Are heating the honey in any way? heat will make the flow start and stop clearer. I have a honey gate story to share. One winter I brought a full pail and gate to the house. Sales are usually slow this time of year so I fill jars as needed. I heated the pail with the waterbed heater and got a couple of jars ready to fill. I filled the first one, shut the valve and tightened the thumb screw to shut off the flow. SNAP!!! The plastic screw broke. I quickly squeezed the valve shut with my hand. Now the real problem. I was home alone with nothing to pour the rest of this 60 # bucket into. I ended up sitting there for about 1/2 until my wife came home and got me another bucket. After that day I replaced all the plastic screws with the metal ones
I had a similar experience...I've been bottling out of the one bucket with the honey gate, so my routine has been once I've emptied it bottling, I drain the little remaining into my next full 5 gallon bucket of honey, clean up my bottling bucket, refill it, allow at least 4 days for the air bubbles and wax particles to rise to the top and repeat.
However, the other night, when I went to drain the little remaining in the bottom of my bottling bucket into a full bucket, I loosened the wing nut on the gate a little too much and it fell into the full bucket of honey.
So, I had the wing nut that I needed to secure the honey gate sitting at the bottom of a full five gallon bucket of honey that I needed to pour into the bucket with the honey gate....A regular catch 22!
I had to get my wife to hold the honey gate closed while I transferred the other bucket, retrieved the wing nut, and secured the honey gate.
In answer to your first question, no, I'm not heating the honey in any way. I liked your water bed heater suggestion, just hadn't gotten around to getting one yet. However, I was afraid that heating the honey may actually exacerbate the dripping problem. But the point you make that it will actually make it a "cleaner" flow is interesting.