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Flowhive feasible in Germany?


#1

Greetings from Germany to the Flow Hive community,

I´m a newbie beekeeper, actually not even that. I´ll be beginning my intro course this weekend. I stumbled across Flow Hive during it´s initial crowdfunding run and even then thought “cool idea, almost intriguing enough to get into beekeeping”. Well, now I am :).

I was planning to get my first Flow Hive(s) after my intro course. However some local beekeepers that I talked about with about it told me that those wouldn´t work in Germany as the honey would be to viscous for it. I´m wondering now if anyone from Germany is reading this and can shed some light on this “issue”. Is this true or is this the same bias BS that I find all over the internet?

Any insights would be most appreciated :).

Thanks,
Dennis


#2

I’m not in Germany, however for what it’s worth, I think honey with a higher viscosity will still flow. It’s honey that sets like jelly will probably cause you problems. Some bias BS could be justified, while the rest could be taken with a pinch of salt. Once you get into beekeeping proper, you will be able to determine that for yourself.

Anyway you wouldn’t do any harm by learning with a traditional hive & go from there.


#3

Thanks Jeff,

that´s exactly what I was planning to do. I was just a bit too curious to wait that long to determine how and with what I´ll continue establishing my 1-3 hive, world-spanning, honey empire next year :slight_smile:


#4

You don’t have to buy a full Flow hive from the beginning. You could buy the smallest Flow frame package of just 3 frames, and test them in a super, mixed with classic frames.


#5

Why would your honey be more viscous? Just curious. I know there are a lot of people here in Canada that have used them without an issues if that helps at all? I’ve seen posts on here from people in the USA, obviously Australia, Africa, Spain, and more that I can’t think of that all used them without issues. Just wondering why your locals think Germany is so different?


#6

Hi Jenna,

to be honest… I have no idea. Being a complete newbie in this I just had to take this “as-is” (for now…). I heard it from a few people. Not all of them elaborated their reasons. The thing I got told the most was that it is because of the difference in plants that they harvest hear. Sounded strange to me but again, its hard to argue with people doing beekeeping for decades when you never had a single bee yourself :).


#7

This one has got me too…viscosity of honey decreases with temperature to some extent I think. There was some scepticism here in Tasmania amongst the commercial guys regarding the Flow hive in a similar vein - some thought Tassie was too cold and the honey would not flow out of the frames. The thing is the tapped honey is quite warm actually and I haven’t had a problem. Even here in the far reaches of the antipodes we grow some of the same plants as in Germany. I think perhaps the honeydew honey from the Black Forest in Germany is more viscous as the honey comes from an insect…room for some research into that…will keep looking…


#8

Viscosity depends on the ration of sugars which depends on the plant the nectar comes from


#9

As the others said viscosity depends very much on the plants. For example rapeseed honey crystallizes very fast, and becomes a white solid mass.

So your area has some of these plants, it may happen that you can’t avoid the more viscous honey. I would still experiment with a few Flow frames, maybe your harvest would be very slow, but acceptable to you. If those experienced beekeepers are commercial beekeepers, practicality, efficiency and speed are paramount to them, and what is not acceptable for their workflow, may be acceptable for you.


#10

Well, @AngoraAngy had quite a nice harvest in Germany last year. She had some leakage from the frame, but that often happens with the first harvest. She posted a nice video on this forum, which I am sure you could find if you look through her posts.


#11

You might find some Germans on the forum by doing a general search - http://forum.honeyflow.com/search?q=germany
or by looking in this section - http://forum.honeyflow.com/c/connect-with-locals

Germany harvest - Germany - my first harvest!

Here are some faqs for thixotrophic and crystallised honey:
https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/do-flow-frames-work-with-manuka-jellybush-honey/p/103
https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/does-the-honey-crystallise-in-the-flow-frame/p/69

When the Germans you refer to say it is too thick, ask them if it’s because of the flowers. Do you have rape/canola, heather, dandelion, etc?
If it’s just because of the cold, well the Flow frames have been used in very cold places across Europe, Canada, USA, etc.

If you want to do what Lori mentioned, here is the modification instructions - https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/modifying-a-langstroth-box-for-flow-frames/p/143#a1

The other thing to remember is the Flow Hive is just in a Langstroth 8 deep standard size - so you can have a standard super and a Flow Super on there to test them.
Or you can have a Langstroth 8, 10 or UK national size hive, and add a Flow Super on in Langstroth 8, 10, or UK national size as well.

Now maybe you have too many options :wink: