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Not filling outer flows

Hi, a newish flow hive enthusiast with a basic question. As you can see from the attached photo, the very outer side of the flow hives are not filling. When viewed from the side, they look capped, but there is no honey in them.

That’s just bees being “b” minded!
Both my flow hives have different patterns of filling the flow frames…but I don’t care so long as I keep getting plenty of honey!

So what is happening is your bees are filling from the inside frames to the outside, they will fill the outer frame when all the other frames are full of honey and capped. And as

says, bees will do things at their own pace.
Regards and welcome to the forum, there is heaps of help and good information here.

Ok! Well I shall just be patient. I got about 8.5kg from the three flows I emptied, so I’m pretty happy.

Are you sure? Have you lifted the frames out? I would put my money on there being a thin rim of uncapped cells (1 - 3 cells wide) around the edge of the frame. Bees often do this, and as long as the rest of the frame is at least 90% capped, you are fine to harvest it. :wink:

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Sounds like you are doing well. My bees rarely fill the outside of the outer frames but I harvest anyway as I feel this deters them from swarming…so far anyway!
But they do have two brood boxes.

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Thanks so much for your reply. I shall watch and wait.

Thanks so much for your suggestion. I suited up and had a look and you are right. It is only just at the end that the cells are not filled, and the rest of the frame is very full. So, next weekend I will harvest again.

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Thank you for the feedback. Experience counts for something, I guess. :blush: Now you can teach others who are worried about their frames not filling. :smile:

this is all quite normal- oftentimes the end cells are not a good indication of the entire frame. the only way to be sure is to look. It could be if the weather is very cold and/or very hot- the bees don’t like to go into some areas. At other times the end cells will be full but there will be a large empty patch in the middle. It’s annoying- but that’s how it is.

Thanks for that help. I had a look inside, and indeed it is just the two cells at the very end on each side that were empty - for no apparent reason. So, I’m going to harvest them on the weekend. Davo2

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Last season I had one hive where there was zero honey in the end window in any frame- and I left it for ages- then I finally looked inside to find that all frames were completely capped- except for the very end cells. It pays to look!

I have a trick for inspecting the flow frames: I use 6 frame supers so what I do is first remove the second frame in from the window- then I can look down beside it and see if the facing frames are capped or not. Then I remove the 4th from the wondow and do the same- then finally the sixth. That way you only need to take out three and you can look at all faces of all six.

That is typical bee behaviour. They do it in traditional frames too. There is a nice photo of it below, and a less dramatic one in Step 2 of the linked blog article below that:


I have a variation on Jack’s trick. I take out one frame and inspect it, then look down from above at the two exposed faces. Then I slide each frame to the side and inspect the next 2 faces. That way, I only have to lift one frame out. However, I have put metal “frame rests” in my boxes, so it is much easier to slide the frames on those. It might be tricky on bare wood.


Yes, thanks for that. I almost accidentally used that system for inspection too, but certainly will now! Brilliant.