New to beekeeping and HoneyFlow question

Hi, I have already purchased my Flow hive and am excited to get it going. However, a local beekeeper has said that the “Flow” system won’t work in my area (Cambridgeshire, UK) due to the prevalence of Rapeseed. Any thoughts on difficulties Rapeseed might present and, if honey gets stuck or crystallises inside, how you’d get it out?
Many thanks


That’s rubbish samb don’t listen too much to opinions like that it’s really down to your local forage resources and knowing what you can do to minimise any issues with crystallising.

OSR is seasonal so if you have it in your area or where you intend to house your hive then it’s just a case of keeping an eye on it.

Bees forage from multiple sources especially backyard Beekeeping so you’ll have alsorts of nectar coming in.

An option is to have a traditional honey super on at the beginning of the OSR season/bloom. Then remove it and replace with your Flow super. I’ve seen others post that harvesting OSR early with thier flow frames did the trick to prevent issues.

Never had an issue (Midlands) same for ivy.

Best advice is just go with the Flow (parden the pun) if your Flow Frames do become crystallised it’s just a case of rinsing them out with warm water until they clear. You’ll be left with wax prepped frames and the bees will soon crack on filling them again.

All part of the learning and fun samb :+1:


Welcome to the forum Sam, you will get lots of tip[s and advice here from the members as well as lots of reading.
When I first got interested in buying Flow hives I made a few visits to my local bee group and was even offered a list of honeys that would crystallize in a Flow Frame, the list named just about every source of nectar in Australia, where the Flow Hive was designed. I found that information conflicting to say the least. I also found most of the experts in the group hadn’t had any hands on knowledge of a flow hive, so I went ahead and bought four as an experiment. Rape seed was on the list.
Different honey can vary in time to crystallize from never to about a month or two but that will vary on a lot of factors. Most owners of Flow Hives are extracting the honey as soon as it is capped as they are honey hungry. Bees forage on a variety of what is available at the time so it is unlikely you would get a frame of pure Rape Seed, also consider that the crystallizing time between a traditional frame and a Flow Frame would be the same.
Pre the Flow Hive I chased Rape seed, Salvation Jane and Cape weed as an early source of honey and never had an issue with it crystallizing in the frames. You have been told a myth that has no basis in facts. If you do have a frame that crystallized it is only a matter of rinsing the frame in warm water regardless of the nectar source. But I doubt you would leave a capped frame on the hive long enough for that to happen.

Hi Samb, I live in Cambridgeshire and I’m considering starting with the Flow hive. Just wondered if you’d got off the ground with it and how you’re doing?

Regards Rachel

Hi Rachel
So far so good and in fact I am about to take off my first lot of honey this afternoon. This is the bit I was told (by the traditionalists) wouldn’t work due to the prevalence of rape seed and ivy pollen but it looks good so will let you know how I get on. In terms of the hive itself, really well constructed, love seeing the bees inside and absolutely no complaints or issues at all. Would definitely recommend!


Ah that’s brilliant do post done photos if you can! I’m at the point where I’m considering location in the garden, what’s in the fields around me, and doing loads of reading and the flow online course!

I think I just need to press the button and go for it! I’ve got till next spring to get education :rofl::rofl:

Nerves :grimacing:

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Hi! Success :grinning: I only did one frame today but honey flowed and over 5 1lb jars filled with liquid gold! Don’t seem to be able to add photos on here but might be because I’m on my mobile. Will try Mac later.
So I’d say go for it! So much simpler than splinting and the associated kit and faff.

Oh wow that’s amazing Sam, what a great day for you!

I’m just about there with making my decision. We’re just a bit worried about location as we have a big garden which faces south but we do need to mow the lawn :cold_sweat::cold_sweat: not sure if it’s a show stopper or not! I’m thinking of creating a wild flower garden towards the gate at the bottom of the garden with fencing around it. Don’t want them swarming over hubby when he cuts the grass!

Might I suggest paving a small area, so that you don’t have to mow it? The hives would be more stable on a paved surface too. If you put either a fence or a trellis growing climbing plants around the hive area, the bees will be forced to fly up and would be less likely to bother people in the garden. About 6 feet high is good for that. Looks like you have a couple of pups too - you might want to think about how to stop them from exploring the hives, for their own good… :wink:

Looks like a gorgeous location. What is the crop in that field behind you?

Thanks Dawn that’s great advice snd exactly what I’m looking for, inspiration :grimacing:

I was defo thinking either fencing or trellis and a raised paved area and path near the hedges rather than having to mow the lawn by the hedges.

Not sure how the dogs will react, I have so many bees in the garden of varying types including honey bees but I think a hive might be more interesting to start with :face_with_peeking_eye:.

I’m in Cambridgeshire in the Uk, very agricultural so the fields harvest differently every year. This year is barley, last your potatoes which would have been fab. Farmer doesn’t spray either so loads of foraging and lots of apple and pear orchards within a few meters of the house :+1::+1:

Any other thoughts would be appreciated and thank you :pray:t3: Rachel

I was a junior doctor for 2 years in Norfolk (King’s Lynn) and Cambridge (Addenbrookes), so I remember the landscape. Most grain crops will not help the bees, as you probably know, and OSR (oilseed rape) can be a pain for a couple of weeks. It sounds like you have a very responsible farmer and plenty of other nectar sources for them. Bees will fly 2 miles or more to get to good forage. I am sure that they will be very happy in your location.

By the way, the photo was very helpful for making suggestions. I agree with your ideas. :blush:

Hi Rachel

We have two dogs, a cat and chickens, all of which roam free (save the chickens at the moment due to bird flu restrictions). The hives are not fenced off, just down towards the end of the garden and over two years one bee sting to a dog. They tend to avoid as whilst the honey smells good, the buzzing puts them off. Can’t guarantee you won’t have issues but animals often learn lessons faster than us humans :wink:

We’ve also had rapeseed crops in the fields over the hedge and so far no issues. There will be bumps along the way but lots to learn and build on.

Wishing you all the best!


Sam Buchanan