Is there anyone in my area with a flow hive or wanting information or help with a flow hive? I have two, one new one and have had another one for about three months, just had my first successful harvest.
@Gill, how much have you left in the hive for winter?
Also, are you aware of the need for the water content to be below a certain value to help ensure it keeps and doesn’t ferment?
…it’s great to see you offering help and looking for others nearby
Hi Snowflake, nice to hear from you, we have a very Mediterranean climate where there is lots of blossom during winter and the bees can get out foraging most days. They still have the half filled side frames in the Flow super and honey in the brood box so should be ok. The four frames I harvested were fully capped both sides so should have the correct moisture content. How much honey do you have to leave them with in Perth?
Hi @Gill, I would say Esperance has a cool Mediterranean climate; Esperance is usually a few degrees cooler than Perth. From the sounds of what you have said you should be fine with your honey reserves. However, I’m going to suggest that you consider packing your hive down to the brood box only for this first winter. I’d be surprised if your colony had sufficient numbers to get through a winter with a super on top if you only got the Nuc 3 months ago.
You could make this decision by monitoring the hive numbers and if the brood box looks less than about 70-80% full consider removing the super. Once you decide winter has arrived you shouldn’t have a need to inspect your hive until the very start of spring, at which point you only add a super once your brood box appears about 80% full with bees.
Regarding your winter preparation, take a look through this forum for “leaking roof”. That might be the main problem you encounter. I put aluminium flashing from Bunnings over my hive roof in winter to help address the problem.
And yes, if the frames are fully capped you can be about 95% certain that the honey moisture content is correct. Again this magical 80% number comes up - if a frame (both sides) is approx 80% capped it is a very good indication that the moisture content will be correct.
As for how much honey I leave my bees with, this year I’ve still got hybrid super on top of the QX above my brood box. I’ve got 4 fully capped traditional frames, 1 fully capped flow frame, and 2 flow frames that have 1 side half capped and about two-thirds full and the other side one-third full with nectar but uncapped. I was hoping to not check my hive again until late August but I might take one more look inside during June and make a decision on whether or not I keep the hybrid super on the brood box or remove it.
Thanks for all your help Snowflake, I’m sure your right about Esperance being cooler than Perth but I am hoping we have made up for that with all the winter flowering Yates, Grevilleas, Leucoxylons, erethrocories and cockies tongue I have planted. The bees also have a good sheltered position facing North, I move them forward a few feet out of the shade in winter! When the weather picks up I am planning to have a look and see how things are in the brood boxes. We already have aluminium roofs on our hives as supplied by John Guilfoyles in Midland, they have 4 air vents too. I will certainly be packing down a hive I got from a cutout which is not so vigorous.
Looking forward to seeing how the winter goes…I have just brought and prepared another Flow super so I’m looking forward to the cutout hive being strong enough to sustain it!
Good bee keeping!