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Autumn harvest and removing the flow frame

This is our first full year of owning a flow frame beehive, so learning as we go, so to speak.

After looking at what others have said, I concluded that I need to remove my flow super for winter (we are in Tasmania), which I did yesterday. Completely successful exercise. I have two brood boxes (recommended by experienced bee keepers because firstly the queen excluder is hard on worker bees and secondly we need to make sure plenty of honey for winter). The top box is almost entirely honey - so plenty of stores for the hive!

Providence Garden - Autumn Harvest

Thanks for sharing that video Rob. Are you sure that section of Flow frame was not harvested? Or maybe just the cappings stayed intact?

Maybe you want to have a closer look and see if that frame is defective and contact Flow for advice.

Do not keep the Flow frames in the sun - they are not UV treated and may deteriorate.

Hi mate, welcome to the forum. That looks like a nice strong colony and the wood looks beautiful.
Couple of things I’d like to comment on.
Queen excluders are a must on Flow hives. Qx’s being hard on bees is a much debated topic but having brood in the Flow frames is a possibility without one and you don’t want that… Have a search on the forum to see the outcome.
Open feeding to clean up the frames opens up other issues. Transfer of disease and hive robbing come to mind.
You would be best to let the colony clean up in the hive this mitigates both issues and allows your bees to utilise their own hard work instead of bees from neighbouring colonys pinching a free feed.
How much of the 2nd brood box is stores?

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I think you don’t need the QX if the Flow super is removed for winter, as Robert is doing. Or am I missing something?

I think he’ll be right:

yes, there were two lines of cells that still had honey in them … I scratched off the capping to give the bees easy access. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the frame, but I’ll keep a watch on it. Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!

Hi skeggley, thanks for the feedback. Be reassured I am using a queen excluder, and will continue to do so. If it is hard on the bees then our hive did not show signs of it … the flow super always has masses of bees up there up until just recently as the weather starts to cool off - which is why I have removed it.

And yes, well aware of robbers, which is why I laid out the frames some way away from the hive - in fact, the bees cleaned them up really quickly - it took them about four hours to chew all the capping off and clean out any honey remnants … I don’t think any robber bees will have noticed.

Finally, as I said in my original post, the top box is almost all honey - only the four central frames had a shallow “crown” of vacant brood cells, which I expect the bees are currently filling with honey before autumn finishes and they bunker down for winter … so all good!

Thanks for taking the time to provide some feedback, much appreciated!

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Erm…

Erm yeah missed;

I still think that feeding honey back to the colony within the hive is a better way for the above mentioned reasons. If the Fframes had just been drained then they may have removed the remainder of the honey from the frames and placed it ‘back in the hive’ had the super been placed above the inner cover and had there been room, of course, for stores in the 2nd box. There looks to have been quite a bit of honey in the frames though.
The 2.5km+ radius range of a foraging bee colony opens a lot of variables when open feeding, not all good.

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