Thanks Semaphore…that’s the feedback I’m looking for.
That photo was of a freshly harvested frame…and all frame cells were full or close to full. The phenomonen you describe I’ve seen on a hive that is being robbed out where the robbers leave the capped cells for the last.
Every year is different but we haven’t had queen losses…or dead pupae/larvae being removed to indicate that this is a problem…but I’m sure you have watched videos of how the hive takes a day or two to settle back in after a harvest. This coming season we are trialing an insertable device that we’ve designed to address this issue.
Yes we wait until every super is full (what we consider full)…from top to bottom. That capping pattern doesn’t change much. We have tried different combinations as to the depth the keying tool is inserted into the flowhive…and weighed the leakage. Our results indicate that using small keying increments helps reduce leakage by about 10% versus a total single keying action of the flowframe.
A very important point.
For the reader of this post, keep in mind the ambient conditions our hives are kept in…i.e. an insulated building with adjustable ventilation…where the bees hold the temperature to their convenience (27C) 24/7…day and night…we observe them as being incredible heating/ventilating specialists…and the hives share that duty. The statement referring to continuous warm conditions during harvest may not mean much to a beekeeper in an area where night and day temperature don’t fluctuate much…here we have large temperature swings.
But back to the point, ambient temperatures may affect the structural characteristics of the flowframe.
Moisture content of the honey also may play a role in leakage…and every year is different.
We annually compare honey production between our Flowhive units with traditional hives…for the first year, the Flowhive scenario out-produced traditional hive production so is honey leakage that significant?..I guess time will tell.