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Ripe uncapped and capped frames in a flow hive?


How many people are experienced ripe but uncapped honey in their flow frames?

I’ve got a flow hybrid super (3 flow frames, 4 wired wax foundation frames) and a flow super (6 flow frames). I’ve noticed that flow frames in the hybrid super are preferentially capped to the flow frames in the flow super. Has anyone else noticed anything similar?

Additionally, in stating the above observation, the uncapped honey in the flow frames in the flow super is ripe. Testing it with a hydrometer showed a moisture of content between 14.5 and 15.5%. The moisture content of the honey in the capped frames was about 15.5%-17%.

My hive has the hybrid super on top, flow super in the middle, and brood box at bottom. The bees seem to preferentially work the hybrid super over the flow super.

Visually Inspecting Flow Frames before harvesting - is it necessary?

Not in a Flow but in traditional supers if there is a mighty flow on. The bees go hell for leather filling the frames and don’t cap them till the flow slows


Thanks Dee. Perhaps that is the case here. The rate at which the bees are bringing nectar and pollen back in to the hive is impressive (and nice to see!).




How is your hybrid arranged? Flow frames in the centre or to the side? What are they doing with the conventional frames, capping or using them to ripen honey?

I’m planning to split my flow frames across two hives and so am keen on any tips.


@Dunc If you look at this topic I started earlier about harvesting you will see my current setup. I’ve currently got the standard flow hybrid - 3 flow frames in the middle and 2 standard frames on each side. If you are making your own super I would recommend putting your flow frames all to one side. This being said, keep in mind you will likely need to lift the super at some point so it will impact weight distribution.

In the flow hybrid the spacing isn’t right you end up with gaps on each side of the regular frames and the inner side of the super, which the bees often start to bridge with comb. I haven’t measured but I’m adamant if the 3 flow frames were arranged to one side you would be able to fit 5 standard frames in a super.

In relation to how they were capping, the flow frames and regular frames in the hybrid super were capped. The flow frames in the flow super are the ones that are uncapped or so little is capped it isn’t worth mentioning.

Previously, before I put the hybrid super on, I had removed one of the flow frames in the flow super and was rotating a brood frame through that. I had no issues with burr comb. I have noticed that the bees seem to prefer building burr comb between standard frames preferentially to between flow x standard frame or even flow x flow frame. This isn’t to say you won’t get any but I visually notice less.


@Dee, further to my last reply I was thinking about my hive inspection the other day. And I think what you’ve said is probably on the mark. In the space of 1wk I noticed one entire frame in the brood box go from a mix of drone cells, pollen and honey to being about 80% pollen and 20% nectar. And a frame I harvested a week ago had the wax capping fully removed and new nectar already starting to fill the frame (so, even if they were rearranging their stores things seems to be going well for them).


Sounds good. Just make sure they have plenty of room. Middle of winter here and blowing a gale. :disappointed_relieved:


I have and able to harvest twice this past season. Both times I only had 15 or 20% of the cells capped. Yet after harvesting it was all under 18% moisture. I did purchase a refractometer to test.

My mentor suggested taking the frames out and shaking them in if no honey came out that it was likely at the correct percentage. I did that about a week before I harvested, and in fact no honey or moisture came out of the cells. Therefore I felt comfortable harvesting. And after harvesting I did test each of the frames for its overall moisture content.

In fact my 2nd harvest set uncapped for a good month prior to me harvesting because we were about to go into winter I decided to harvest. And it was closer to 16.5 to 17% moisture.


Does honey not leak out when the frames are not capped?


My mentor told me, if it is ready to be harvest, it will not drip out if you shake it.

That was the case with mine, it did not trip out. I harvested one week later and it was below 18.2% moisture


No I meant that when you cracked a flow frame if it wasn’t capped would the honey leak out…but I guess there is no reason for it to…so ignore me.
Shake test is quite a good way to tell but always check with a refractometer


:slight_smile: Yes, and yes :slight_smile: should not leak out the bottom nor should it dribble out from the on Side. All good good good questions especially for people like myself and others that are reading this that have not done this or novice users to the shake test.

An absolutely as cheap as a refractometer is under $25 it’s well worth testing each time if it’s uncapped