Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Manifolding flow frames


Continuing the discussion from Where does one purchase the curved honey extraction tubes?:

Hi. I completed an extraction of all 6 flow frames this morning using the manifold in the pictures. Absolutely no issues - drained all frames in about 30 mins. The manifold is made of bog standard water reticulation UPVC 20mm pipe and fittings (which are food grade). The only real issue was the horizontal spacing of the flow frames being 50mm and the natural pitch of the 20mm Tees is 70mm. Simple enough exercise to trim 10mm off each side of the T and glue together. As there is no pressure, the smaller gluing surface won’t matter. The flow tubes are a nice friction fit inside the 20mm elbows and there was no leakage.

The length of the vertical pipe nearest the collection cube is 150mm and the one in the elbow is 120mm, thus giving about 30mm fall towards the collection point. The cube has a 20mm hole drilled in the cap. The pipe passes neatly thru it preventing the bees from trying to recover their property. Total cost of pipe & fitting (ex Bunnings) was $A17.45. Hope that helps anyone wanting to manifold their frames.

Harvesting multiple frames
Any news on the flow hive manifold?

good work thats some good design/building


Very interesting, thank you for sharing! My wife reckons there is nothing I like better than finding an excuse to go to Bunnings!


Looks good but my OCD couldn’t cope with the honey lost in the system :roll_eyes:


Good one. How much honey do you think you lost in the system. I would have thought very little.


Very little I agree but too much for me. My shenanigans with honey buckets are a testament to that :roll_eyes:


Nice. I like that it is all one piece. Mine were separate tubes but if the bucket gets moved all the tubes could pop out…


Have you tried using this yet?

I would suggest providing pressure relief air hole in the container, if the PVC pipe is connected to tightly to the container you make it back up or it may not flow as smoothly as you would like.

Very smart and ingenious set up by the way


After extracting leave it out for the girls to clean up. No waste at all that way!


Thanks for the feedback. @Dee I don’t know how to calculate how much honey I lost in the “system”. I got 26kg from the 6 frames, but I don’t know how many of the cells were capped. I put standard observation windows in the super when I built it (I make most stuff from scratch) and about 90% of the observable area on the outside side of the 2 outside frames were capped. I was working on the assumption that even if I didn’t get the honey out into my bucket, the bees will just recycle it into other cells. I have also noticed this evening (7PM here in Perth) that some of the bottom cells visible in the extraction end window have already started to fill up!! I’m guessing that maybe I didn’t give the system long enough to drain completely. There is enough gap around the pipe into the cube for there not to be a back-pressure problem. Will try it again in a few weeks.


Only if you can guarantee it is ONLY your bees cleaning it up.


Engraved invitations with rsvp cards maybe?

Bee bouncers to enforce that velvet rope?

I guess it would have to be an open house lol


Well, I’m wary of feeding bees in the open. Bees from other colonies will join the scrum and can spread disease. You don’t want to be dealing with brood disease months later wondering where it came from. Even though I am in a very rural area there are at least 75 apiaries registered on Beebase within a 10km radius of me.


We are City beekeepers. So hives in close proximity to ours is just the natural order. It wouldn’t make much sense for us to worry about it since our bees share all their food sources with other hives. The good news is the other beekeeper in my area keep clean house as best I can tell. So I won’t have to worry much. If I didn’t know the other local Beek I might be more concerned.

How much of a risk do you think it is, all joking about velvet ribbons aside?

Up in Sacramento when my dad was extracting it would be a huge mess and there would be no way to control other bees from coming to The Feeding Frenzy that was the after party the bees had. We never gave it a thought. Not that we could have done much about it if we had. Honey everywhere. The small amount of honey that the manifold would hold is Tiny in comparison.


You could solve this problem with flexible PVC pipe from the flow connector to the manifold , and from the manifold to the bucket. This would allow for some flex and movement without popping them loose


I don’t think it’s something we should be minimising and encouraging beginners to indulge in, that’s all.
We have AFB hotspots in the UK and most of them are centred round honey processing plants.
The quip about my OCD was a feeble joke. BTW

I’ve never seen anything like that and I have worked with commercial beekeepers. All supers are taken away and extracted indoors well away from any bees.


It seems to be the opposite problem. All stiff and bunji corded to the hive would be best I think with the flexible end at the bucket.


I have 79 near me and I’m in Suburbia - I was surprised about that

sorry got that wrong it is 194


As if my mom would ever let that happen in her house! ; -D

We pop up a tent on the back lawn and do it in that.


I now understand what @Dee meant by loss in the system. Because I built slope into the manifold, and I tilt the hive when extracting, there was very little honey left in the manifold or pipework. And after I had disconnected it from the flow frames, I took the lot back to the cave and stood all the pipes on end so they could drain into a pot. When I washed the rig out, there would have been very little honey lost - certainly less than I lose when processing my conventional lang frames.