees- or visible leaks of honey.

Thanks for the tip. I will also replace the diatomaceous tray under the screen with a collecting tray to give the bees time and access to the spill and clean it up.