Well, here it is. The first time we harvested from our flow hive as I said before so here are the pics. We ended up with 10 quarts, (draining a tub that caught the drips). So, we drained ours over a meat lug because it fit perfectly and ended up with alot. Y’all saw the capped frames so it’s not like they were not sealed. The honey drained on the outside of the frames down the sides into the tub, it wasn’t overflow as we did it in partial cracks but it literally dropped from all the frames down the sides when they were cracked open. Not exactly impressed or think that I should ever harvest when it is on a hive after seeing that. Any suggestions from Flow Hive?
I don’t recall seeing your photos of the capped honey. Were the caps wet or dry? If they were wet, that might contribute to the honey leaking out of the sides of the frames. Regardless, I’d continue to harvest away from the hive, as you intend on doing, for the bees sake.
Well done with the honey and a good color. I wouldn’t wait on a comment from Flow as extracting the honey with the frame out of the hive is not a part of their hype, but if it works for you then that is the way to go. T had flooding the first time I extracted and it was done in the hive but since then and doing the frames in sections flooding hasn’t been an issue.
Bluntly, my first extraction was a total disaster. I opened the whole of the frame in one go, as per Flow’s hype at the time, and still is when I last looked. I can’t explain why later extractions didn’t get the flooding issue except to say that I now do a frame in 20% steps across the frame.
I agree with Jeff in that extracting a frame out of the hive ensures the best care of the bees.
Thanks @Peter48, I was just kind of disappointed as I spent a ton of money 3 years ago on the hype to get this thing, the bees finally use it and I have honey all over the place. I did invest in a spinner for the old fashion collection too so maybe next year I will just stick to that. I like getting the wax and making stuff from that too anyway.
I don’t want to sound like a complainer, but the whole idea was supposed to be so you could leave it on the hive. Oh well, guess I will have to figure out what I want to do moving forward.
I understand you are disappointed, I was in that space myself in my first season with Flow Hives. I have only 4 Flow Hives and the rest are traditional Langstroth hives and honestly either system can throw an issue at you at some time.
I spin my traditional frames which began as wired foundation but can still have the odd fracture in a comb, but that’s a part of bee keeping. I enjoy rendering down the wax from a traditional extraction and it is very saleable here.
Don’t write off a Flow Hive till you have had at least two seasons of experimenting and learning about it first.
How is the ankle going?
Fair enough. The ankle has still got me tied up in the den. But I downloaded youtube on the TV and have watched a million videos on building and inspecting beehives. I have a list a mile long of things to do when I can move around again! I have had some friends stop over with some great local beer too!
Build honey supers
Build a top bar hive
Make mead (stuff already came)
Thanks for asking @Peter48
Nice looking honey, nice work bees.
As for the honey leaking. Did you harvest in the super over the tray?
Yes there has been many flooding issues, I’ve not experienced it and done countless harvests in the last couple of years, all done in situ. Opening the frames without side support twists the frames and causes flooding. Opening the frames in one full length turn can also cause flooding.
Yep, if its the first time you are harvesting from the Flow then this tends to happen. I believe its down to the wax cappings being thin and splitting, it happened to me only once and has happened since. But I do only a few inches of the key at a time, leave for 5mins and do another few inches to prevent any pressure buildup from backflow. Seems to work.
Yep, it was the first, all the frames were still in the hive I just placed the hive body on top of a meat lug. I got a quart out of the tub (so that actually made 11 jars!).
@Rodderick that is encouraging to hear. I guess I will give it a go in the spring again.
I will be building a top bar to put somewhere too, after all these videos on youtube!!
You are braver than I am. I like to keep my beekeeping simple!
I’m with you on keeping it simple. One sized frame and the one sized traditional hive works for me up here. I enjoy having 4 Flow Hives in my apiary but that is my limit in self inflicted confusion.
Wow! You have four of them. Getting serious @Peter48, I recently picked up a custom made stainless decapping tank. I’m not large enough for a decapping machine but the tank doubles as a frame steamer which is perfect to cleanup all the excess wax during winter when its not quite warm enough for the solar melter. All full depth 10 frame boxes for me, including the Flow hive…
I really enjoy my bee keeping and building up the number of hives in my apiary and recently offered another site for more hives, I was semi commercial when I lived in the Hawkesbury and trucked hives as far away as Mudgee. I will slam the brakes on well before I get that big again but while I’m enjoying it and able to it is so much fun. Between the time at my hives and this forum I have little time to spare.
I have never had a de-capping machine, even when I had a 12 frame radial extractor, I regarded a de-capper as ‘a bridge too far’ for me.
First, congrats on a great harvest !!
Second, I quoted what you said because I think it’s an important consideration, as @skeggley mentioned - the wax caps and seams on each cell of the Flow frames can easily break when full and subjected to movement, so I’m wondering if this happened when you lifted the super off the hive - if I’m correct in assuming you meant the frames were still in the super, but off of the hive?
My first harvest was last season and I had no problem with leakage, thanks to earlier users pointing out the precaution of opening the frames in sections.
Please feel free to contact us via email@example.com if you need us to take a look, as we would love to help trouble shoot any issues you are having.
This forum is more for connecting with the wider beekeeping community in order to exchange tips and experiences. Though we are often here in the back ground too, we don’t tend to get overly involved in the discussions here as people often come to the forum for advice that might be better coming from a local or where they want a variety of opinions.
Hope that helps to clarify and please do get in touch with us directly if we can assist in any way as we are here to help.
Congratulations on the nice harvest.
As many have mentioned flooding does happen but rarely and some minor leaks occur more frequently. Give it some time and you learn the best way to harvest. Opening the frames in small increments and not ever letting the tube fill more than about 75% prevents any backflow out any damaged or open cells.
We have had only one major flood in years and monitoring the bottom tray or corflute slider for drips of honey means you can stop before any harm comes to the bees. Good luck and search this forum from lots of hints.