@FlowHive we are coming close to our first flow harvest this year- the last cells are almost capped. In preparation we are about to ‘mcguyver’ up some kind of a flow manifold. However I was under the impression that Flow is working on a manifold- and before we go too far making our own I was wondering if there is any details about the upcoming manifold- and when it may be available? I feel sure just about anyone who is using a flow hive will eventually come to wanting a manifold- it seems to me like the last piece of the flow puzzle.
There has bee a lot of discussion here on making and using manifolds. Search “manifold” to give you some ideas.
I have not seen anything yet on the release of a manifold from FlowHive
I thought the manifold idea went out the window since opening all frames at once causes massive bee death and honey leakage?
I wouldn’t use a manifold for exactly that reason. However, not everyone has had leakage problems, so I guess they will work for some people. I suppose also that some people just love tinkering and modifying things. That is why there a an aftermarket for car modifications etc. All just a game for big boys and girls!
I use a manifold and only empty one at a time. Makes things a lot neater and only use one container.
Exactly- a manifold will make it easier to harvest the frames in increments, over a longer period of time, without any worry about bees snooping or getting caught up in the honey. It means you can just set up the manifold and collection bucket- then over the course of an afternoon you can walk up to the hive and make incremental harvest ‘cracks’.
“opening all frames at once causes massive bee death” don’t know about that- we had some leaks and didn’t observe any bee deaths at all.
I do remember @Faroe starting a thread for commercial trials, I would assume a manifold would be required.
With the correct pipe sizing there should be no reason all frames couldn’t be drained at once, but then again with different viscosities pipe sizing would change…
Back pressure is the main problem currently, once that’s overcome…
I don’t want a manifold so I can crack all the frames at once. I think I actually need one as the best solution for harvesting multiple flow frames. If you harvest in increments the entire process can take several hours. It is important that during that time you don’t have to deal with bees at the rear of the hive- drowning in honey- or setting off robbing, etc.
When we made our first flow harvests last season we did it like in many of the flow videos- setting up two tubes at a time- -cracking the entire frames- and letting it just flow straight into a giant jar. Most of the time this was relatively fine: not many bees came around to see what we were doing. However the longer the process takes- the more bees did start to visit- and it was only a matter of time before one got dragged down into the honey. When you remove the tubes to go to the next frame-inevitably there is some honey drippage. That harvest we had some reasonable frame leakage (see photo below) so we decided to do it in increments next harvest.
The next harvest we staggered over a good 2 1/2 hours. We also initially set up cling wrap between the extraction tubes and our bucket to stop bees getting at the honey. Because the process was staggered- we didn’t stand by the hive for the entire time. We cracked two frames at a time- and in 25% increments- every 20 minutes or so. The wind blew the cling wrap onto the honey- which dragged the cling wrap onto the bucket so I removed it. Bees came and starting trying to catch the honey mid-air as it flowed from the tubes: as soon as they touched the stream they were dragged down into the bucket. I rescued over 20 bees like that with a pair of chopsticks. Thing’s got sticky again…
By doing it increments leakage on the second round was minimal/negligible. However it was not as smooth, it was much slower- and more laborious. All of which can be greatly mitigated with a manifold
Hence: we need a manifold.
That way all six tube can be connected to the bucket via a hole in the lid with zero exposure of honey for bees to take interest in. there is no need to change tubes during the process- so no honey dripping around at all. You can crack as many frames at a time as you like- in whatever combination you like- and walk away and let the harvest do itself (as it should be). I really recommend all flow users with multiple frames have some kind of simple manifold. It’ll be the bees knees so to speak…
I don’t want one because I love to tinker- I already have way way too much tinkering on my plate- I am hoping the flow one is coming soon so I don’t have to tinker.
A manifold would be great for all these reasons you mention.
