Hi All, just doing my research in preparation for this spring. Really want to go the way of the flow Hive as my first Hive. I’m on the Mornington Peninsula in VIC and have a query regarding our tea tree which is in abundance down here. My property itself is full of natives, edibles and as many bee supporters and attractors I’ve been able to fit over the last 20 years. They are always visiting me. I’ve heard extraction can be a challenge on the flow Hive with the Leptospernum, has anyone got any first hand experience or thoughts in this regard? Many thanks, Andy,
If Leptospermums are in abundance down your way, you’ll probably have troubles getting the Leptospermum honey to flow out of the Flow frames. I’ve had some experience with the honey not spinning out of frames while spinning, with an extractor. I’m able to scrape the jelly like honey (which is thixotropic) down to the foundation, where it will flow through a coarse strainer, as I work it before it stiffens up again.
Maybe a hybrid Flow might be a good option, that’s if you must have a Flow hive. That way you’ll have some wood/wax frames, that you can get the tea tree honey out of, as I do. Then leave the 3 Flow frames for the bees to consume whatever tea tree honey doesn’t flow.
The tea tree may not flower all year round, so therefore you may have times when you wont have any problems. For me, it’s kind of about a six week period when my bees bring it in. Some colonies bring it in, some don’t. I never know which frames have it until I finish extracting them. The normal honey spins out, leaving the tea tree honey behind.
@akthommo (Alan) has had tea tree honey in Flow frames. Maybe he’ll see my tag, before joining the discussion.
Hi Jeff, yes you’re correct. The Leptospermums are a waste of time with flow frames. I’ve tried various ways to try to get it out but I find it’s a frustrating losing battle. I’ve built a timber frame to hold two flow frames, and to observe the honey dripping down and often find big patches of the honey that just won’t flow. It just get feed back to the bees who seem to spread it out. The observation bracket helps me understand the leakage issues as well. Plus I can also slice off the wax cappings so the bees don’t just chew it off and drop it down to the bottom.
Hi Al, I hope our info is helpful to @TwoBays .
I got over 30 kilos of it this year. There’s a bit of a regular honey flow on at the moment. I’m looking forward to seeing how long it lasts.
I did notice an increased amount of activity recently. I didn’t time it well as I had a full knee replacement towards the end of March and will be laid up for at least 6 weeks. But I was flat out previous to that making sure they could cope with my absence.
Apologies for my knee photo. But the other two are the Flow frames after extracting in my bracket. Guess where the one spot was where it leaked?
Hi guys, thank you! Yes, my understanding (limited to only text book, speaking with several apiarists and with some great info from Flow Hive - so not first hand) seems to suggest that which you describe. It is correct that there is only a small window where the leptos will be in bloom. I have found two Flow hives now in the immediate area so will investigate with the keepers there further… i think then there’s only ‘give it a crack’ and see what happens. I love the hybrid concept that you raised. Thanks again, Andy.
Hi Alan, my guess is that the leak came out of the cells that weren’t capped. The caps look like they were dry caps, so therefore I’m tipping that they didn’t rupture as you harvested the honey.