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First Harvest Nerves

We are ready for our first harvest, the temperature here is 29 degrees, the wind is 20 to 30 km’s per hour, is this too windy to harvest?? Please Help, Thank you

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I’m sure it’s not too windy to harvest. Do you know if your frames are ready to harvest? If so, go ahead & do it. What could go wrong? Most people are finding that it’s best to harvest the frames in around 20-25% increments, to reduce honey flooding onto the brood. Me, I would harvest the honey away from the hive to completely eliminate honey flooding onto the brood. That’s mainly because I’d have hive beetles to worry about. You wouldn’t have them in your area, so you don’t have to worry about that.
cheers

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Hi, Good luck with that, we are rapidly approaching our first harvest too. Our frames are full just waiting for them to be capped off. I’ll be very interested to hear how your harvest went. Cheers Dave.

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Hiya J&J, as long as the wind isn’t blowing the bees at ya and isn’t gale force you should be right. Cool and cloudy conditions aren’t great.
Remember, as Jeff says, open in increments, use 2 keys if possible, keep an air gap in the tubes and enjoy.

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Yay… We saved about 50% for our Bees, the honey came out so fast, we harvested 3, 900gm jars and 1 over a kilo, the honey smells and tastes Amazing. But now our Bees are bearding, I got up at 3 am to check them, so many Bees on the front of the Flow hive, falling off in clumps, how do we stop them from swarming, they have been doing this for a couple of days, please help, it will take a couple of weeks to order another Flow.

Normally the hipster bearding bees stay in the beard but the other night I did see a clump on the ground which I have not seen before. Bees will beard especially in hot and humid conditions this does not mean they are planning to swarm, it’s normal. How to prevent a swarm? Where to start… Inspect.

Congrats on your harvest, how many frames did you drain?

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Hello there,
bees bearding does not necessarily indicate that they are about to swarm. Also it is uncommon for bees to swarm at this time of the year. Did this bearding only start after you harvested the flow frames? If so then it is quite possible that some honey leaked during the harvest. If not then it just indicates that the hive is likely quite crowded with bees. These days we run all out flow hives with one extra ideal (shallow half depth) box of regular frames to give the bees more room, make comb honey- and for winter stores.

Concerning leaking:

when you harvest a flow frame soem honey can leak out of the frames and drip down into the brood box below. This often seems to happen more the first time the frames are used. It also happens more if you put the tool into the frame all the way and turn it in one go.

To prevent/limit leaking we generally only harvest two frames a day- and frames that are not immediately adjacent each other. We put the tool in about 25%- tun it and then let it drain for around 20 minutes (less if the honey is thin and longer if the honey is very thick). Doing this minimizes the leaking- and if there is leaking it is only in a small area of the hive- which gives bees time and space to lick up the honey before it floods the hive and becomes an issue. Leaking honey does not seem to cause much harm to the bees- but some people think it is a real danger in places where hive beetles are a big problem. Where we are hive beetles are never seen- and do not cause ‘slime outs’. So we have never had any issue when frames leak- the bees beard for day or so and then settle back to normal.

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The bearding is not an indication of eminent swarming. Breading is common in hot weather and happens even more when you have disturbed the hive, and the bees do know that somehow honey has gone from the frames you have drained. Relax and leave the bees alone and in a couple of days the colony will settle down.
Cheers

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Thank you skeggley, for all of your help, we have had some very hot weather last week and some cold weather and rain coming up this week, we live in the South West of W.A. so we hope and pray they don’t swarm, we have a 7 frame Flow, we left the end 2 and harvested 5, Thank you for your advice and help, greatly appreciated, Jude and Judd

Thank you, our Bees did start bearding the day before we harvested yesterday and still bearding today, we took your advice and have put another bee hive box next to our Flow Hive and we think it is working, Yay, Thank you so very much Semaphore, Thanks

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Thanks Peter, it is so great to hear so much positive feed back, It is nice to hear you say relax, we will and cant wait to learn so much more, Thank you, kind regards Jude and Judd

Hipster bees with beards :rofl::rofl:

no worries- check up on it in a few weeks to see if they stat building in the new box. And they haven’t started building at the beginning of winter you may want to remove that box- and then put it back on early in spring. If it’s completely empty over winter it will be harder for the bees to keep warm- also the population may go down a few weeks into winter and they wont need that extra space.

Hi, we harvested on Saturday, everything seemed fine, we spilled a bit but cleaned it up, this morning our core flute slider is covered in honey and dripping onto the ground, what have we done wrong or how can we fix it, Thank you

personally I would now remove the slider and wash it with water. Otherwise ants might be attracted. I would also use a hose and wash the honey on the ground away.

did you harvest all 6 frames in one go? Did you harvest in increments?

I strongly recommend you get a bucket with hoses- and that you only harvest in increments. I also recommend only harvesting two frames a day if possible.

you can see my set up for harvesting here:

the one change I have made now is I have a lid for the bucket with holes in it. The reason we use a bucket with tubes is you can walk away and leave the frames draining without worrying about bees coming around the back and drowning in honey or causing bother. Bees working together can luck up honey surprisingly fast- however if you did all six frames at once in one go- they could be overwhelmed. Even so: we have never seen any lasting damage done to a colony after a harvest. So I wouldn’t be too worried if I was you.

When we say ‘harvest in increments’ we mean putting the key in only 25% of the way- turning it- waiting for 20 minutes- then putting it in 50% turning, waiting, etc- until you have done the entire frame. By doing this you will minimize the chance of honey spilling- and what does spill can be licked up by the bees before it causes much of a problem.

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I suspect you didn’t wait long enough for all of the honey to drain and so you closed the frame with to much honey still in it. I run plastic tubes from the Flow Hive draining tube down into a honey pail with the tube fitting into a tight fitting hole of the lid of the pail. I do three frames at each extraction and leave it hooked up over night with the frames in the open position and in the morning all of the honey has drained into the pail and it is just a matter of closing the frames and job done. No bees can get into the pail. Food for thought for the next extraction to increase your honey yield and no mess or issue with the spilled honey attracting ants.
Cheers