One reason not to want a manifold, would be if you want to see if there is a taste difference between the frames. You lose that if you dump it all in one bucket. But I guess that would depend on if you know what your bees have been foraging on.
even still- if you really wanted to keep the various frames separate for tasting- you could use a manifold but just change buckets between frame crackings. There would be a little intermixing but hey… if you were really keen you could have a ‘mixed blend’ jar (also uniquely flavored) to use as you transition between frame flows so that you largely get one frame at a time. A manifold would also work well with the ‘fill each small jar one by one’ flow method. You could even do it that way with one bucket with a honey gate on it- and save the risk of fumbling for jars etc and having a spillage.
no- I still can’t think of a single reason you wouldn’t want a manifold…
Sorry, there is no news on a Flow manifold. All the beekeepers who have used a manifold system, have made their own.
You can see info here -
In regards to leaking with a manifold, you can see Stu’s response here - [quote=“Stu_Anderson, post:37, topic:5123”]
The airlock is formed when the tubing and container is sealed. One example
of this was a Northern Beaches beekeeper who channelled six pipes into one
lidded bucket. The 25mm tubing fitted the Flow tube tightly and poked
through tight holes in the bucket and its lid was airtight. There was no
doubt that the honey could not flow down the tubing because the air
pressure quickly built up in the bucket.
Having said this - you are right - leaks can happen for other reasons than
airlocks. In your video it looks like there was a blockage at the base of
one of the vertical channels - you can see that the honey has not drained
on that side of the clear panel. I don’t know what the blockage was - could
be wax, a pollen plug…
All the best, Stu
BeeInventive / Honeyflow
I would watch the level of honey in the window around the tube insert hole
while harvesting. You can see when the honey level goes above the height of
the trough walls, therefore risking some leakage via the lower cells.
We are about to make a manifold which has elbows pointing down immediately
next to the edge of the box, therefore getting the honey away, out of the
horizontal area of the tube as quickly as possible.
All the best, Stu
BeeInventive / Honeyflow
Profound apologies, I didn’t intend to hurt your feelings. In fact, the comment wasn’t really aimed at you in my head - I was just musing about that fact that owners have already made manifolds because they love doing that kind of thing. Sorry if it didn’t come across right.
I totally understand what you are saying, and I understand your wish to keep bees from drowning. To that end, I made a beeproof collection system, but I will still only drain one or two frames at a time. Also, I want to drain each frame into a separate jar, just in case the honey flavor differs between frames. The photo is a strange shape, so you will need to click on it to see the jar:
I would rather not have to attach a manifold to all of the drain caps at once, if I only want to drain one or two frames. However, I totally accept that we are all different and we like to do things in different ways. That is great, and provides a fabulous way to learn about new ways of getting things done. So I would love to hear how a manifold works out for you. I admire the way you have expanded your beekeeping and you even designed horizontal hives. Very creative and impressive. Please post on how it all works out for you.
that’s all OK Dawn- you didn’t hurt my feelings- I am just convinced about having a manifold- sorry if my reply was more like a diatribe Thanks also for your kind words. Concerning your desire to not have to attach the manifold to all tubes at once: that’s exactly what I would want too. I think ideally the manifold should be made up of a series of interlocking elbow joints, tee joints and cross joints- so you can make fit any combination of frames from 2 to 7 (or more). If it was designed like that one manifold package could be made to fit any flow box: 8 frame, 10 frame or hybrid. As the frames do not necessarily all fill up at the same time- it would be good to be able to harvest just exactly the ones you want in any given session.
@Faroe when we make a manifold we will be sure to make an air-hole in the bucket lid- and also to crack the frames in increments as we already do. Are you saying there are definitely no plans for Flow to release a dedicated manifold system? I seem to remember a few months back Stu mentioning that there was a flow manifold in the works? I can’t find the thread where it was mentioned just now but I am sure I read that? Can I just say: if Flow are not planning to make one- I think they should I also remember hearing that there were new extraction tubes in the works- that angle downwards once they exit the hive? Is this true?
I would think the manifold would have a commercial application. Time is the big factor for an operation of that size. In a situation like a commercial operation they could hook up the manifolds to the frames that are ready for harvest and walk away to set up manifolds on other flow frame honey supers. I suppose another option would be to pull the capped frames and replace them with empty flow frames.
No, I am not saying there are definitely no plans for Flow to release a dedicated manifold system.
I said = there is no news.
I do not have an update for you sorry. Flow is working on so many things, that when it becomes time to release a new product, etc., I will be told