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Harvesting honey from level flow hive, Victoria, Australia


HI. I am planning a honey harvest in the next few weeks. The bees are finishing up capping the honey. My question is that my hive is level and not sloping toward the back (where the tapping will happen) because I swapped over the original flow hive mesh sloping bottom board set up for a locally made level bottom board (largely because I couldn’t never get the provided slide-in board to fit properly and it gets cold here in winter). Will this lack of slope cause the honey harvest to leak back into the hive and is there is anything I can do? Its too hard to try to jack up the front of the hive and that might just upset everyone before the big event. I saw the post about draining slowly and in increments and wondered if that would be sufficient. Grace


If it were my hive, I would prize up the front of the hive and chock it with a piece of wood so it slopes back. I have used a pinch bar under the front to do lift the hive in order to do this. If the boxes are well propolised together you might be able to tilt them all at once by pulling back on the top box without using a pinch bar. Make sure the base doesn’t slide and that the boxes don’t come apart from each other. Whatever way you choose, suit up and have someone else there also suited up to help you put the chocks under. You take the chocks out a couple of days later after all the honey has drained out and the bees have cleaned up residue at the back of the tubes.


I agree with @Dan2, it is worth shimming the front of the hive. If you can suit up and get a helper, even the day before to give them time to settle, it isn’t hard. One lifts a couple of centimeters under the front of the hive, and the other shoves in a wedge-shaped door stopper about 2cm thick. You need one wedge for each side, to fit under the long edge of the hive. Takes about 2 minutes. You can do it! :blush:

I wouldn’t harvest without the tilt. :wink:


I third the motion… if the hive isn’t sloped the bottom channel won’t empty and the honey will flow out more slowly- and more likely leakages. Put your suit on and put a few wedges at the front. Afterwards you could just leave them there.


and I’m 4th with this one. I have your same issue as my hive is a custom 10-frame Flow, I use a block of wood to placed under the front feet. I tilt during the day after a little smoke and then extract at night, my bees have an acute sense of smell and try to take their honey back.
Another alternative is to remove the flow super and take inside somewhere to extract. Its heavy so you could remove each frame into a separate box after brushing the bees off(make sure you have a lid or towel to cover them and stop the bees going back onto the frames), then remove your Flow super (as you you’ll need this put your frames back into to extract. A wheelbarrow comes in handy for transporting… Best of luck with it.


5th here. We just slipped a 2cm high board under the front. Easy and quick. The bees didn’t mind.


Thanks everyone. I will put wedges under the front and give them time to adjust.


no need to wait I think- the tilt doesn’t bother the bees. Also no harm in going with a greater slope than the flow base has- the honey flows out all the quicker- reducing the chance of leaks.


Hi Dan. I did chock up the front using my car jack and some cut weather boards. Thanks for the encouragement- and everyone else as well.
Harvested 4 frames and yielded 13kg of honey.
I had checked the frames and every one was consistent, sealed and complete- fantastic. I left 2 for the bees as I’m giving some brood box frames to a friend next week. I drained the 4 hframes in quarters and that worked well. The bees were on it straight away- cleaning up. I love the flow hive forum and the generosity shown by people with more experience.


Lovely golden color on that honey :honey_pot:


I like your car jack idea :slight_smile: Nice looking honey too :honeybee: