Robbing post harvest?

Hi, we harvested a frame yesterday and experienced a reasonable amount of leaking honey through the flow frame and into the brood box (then dripping out the bottom through the mesh). This was the second frame we’ve ever harvested from.
About an hour or so after, we noticed a large congregation of bees on the hive (looked different to typical day to day). The bees at the entrance are making a bit of noise. It’s been like this for almost a day. Last night we thought it could have been “robbing” from what info we could see. We packed in the entrance to reduce the area as per the recommendations for mitigating such robbing. We don’t see many dead bees around.

Long story short, are we on the right plane of thought here? Or are we doing to wrong thing and cooking them? Bit lost at this point. Any immediate feedback would be great.

Hello - and welcome to the forum. It could be that there was some robbing but usually you would notice nosey bees looking around the hive not just at the entrance, especially if there was spillage. Maybe the leakage just forced some of the bees out while the clean up is going on inside.

It’s pretty safe to reduce down the entrance if you’re concerned about robbing, not sure about your ambient temperatures though.

As far as why your frames leaked so much, there’s a lot of discussion about this on the forum. What did the frame look like prior to harvest? Did you open in segments and how long did you allow it to drain per segment and total?

Thanks for the prompt feedback!

There are bees underneath, on the sides and below the hive as well. I’m just not sure if these are our bees trying to cool down (it’s ~32 Celsius ambient) after the honey spill inside or if a lingering robbing issue. Quite a lot of bees visible in the super still.

In terms of the actual spill event, the frame was almost completely capped (I would say less than a dozen non capped cells). It looked like the leak came from the bottom uncapped cells perhaps? We opened the first third of the frame initially but this was too much still. Maybe opening less again?

Hi Mathew, welcome also to the forum.
I agree with @chau06 in relation to bees hanging outside while other bees clean up inside. I doubt if you’re getting robbed. Your colony looks too strong for robbing to occur. It’s mainly very weak colonies that tend to get robbed out, going by past experience here where I am in Buderim.

What can happen, is when bees cap the honey with wet caps, they are inclined to rupture, due to surface tension between the cap & honey. As the honey moves while you open the frame, the cap will move with it, causing a rupture, resulting in a honey leak onto the brood. This is my theory, & not necessarily that of the Flow team. I came to my conclusion after studying this photo.that was shared by @Heron during August, 2017. He’s also on the Sunny Coast.

Hi Matthew and welcome! I usually open frames in fifths and haven’t had leakage to any disruptive degree. Another thing to check on is your wire tension on the Flow frames.

1 Like