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Folks running enough Flow Hives to market honey


#21

bee equipment to produce round pieces of comb honey


#22

Wow, that’s hot! No doubt your bees need to be near a water supply…don’t know what would be worse…-45C or +45C…both would chase me into the house.


#23

The oldtimers would say that their best apiary locations were where the bears hung out…I would agree with that.

Big Mama…you get to recognize them after awhile. She bent the lock hardware and shredded the 1"X6" landing board so we replaced it with a 2"X6" and so far it’s held up to the abuse. Brood…not honey…is their favorite and they get frustrated after awhile.


#24

It must be frustrating for a bear to be able to smell all that brood but not find a way to get at it. Sad (for the bear).:bear::honey_pot::sob:

it must be very hard to inspect the brood once all the supers are on?

Have you ever considered trying out a Slovenian type hive where the frames slide out the back like books out of a shelf?

i guess by the those full flow supers you are already doing things right though. I remain amazed that a single brood box can produce enough bees to work five supers simultaneously. I suppose when the main flow is on you don’t need to inspect? Do you reduce the hives down to a single box over winter?

I have been trying to convince a local beekeeper to try single brood boxes here in adelaide- he always does two or three but doesn’t seem to get any more honey than I do from one- which is SO much easier to manage (seems to actually get less). Regardless I can’t even get him to try it as an experiment…

I will try an experiment with two flow boxes on a single brood if I have a suitable hive and a spare flow box.

Speaking of bears and Slovenian beehives- my brother bought me this fancy beehive entrance in Slovenia:

I guess that’s how Beekeepers dealt with Bears in Slovenia back in the day


#25

Hey Anthony, I recently did full inspection of my apiary site hives and marked a couple of queens I ‘accidentally’ found. The temp at the Men’s Shed outside under the roof was 30C, a thermometer in the sun on a hive 60 metres away was reading 42C at midday. Even with a ventilated suit on that was really hot.
Thinking a wet hand towel around my neck is looking pretty good for my next hive work. :sunglasses:


#26

Hi Peter, Yes we are heading into those hot months again, 42C in sun, have you tried one of those gel filled neck tie coolers might last longer than towel.:sweat: :necktie: :sweat_smile:


#27

Thanks for the thought Anthony. I have used them a few years ago and they are great but in time they have slipped my mind. Old age doesn’t come on its own, it brings friends along like dementia, shortness of energy and flatulence. :smiley:


#28

Hi Martha,
Guess in the US they are still called Ross rounds. Great that @Doug1 had the link for you.
A company here in Australia builds improved rounds boxes. In NZ they still sell the old Ross design, with spring clips to hold the frames in place. Bit outdated.

On a real strong flow I find one flow super isn’t enough to keep the bees content, so I like to put another super or two on top of the flow super.
Really love the rounds.
I also like an ideal foundationless super. Gives me cut comb and good wax too.
Wonder if there are more super options out there.


#29

You are right on this observation! I was surprise to see my hive on a honey bound when I checked today after the weekend harvest of a few frames, they even built a Qcell with a larvae in the outter frame and filled up 2 newly drawn FL brood frames with capping honey.

I wonder how can someone wait until all 6 frames fully capped off before tapping? Don’t they know the nectars can take a while to cap off and where else the bees will store the excess other than in the brood frames?


#30

It’s ok to wait till the flow frames are all capped if you have extra supers where the bees can work.
Didn’t have this overload issue in my first 2 years of beekeeping.
It’s fun though to experiment and find solutions.

Take care if your bees fill the broodbox with nectar. They may soon run out of broodspace and swarm.
Most of my colonies expand into the roof space, I don’t mind that. Nice honeycomb and easy to remove. Just don’t block that hole in the inner cover.
It’s amazing how quickly they can build comb and fill it on a flow, but at these times, the queen needs all the broodbox frames for laying.


