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Harvesting with Winter Coming - Perth WA


#1

Hi. I have two hives in Perth WA and we are coming into cooler temps dropping from regular over 30 °C days to 21 °C days with rain etc. I was wondering if its still fine to harvest the flow hives during this time with winter coming on proper in June - August?

From what I have read and heard the bees need honey to keep them feed over the winter but with WA being warmer how does that affect my harvesting?

Although the days are cooler and shorter the sun is still out and the hives still seem to be productive and filling up the flow frames at a decent pace (a few weeks).

Any advice appreciated ;]


#2

Hi BB. If you type in Perth under the looking glass, you will find a wonderfully supportive group of WAs. I am near Byron Bay in the mountains, it’s quite rare for night time temps to go under 10C.
It’s my first flow hive winter and I am prepared to leave the frames for the bees. There is a flow on now and all flow frames are 3/4 full of honey. If one frame gets completely capped, I will harvest that one.
I suppose one never knows quite what the weather will be doing, so I will just observe. I doubt I will have to feed.
I run all my bees in single brood boxes with QX and super and intend to leave it that way over ‘winter’. Except my recent nucs and splits of course don’t have a super yet, but are filling their 8 frame BBs nicely.
I hope all will be well and I am ready for spring.
Not sure if this contains any advice for you. I just thought I tell you about my plan. The temps may be similar?


#3

With the warmer weather the honey is more viscous and flows faster. The cooler weather would make extraction take longer.
Check how much honey is stored in the bb, like you say it’s not freezing temps here and there are usually flowers about to feed the bees but if we get an extended period of rain then the bees can work their way through the stores especially with a large population of bees. Generally one bb is used here so you should be right but having said that 10 frame boxes hold more stores than our 8’s so I added a wsp box for extra stores in a couple of my colonys to see if it benefits come spring.
I’m planning to remove the flow frames over winter so will be draining them and letting the bees clean up prior to removal. I’ll also be keeping a couple f frames of honey in case a colony gets a bit too light during winter.


#4

Hi Guys.

Thanks for the info, I guess I will have to play it by ear by the sounds of it and keep an eye on the weather and harvest accordingly. Mainly trying to work out how much honey they need I guess with winter coming up.

By the sound of it if the bb honey frames are full and the super is full I can take a frame or too to keep them busy provided there is still flowering and not too much rain.

Cheers Webclan I will check out that group.


#5

Hi BeeBaron, I’m also in Perth (Freo) and currently have 4 FF’s near fully capped worthy of harvesting and 2 FF’s 50% capped, with strong bee activity on lots of flowering gums. However, a local mentor suggested no more harvesting and instead leave the FF’s near-full for whatever winter brings (i.e. wet, cold, stormy, dry, etc). By not harvesting now, he was confident that a harvest should be possible Sept/Oct and then again Dec/Jan if spring delivers the usual flowering with ample nectar & pollen. I was planning on harvesting two more frames NOW but I already have 8kg in jars, which should be ample until Sept/Oct. This is my first winter with a flow hive so I’ll keep an eye on the FF’s and BB and see how the girls fair with near-full flow frames as they go into winter. Hope this helps.


#6

For what it’s worth this is my experience from last winter.
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/wintering-the-flow-hive-in-perth-western-australia/11220/7?u=cviewbee