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Bees in frames during harvest


#1

Hiya all. I have some Flow frames which are all full and capped except for a few cells here and there. From the rear viewing window there are a number of these empty cells however there are always bees in them… Whether they are working them or sleeping in them I don’t know? I’ve been putting off harvesting hoping they would fill and cap them although they never seem to… Now the weather is cooling im thinking of draining the Flow supers as a precursor to removing the supers for winter.
So I guess my question is how do I get these bees out of these cells or will they get out of the way when I the cells are cracked?


#2

I know that Flow forum members have experienced different things, but on a Skype call to our local beekeeping meeting, Cedar said that bees can get out of cells even when you open them. He said that opening the cells does not kill bees. For my own hive, I will probably just open 20% of a frame at a time, but do it at my usual very slow “Tai Chi” pace, so that if my fat Italians (bees!) don’t like the squeeze, they can back out in time to avoid damage. :blush:


#3

I had about 3-5 bees that got stuck in the flow frames when I harvested. It did crush them. They were in cells that weren’t capped. I obviously didn’t try to crush them but it happened. This was my last harvest and these frames I fed the honey back to the bees.

I used tweezers to pull them out.


#4

Aww, sorry. Maybe Cedar has small bees? Very sad for you though. :cry:


#5

I finished up opening and closing the first cell where the bees were and after a couple of times they mostly got out. A couple were trapped and did indeed get out once the cells were right. Whether they were pulled out or came out under their own steam I’m not sure.
Smaller bees? Possibly.


#6

I believe that one of the reasons @Michael_Bush likes foundationless frames is because it tends to produce smaller bees over time. If Cedar has been foundationless for several generations of bees, his probably are smaller than those of us who often use foundation. I perhaps should have expanded on that reasoning before - sorry if it wasn’t clear.


#7

That definitely makes sense. I know my long term goal is to go foundationless. I guess since spring is just starting and I will be adding some new frames to my hives no time is better than the present.