#31

I know @Dawn_SD mentioned putting another super on above the Flow in the past, but as a newbee it didn’t occur to me - looking back it probably would have been a great idea given the strong nectar flow this year. My first two years were very different & I was just so thrilled to finally be able to use the Flow super at all this time!


#32

And yet the question still remains, ‘Are there any other folks running a commercial Flow set up…?’
Any inside goss @Faroe???
:sunglasses:


#33

The upside is there is no super back and forth (3 pulls ) transport to the extracting room…that’s alot of energy expenditure…and then the extraction process itself. But you are very astute to pick out that important deficiency and it was a concern of ours too…so we have experimented with another collection design. Plus in our part of the world, varroa seasonal build up has to be addressed…preferably midseason…another very important reason to get into that brood chamber.

Take into consideration this population is the accumulation of 2 seasons of bees…the new queen from the New Zealand 1 kg package and the Taranoved bees from a wintered colony. The dismantled wintered colony’s brood and old queen are recycled into early nucs…but the work force (extra nurse bees and lots of foragers) all end up in the honey production unit with the NZ new queen. Another option is if the timing is right, those recycled nucs (with a new queen) are placed on top of the Flowhive super stack…you can’t see that in the first photo I posted. When we harvest honey, we drop that upper queen lower (in her brood box) so by the last pull the queens are both at the bottom of the stack. It sounds complicated but is easy to do when making those changes at the time of honey removal…and that option requires a collection design that isn’t fixed. The fixed collection design works fine for single queens that you don’t need to inspect. Years ago I found that super strong colonies produced a better quality honey.

What it looks like from the outside…each hive has two entrances…hope this link works:


#34

Yes…we’ve tried double deeps and triple deeps but single deeps is our preference for indoor wintering. When the first signs of spring show…and they have a clensing flight after being confined for so long…we undersuper them. A bit of feeding stimulation and we start increasing the building temperature very slowly.


#35

Wow- amazing stuff. Very interesting.


#36

This is awesome @Doug. Will attempt to have double flow super instead of a double brood next season.:+1:t4:


#37

It will be interesting to see how you make out Pacq.

We do run double brood chambers only early in the season during the build up but just prior to the honey flow we reduce to one brood chamber and the queen excluder goes on. In our area, queen excluders don’t work well on a double brood box setup…bees tend to store honey below the QE and lock-up the hive with that dome of honey under the excluder. Here queen excluders have to go on early in the season. Ironically, on traditonal hives that are double-queened, at one point we are running three queen excluders per hive. Most beekeepers will tell you queen excluders are honey excluders and they are right under certain conditions. The video above was shot when the hives were in 3 excluder mode.

Our single 10 frame full depth brood chambers actually only have 9 frames in them…metal frame spacers installed in all of our boxes to space the frames evenly…still plenty of room for the queen to lay in.

I think you will like that single brood chamber configuration and good luck.


#38

We have some commercial beekeepers using Flow Frames listed on our Commercial page.

https://www.honeyflow.com/about/rd/boutique-commercial-beekeepers/p/400

I have asked our research manager if we can get any more specific information or if we can ask them to post on the forum.


#39

I also have noticed that the bees don’t like queen excluder on a double brood box, and tend not to go up unless they are running out of space. Therefore will do the same next year after the build up period, will push the bees down on single brood box and double super them hive.

How do you manage queen replacements in your hives, and how often do you replace your queens.


#40

We are lucky to have access to New Zealand packages in Canada as those fall mated queens will last 1 1/4 years…they are just so well mated. When we think they are near being spent, we place them in 4 frame nucs to live out the rest of their life…often yielding enough brood and bees to produce a few more nucs. Later in the summer we bring in Olivarez Saskatraz queens (USA) and install in nucs. So we never raise our own queens …contrary to what is promoted these days. Instead we focus on producing large honey crops from healthy hives (that’s challenge enough) which more than justify the price of those costly queens. Photo of Saskatraz brood frame: