Uh Oh... Help! leaking Frames :(

so I was checking the back of the flowhive just now and came across this :astonished:

as you can see… nectar is starting to go into the frames

but then this… the nectar leaking through to the bottom outlet… say what??? :confused:

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Are your frames closed and can the bees get in there to clean that up before it ferments and draws ants?

Hi Andrew, great to see the pics. Please send us more as your bees progress, I would love to see your first harvest.

Honey will drip into the trough while the bees are filling the cells sometimes. This happens when the bees don’t do a completely thorough job of waxing all the joins in the cells. I don’t see it as to much of an issue, the bees will still finish off the comb ready for you to harvest. If it’s building up in the trough, pull out the cap and make sure the little leak back point is free from wax so the honey will drain back to the bees to reuse. You can also loosen the cap a little to make the gap bigger or spin it around a bit to break any wax to help the honey leak back into the hive. The upside is you can taste the honey! On my morning walk you will often find me down at the hives sampling any I can find that have a little honey in the trough. :slight_smile:



excellent advice cedar… thanks…

I did taste the Honey… it was pretty good but watery…

there was wax on the bungs like you said so they are doing a fair job of sealing… I must have disturbed the wax yesterday as most of it was drained by today…

i’ll be sure to get pics/video of our first harvest… its been amazing to pull the covers off and see them at work… getting right into the cells, sealing the cracks and filling them with honey…

thanks again :slight_smile:

Hi @Andrew, has your honey leaking issue resolved itself? I’ve got the same problem!

i have a number of thoughts on this…

firstly, make sure your wiring is tight on your frames… there is a video of this in the Flow Video’s…

two… make sure your harvest tubes are in the right way… tabs to the bottom into the groove…

three… while harvesting, take out the bottom board so any dripping honey can drip out… the bees DO come out and clean it up…

four… in time, the bees will wax any gaps in the flowframes… so dripping will be less…

I’m not bothered by it now and have had hardly any leaking with the last harvest…

you live and learn… be patient… its a fantastic beehive with great advantages…

right now I’m watching the numbers of bees drop in the hive as we get closer to winter by just observing them through the removable panels…

I’m not opening the hive so I don’t break their seal to keep other bugs out like ants etc… :slight_smile:

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Thanks Andrew, appreciate the response.

Hi folks. Harvested my frames today. Inserted tubes correctly and made sure hive was tilted back, suited up and began to extract the honey. Quite an effort to open the key. Uploading… All was going well I thought until more and more brood were coming out of the brood box. By this stage all frames were flowing into the bucket. I couldn’t work out why so many bees were leaving the hive until I noticed honey pooling in the ground from beneath my hive

The bees were being flooded with honey

I removed the flow frames and found and absolute mess in the brood box and frames covered with honey. Hope my queen is ok. Can’t say I’m overly impressed right now.

Comanche, this has been discussed often and generally resolved by following a few simple steps. No they don’t always flow as advertised and many aren’t impressed however, a bit of a search on this forum should help you out of this sticky mess.

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@skeggley is right, lots of people have had this problem, and there are many ways to reduce or avoid it. Please do search as he suggests, as i won’t remember all of the points. Here are the main ways to avoid flooding:

  1. Open each frame in 20% sections, waiting for about 5 to 10 minutes before moving to the next 20%
  2. Never let the Flow tube fill to the top. If you do, you may get an air lock, which can force honey back into the hive.
  3. Check the frames are capped before harvesting. Uncapped cells have a higher risk of leaking
  4. Drain one or two frames at a time. If they leak, you will do less damage to hive, and the bees will have more chance to recycle the honey
  5. Make sure your frames are tightly wired before putting them into the hive. Loose tension wires allow excessive flexing which can result in leaks. Flow has made a video showing how to tighten the wires.
  6. Consider getting a second key. Using 2 at once reduces the torque and flexing of the frame when you open it.

I made a video showing our harvest. There were no leaks and no bee exodus. If you are interested, it is here:

Brood or bees? I have never heard of large numbers of brood being thrown out of the hive during a harvest. :hushed:


It’s all very well to find information on this forum for how to reduce the honey flooding. For example, open the flow frames in increments. Open the flow frames away from the hive.

HOWEVER, the original flow campaign video that shows the key being fully inserted is still on the website & hasn’t been altered in any way, which is kind of misleading, to say the least.

Yes Jeff you are right. @Faroe due to the frequency of this being raised on the forum alone perhaps this could be addressed?
I have harvested 3 times now and have followed the procedures as laid out by Dawn and have not had an issue with flooding or bees bearding after extracting. I wouldn’t chance draining a Flow frame as advertised, I’ve seen too many leaking issues on this and other forums, I’m too cautious…
What really does annoy me is when a fake Flow leaks and Flow is ridiculed. :wink:

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I recall at least one person posting on the Forum with an issue/question which then led them to discover they didn’t have the genuine article.

I suppose if Flow was to help someone individually, they would have to make enquiries with that person first to find out if they have the genuine article, otherwise Flow could potentially be spending time (and money) trying to help someone in relation to a product that they (Flow) didn’t make.

Yeah well the copiers copied the genuine article. Therefore you get leaking, flooding issues whether it’s the genuine article or not.

The only difference that I see with folks that don’t dig deeper with research before purchasing a flow hive & THEN discover leaking issues is the price of the non genuine article.

I totally agree

I purchased 2 flow hives. One the bases of the design. Not new to be keeping and have successful harvests from conventional frames for 5 years

Will be very surprised if the bees go home after this disastrous event

Can’t wait to see what the fix is from flow hive and if they in fact compensate replace with new design those affected. Sure this was seen during there own research.

Perhaps a mechanical thread either side of the frames as clearly the wire tensioners are not doing the job

It was a warm day yesterday and the honey should have simply flowed into my bucket not all over the bees

Now let’s see if SHB goes crazy in my hive. Hope not

Hi Jeff- yes …it seems to me that there is some sort of irony in this issue :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. There are certainly those like @Dawn_SD who have gone to decent effort to help many posting here with a problem. Also, I don’t know if the non genuine people have an assistance process if someone runs into a problem or to what extent they advertise the product in the first place.




in time the bees will wax any leaking gaps so now mine is working fine,

you can also tighten the wires as per demonstration video that flow made,

try to make sure the bottoms of the frames are in tight - like, pushed together.

I am now having another problem I think - the honey is not draining like it used to so I am thinking of pulling all the frames out at one stage to try and de-wax them

I agree Dan, the copiers rode on the back of the success of the initial flow campaign. It didn’t take them long to get those copies onto the market.

A flow rep. contacted me after I posted my results of the flow hive that was given to me. He made sure that I had the genuine article before phoning me to try to sort out the problem. He was very helpful indeed. However, I don’t think that the leakage problem (big or small) is going to go away any time soon.

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By what I have read, badly leaking frames are the exception rather than the rule.
I heeded the warnings in the beginning and opened the frames in increments. Still, the first 3 frames of my first flow hive leaked. There was no honey on the coreflute, but the bees were bearding and the queen was tooting. I suspect the bees hadn’t capped an area that they left free for the queen to lay eggs in.
The first frame of my second flow hive also leaked. Since then I am boldly opening half a frame and 10 minutes later the other half. No more leaking in any of the 4 flow hives I have been harvesting several times by now.

It is absolutely not certain that harvesting in increments results in less leakage. I thought we harvest in increments to be able to abort the operation faster if leaking occurs, not to avoid leaking.
If the frame is opened completely, the pressure of the down flowing honey can possibly distribute better along the entire length of the frame and is not forced out sideways through weak cappings. Obviously not good if the bees avoided capping the bottom row of cells.
By now I have observed dry and wet cappings as well. Makes no difference, nothing much leaks any more for me.
I always use 2 flow keys.