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A Welsh Flow Harvest


#1

My absolute total respect and admiration to the inventors of such a wonderful gift to beekeepers the world overWelsh Flow Harvest
We harvested the Flow frames this afternoon…I cannot tell you how easy it was! Fantastic and definitely lived up to its name and all the advertising. Having a slow start this year meant the Flow frames didn’t go on until we noticed a small flow on our other hives. The bees took to them readily and soon we saw our first nectar glistening in the comb which they had sealed using the wax we had coated them with.
The summer has been a time of promise and dearth…the bees eating their hard earned nectar as soon as they brought it back to the hive. Slowly we saw more being added to the Flow frames…and then some capping.
We decided…come what may…we needed to harvest the frames. If the honey wasn’t ripe…well our family would soon scoff it…ha ha.
I had bought some plastic tubing to attach to the pipes which would be put on the frame. Some glass jars at the ready and we made a start. My OH was rather tentative about turning the key to start with but with a little encouragement soon got the knack. We waited…and slowly the honey appeared at the opening and started to run down the pipe into the jar…it was really happening. If I had thought to take a crumpet…I could have run it under the flow of honey…warm from the comb. However…wasps made that in advisable…ha ha.
We didn’t see any…not one bee come to the back of the hive. In a Bee Yard with 7 hives all busy…the hum was loud from them…it was sunny and warm…so loads of bees flying. My OH sat with his hood down as the honey flowed out of the hive.
After all the frames had drained. We removed the pipes…and took our harvested honey away.
The hardest part was getting out of our bee suits…which we hadn’t needed…in our haste to taste the honey…pure…clean…honey…and wow it tasted good!
I had my doubts about the Flow frames…but some money fell my way and I decided to treat myself. I’m glad I did. It is all true folks…they work…just like the advertisement promised.
We didn’t get any spillage into the hive at all…we checked. We cracked the frames in sections to prevent overflow in the tubes.
The bees continued…business as usual…no bearding. None at the back of the hive. Only a couple of nosy wasps…but they soon went elsewhere when they found nothing for them.
No big clean up…no sticky door knobs…no washing out the extractor…just honey in the jar.
Hmm…now what were all the questions?
Crowd funding…yes the Flows and hives were sent as they said they would be.
Cruelty to bees…no they didn’t notice and if they did…they just got on with it.
It would make beekeepers lazy…no I looked after the bees as usual…but the harvest was easy.
The plastic would…warp/taint/bees wouldn’t like them…all untrue.
I know some people thought the Flow team cheated …but they didn’t…when they showed the frame being drained on a table…and that honey was being put in via a tube or that a lot of honey ran down the comb and onto the table. I couldn’t make up my mind about that but if you turn the key in small increments …overflow doesn’t happen.
I’m sure there were other questions and concerns…I will answer what I can…from my own experience of using my Flow frames.
However…let me tell you that having actually harvested honey from the Flow frames…it truly does work.
The only thing that prevents me from buying Flows for all my hives is…cost.
Next year I am going to use them during OSR…then we will know about that too…That’s It Folks!


#2

:slight_smile:
What an excellent write up too.
Please please send it to the Welsh Beekeeper with some photos including you. They need some decent stories. Especially those that don’t include Wally Shaw. No disrespect the man is good but other folk need a look in.


#3

Greetings,

Excellent ravings n review ! :+1::tada:. I’m glad to see another honest n good summary of your Flow-frame harvest in a meager n slow harvest year. Thank you for sharing this event with us here on the Forum. Do you have a photo or so ?! That would be such a great add to the story here as well.

As Dee has written … Please pass your póitive n detailed review on to the Welsh n rest of the Bee World. Flow also has a FaceBook page if you do that type of Internet activity.

I waited until end of June almost to send in my Flow order n 1 week later I was looking at two packages (my very own Flow) sitting on my porch. I’d previously ordered an additional 8 frame matching deep cedar super from Beething.com n it was assembled n ready for the mating of hive parts. I quickly assembed my Flow-Hive n finish with Tong Oil without a hitch (the box joints married/fitted perfectly)… So no fuss or muss others had reported. Guess the wrinkles n horror stories had been totally ironed out by my rapid one week order to arrival experience.

Our good off/on nectar flows had ended by delivery time but I did roll a coat of bee wax on the 6 Flow-frames. My super Nuc 15 deep frames of brood, mix n nectar was added to my new Flow-Hive n extra deep. My bees have sealed all the Flow-frames which is a plus seeing we lack a good flow push here in the Puget Sound lowland SE of Seattle in the foothill country the latter part of summer.

I am looking forward to a positive n grand harvest experience like yours. Harvest Season 2017 will be our glory time ! :sunflower:… Now I’m doing my part to keep my Swarm colony healthy n ready for our long wet cool winter… So far they are strong, have adequate winter stores, with a treatment very minimum mite problems if any now.

Again, thanks for sharing the RAVING :tada:REVIEW ! I second with Dee … You wrote a great positive report … Looking for a pix or two in the future …

Cheers to you across the Pond,
Gerald


#4

Yes some photos or video would be great :slight_smile: I’m also wondering what type of flowers/honey you had?
Not sure how close you are to heather, etc/thick honey.
We are compiling a list of countries, etc where the Flow Frames have worked, so as much feedback as possible is great :slight_smile:


#5

What a brilliant idea…I will do it…thx Dee


#6

In the spring we have oil seed rape, top fruit …like apples pears plums etc…dandelion …hawthorn…blackthorn…and spring flowers in the gardens. In the summer…garden flowers and herbs…soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries…rosebay willow herb…Himalayan balsam…ivy…heather( though not much where I live. Those are the main flowers. I am planting some catch crops for our dearth time…borage…buckwheat and phacelia.


#7


#8

Okay, yes I was wondering if you had rape seed, and if it would work with the Flow Frames. Was your honey very thixotropic/viscose//thick?


#9

No it ran easily down the tube. I don’t think we have much Heather around here…it was probably mainly HB and rosebay willow herb.
The water content was19%. I prefer to see it a bit lower but as the grandkids will snaffle it for their porridge I’m not worried about it having time to ferment!


#10

Congratulations @Horsehillhoney! :smile: Great photos, lovely account, superb result.

About the crumpet - warm honey on cold crumpet??? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I would rather have cool honey on hot crumpet! :blush:


#11

19% is fine. I have some jarred at that. Had to take some water out of a super full of uncapped frames which were left after I nadired every hive with similar. I got it down to 20 and did a little blending.


#12

Is it 19% because they weren’t all capped?


#13

What is OSR?
We too have had success. The honey was the best ever. So easy. My friend with hives was so jealous! LOL


#14

Oil Seed Rape. Large fields of yellow flowers with a strong musky smell. Honey from the nectar crystallizes fast - around 2 weeks and sometimes less. Also known as Canola. :blush:


#15

The honey is bland with an aroma of cabbage :sunny:


#16

Overcooked cabbage, raw or stir-fried? :smile:


#17

School dinner …


#18

Ugh… Puke… :scream:


#19

Yum, reminds me of Ireland lol :slight_smile:


#20

Does this mean you coated the Flow frames with wax? How did you do that?

I had the flow frames on - The bees sealed up some of the cells but did not store honey. I will try again next year.

Cheers
Jeff (from Hertfordshire UK)