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First flow harvest ;-) Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


#1

Hi Guys ,
We have just finished our first harvest from our flow hive , the whole family came out to watch the honey flow for the first time ,it went beautifully …kids will be taking sample honey jars to their teachers tomorrow very excited they are :slight_smile: all up it took 1 hour


#2

Beautiful!! How lovely for you & your kids :rainbow::cherry_blossom::honeybee::two_hearts:


#3

Hi Eva , Thank you , cant wait to get feedback from kids from their day taking samples to school :slight_smile: all very excited :grinning::honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:


#4

Here are some video’s for you all :slight_smile:




#5

Well done excellent work. It is such a great experience getting that first jar full. I am curious why you are extracting from the front. Usually the flow super faces to the rear. This gives the appropriate angle and also means you don’t have to be in the path of the bees.
Did you notice any honey on the removeable corflute bottom board?
Good luck.
Gary


#6

Hi Gaz,
We have our flow up against our chicken coup so its a bit hard to get at from the rear .

I thought it wouldn’t matter that much if we spun the super around for better access i just had to lift the hive up to get the correct flow tilt going :slight_smile: our bees are very quiet as you could see in video they wern’t fussed at all …i think we had 3 bees investigate the honey in the jars :slight_smile: Wife kids (7 and 11 ) and eldest two (20) and (18) couldnt believe how much honey we harvested :honeybee::honeybee:

As for the corn flute there was no honey on it at all , i left a little in each tube before plugging them back up and re-setting the flow frames for the bees to clean up .

I have also been out today to check them and the bees are already filling up the flow frames with more honey :slight_smile:
Younger kids took samples to their class rooms and gave their teachers a 200g sample jar today all were very impressed :slight_smile: (now junior flow hive sales team working for love )

Kind regards and enjoy your bees
Mark Kate and Kids


#7

That’s great to hear. We have chooks also, lot of bartering going on in suburbia now for honey eggs vegies etc.
The reason I mentioned the bottom board was that a few people have had honey come out of empty cells and flood the hive. I now understand that only cracking a few sections in a single frame at a time prevents this happening. We have found at different times of the year that an arched section is left in the middle that would be used for brood even though the queen can’t get there in most cases. So now we know why sometimes we get 3kgs vs 2.5kgs of honey and none is found on the core flute bottom board. It also is a sign to check the brood as they may need more room. As @JeffH always says better to split a strong colony and keeps your bees and honey than chasing them in a tree trying to get them back😀
Really like the small jars in your first picture :grinning:
Gary


#8

Hi Gary ,

Jars are from Ikea :slight_smile: we have to go get some more they take 200g of honey .

Kind regards
Mark Kate and Kids


#9

@mark39 I’m going to be making my first harvest in the next week or two. I also run two boxes and the flow super on top, my question is did you take any capped honey frames in the lower boxes out also? Or just harvest and leave the rest as it is? Congrats on the harvest, cannot wait to taste my honey.


#10

Hi McFoxdale ,
all we did was harvest from the flow super and left the honey frames in the brood box for the bees :slight_smile: went and checked last night and the bees had made comb in the roof area also so i took it out and covered the hole in the top with flywire , i have also ordered another brood box to give them some more room till we split the hive early January and will then ave our second flow hive up and running with another Queen .
Its all happening very quickly now as you will find out just like us :slight_smile: great fun for kids they have taken comb to school today to show what the bees can do and how good the honey tastes :slight_smile:

Kind regards
Mark Kate and kids


#11

Hi All,

Today is my first harvest after one year of having the hive active, I am harvesting only one frame to begin with. If the bees start refilling it I might harvest a second frame. This first frame yielded about 2.5 kg.

Question: Is it necessary to drain the frame completely before resetting it? I might have to let it drain overnight as the honey is nice and ‘thick’ and the evening is cooling down.


#12

Hi Helmut,
No, I don’t believe you need to drain the frame completely before resetting.


#13

hi helmut , we didn’t drain our frames completely left some for the bees also left two frames in each brood box full of honey for the bees , tomorrow i will be putting a third brood box on under our super waiting for the bees to fill that with brood etc and then we will split our hive all this is after twelve months from putting nuc in flow hive :slight_smile:
hope that helps
Mark Kate and Kids


#14

Not necessary, but perhaps preferable. If you don’t drain it, a lot of the remaining honey will flow down into the bottom drainage channel. That channel has a deliberate gap in it at the bottom, near the cap you remove to put the Flow tube into for harvesting. If the bees haven’t sealed it with propolis, the honey will drip into the hive and can be reused by the bees. Of course they may unfortunately lose some of it, if there is too much for them to clean up and store again. If they have sealed the gap, the channel may fill with honey and potentially ferment if it absorbs enough water before the next harvest. You would then need to clean out the channel before draining again.

We found that the frames drained about 2.5kg of honey over the first 2 hours. They then drained another 500-800g over the next 2 hours. I have a refractometer, and it shows that the last honey to drain actually has a lower water content, so it is quite nice to boost the overall quality by capturing as much as you can. For this reason, we try to start draining at around lunchtime, then it is mostly done by late afternoon. I can’t leave it overnight, as we have raccoons and skunks who would feast on the drained honey if it was left unattended. :blush:


#15

Thanks for the reply Mark. I’ve ordered a second brood box to add to my hive, but that’s as far as I will go with it. J

Helmut


#16

Dawn, thanks for your very helpful reply. I did end up letting the flow frame drain all night, just covered the tube and jar with gladwrap. Did get about another 500g out of it. Next time I will also start draining sooner in the day, and preferably a warmer one J.


#17

Great information, thank you for the feedback. :heart_eyes:


#18

Well, the “next time” was today! It was a bit of a thrill to get my first harvest, and since all the flow frames were either full or almost full, I decided to drain a second one. But this time I started at noon. It’s a 30 deg. day so the honey flowed nicely. The first 2.2 Kg drained in 20 mins! Then I left it for another 3 hrs until it was only dripping. I like to drain out the channel as much as possible. This time I measured properly; it came to 2.7 kg. (I think yesterdays harvest was the same).

Such an easy process, and such a great invention! The only drawback is that I end up eating too much honey!


#19

Well done Helmut :slight_smile: our flow is filling quickly again , had to prize the super off the brood boxes today stuck hard !!
finally got the new brood box on and then lifted the super back on top …it was an effort lifting a half filled super and bees up i can tell you :slight_smile:
so took some video of the top of the second brood box before i put the super back … will keep an eye on the new brood box now to see how quickly they get it up and running :slight_smile: might even have to split the hive before January :blush:

Next harvest should be 10th December 2017

Kind regards
Mark Kate and kids


#20

A good plan, I find is to remove some of the flow frames prior to lifting the super. Each frame you remove makes it that much easier to separate the flow super from the queen excluder, plus makes the flow super that much lighter.