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C'mon.....FlowHivers!


#1

Now looky here…we are all waiting on baited breath for the videos and photos and reports of those of you who have been using your Flow Hives this last season. All of us in Europe have been waiting and waiting…firstly to get our hives…some of us have them now…and then to hear what Y’all have been doing!!!
So get posting…then we can all admire your honey and your stories!


#2

Ok, ok, I’ve posted bits and pieces but here’s my story:

I’m in Sydney, Australia and my bees are kept on the concrete roof of a garden shed (an old brick ‘outhouse’ actually) . The get full sun from sunrise until lunchtime then shade until another burst of sun in the late afternoon. The bees fly above the yard over the clothesline (no bee poop stains so far!), trampoline and chickens, not annoying anyone.

I received the Complete Flow Hive in Sept 2015 (so the start of Spring), I had a strong 5 frame nuc ready to move in within a week or so. The brood box was ready to have the Flow Super added within two weeks or so. The bees were up in the Flow Frames almost immediately and storing honey not long after (within days). I was able to harvest 2 frames in December and got about 6kg. I’ve harvested 4 more times since then (usually 3-4 frames at each harvest getting 3 kg per frame = about 9-12 kg per harvest)

I’ve decided to harvest into a 10L bucket with hole cut in lid and food grade PVC tubing running into it. I inserted a honeygate at the bottom of the bucket. I did this so I could easily dispense the honey into smaller jars inside the house. It keeps the bees (although they aren’t that interested actually) ants and leaves out of the honey while harvesting. It fits nicely at the height of the hive and easily fits 4 frames worth of honey in it (5 at a push). I only have one tube running at the moment but am probably going to cut another hole in the lid and harvest 2 frames at once next time. It takes about 30-45min per frame to drain the honey although you can read in my other posts about why I take a bit longer to let the honey drain.

For my first harvest, I wore the full get up of bee protection gear which was crazy overkill. Not a bee came near me, all going about their business inside and at the front of the hive. Now when I harvest I just wear normal clothes, no veil, gloves or anything and have not had a problem whatsoever. I have more issues with flies, mozzies, ants (note the cinnamon jar in the first photo below) and spiders than I do bees in my backyard!

It was interesting to see how fast the bees react to the cells being emptied. As the harvest is completed you can see them through the rear panel start breaking down the caps and start repairing and refilling almost immediately. On one occasion I opened the hive and inspected the day after harvest and was surprised at how much honey had already being replaced in just one day after being emptied.

Here’s some photos of the first harvest from start to finish. I do have a video, but 1. its too big to upload and 2.its certainly not winning any awards for cinematography :wink: Enjoy:


<img src="/uploads/honeyflow/original/2X/4/48c1e4126d7d26a608e38d39982167d11c88ec98.jpg" width=“690” height=“460”



#3

hey!
i am harvesting my flow hive at the end of the month, so I will upload some photos for you guys to drool over :slightly_smiling:

@oatkir, how many frames did you empty and how many of those jars you used would be enough for one frame?


#4

Hi @Philip_Waters For the first harvest I only took two frames. Now that I’m in the swing of it though (and the bees are too) I generally take 4 frames (or whatever is capped) at each harvest.

It has been pretty consistent that you will get about 3 kg of honey from each frame and those are 300g (225mL) jars that you see in the picture - so you get about 10 x 300g jars per frame. I am also filling 500g and 1kg tubs now but the 300g jars were a nice gift size for Christmas.

Good luck with your first harvest - its so exciting.


#5

I’m on the Central Coast Hive all set up and Caught a Swarm same time as you set up. The Brood has been great but no activity in the Supers. Whats your address I’m going honey robbing. Any ideas ? I had beetle from the first week so maybe the bees have had to waste time with them. I did make the mistake of putting the super on early. Now it appears I have robber bees. Massive plumes of bees that appear in the afternoon.


#6

:grin:@harrya I occasionally wonder, if this is all happening too easily - waiting for it all to come crashing down with some great catastrophe but so far all good… fingers crossed.:sunglasses:

I do believe that having the strong 5 frames of brood from the nuc gave me a headstart. A swarm would have taken some time to build up the brood box I would have thought. Is your brood box full now?

I also had SHB present in the nuc when I transferred it across (and I still do) but its numbers don’t seem to bother the bees. I’ve been tinkering with various traps and seem to catch a fair few.

My bees do seem to go a bit crazy flying around out the front of the hive in the afternoon and in greater numbers. Initially I joked it was ‘change of shift’ but chatting to a fellow bee club member he said he understood it to be the new bees out doing practice flights and getting their bearings?? So maybe they aren’t robbing but just doing test flights?

Hope you see some activity up in the super soon!!


#7

Yes, called orientation flights. If you watch these bees they will zig zag in front of the hive for a bit then do a circle above it then a wider one and again a wider one still. Some will then fly off some fly back to the entrance. The foragers that know where they are going appear at the entrance and go straight out.


#8

Oooooh Me likey…even I could manage that…well done…did you enjoy extracting using this method?


#9

@oatkir, I like the fact that your hive stand is not only built like a brick sh*thouse but it is. :slightly_smiling:
Thanks for sharing.


#10

I was lucky with the swarm as the night after going to the local club to get info on where to buy nucs. I saw a friends post on face book “we have bees in our tree” So I suited up the next morning and now they are here. The box is very full. Cheers


#11

take a look here

http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/bee-photographs/630/139


#12

This is wonderful…keep them coming folks!


#13

starting to fill up a bit :slight_smile:

notice how the bees have been filling the gaps on the outside frame to keep the pesky ants etc out… :slight_smile:


#14

Very nice observation there! Great photo too, thank you. :smile:


#15

This is great…gives us all an idea of what to expect…thank you.
Do you get bothered by the ants a lot? It’s not something we have had to contend with here in the UK.


#16

yeah there’s always a few ants around picking up the scraps or looking for a sneaky way in to steal the honey…

spill one drop and they turn up from everywhere… I’ve seen bees blow them away by flapping their wings if they get too close…

I keep an eye out so that they don’t become a problem…


#17

Excited for you!
Here in Tennessee USA spring is 1 month away. Cant wait to get started!


#18

they are starting to cap at last :smile:


#19

filling UP!!!


#20

Such a beautiful photo! Don’t forget to post your extraction!