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Hi from Lane Cove, NSW

Hi all, thought it was about time I introduced myself. Got my Flow 2 hive & bees in early December last year, super went on late January once brood box was really humming with heaps of brood cells, some drone cells & nice arches of capped honey in the brood frames. Currently doing the TheBeekeeper.org online course & have a beekeeper friend giving friendly advice.

I have been regularly maintaining/checking on my brood & flow boxes every 2-3 weeks with the kids helping out taking photos & keeping the smoker going. Looks like this frame will be ready in a few weeks, what do you think? Photo from last Sunday, shame we missed mothers day!

Andrew

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Welcome to the forum Andrew, and a nice looking frame of honey well on it’s way to extracting when it has at least 80% of the cells on both sides capped, but I wouldn’t extract that frame if the colony is short on for honey. What is the rest of the frames going?
Your climate is normally not a harsh Winter at all but when I was out at Richmond, a lot colder Winter, I left honey stored after April 1st for the bees to see them thru and of course the honey is still perfect to extract in the Spring if the bees didn’t need it.
Cheers

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Thanks for the welcome Peter. As you might have guessed that is the most filled & capped frame. Three of the others are mostly honey but a lot less capped, one (outside west facing) half honey uncapped & outer east facing honey has only just started. So wisdom wins, i’ll keep an eye on how the other frames are going & wait to harvest one frame if the others fill more, otherwise wait till springtime.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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Welcome to the Flow forum @Hallux (or should I call you Big Toe? :rofl: )

As @Peter48 said, that is a nice looking frame. They may not take 2 weeks to cap the rest. I would check after a week. :blush:

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I agree that is a nice looking frame. I’m guessing that you could be in a suburban area, therefore your bees would have something to forage right through winter. I wouldn’t hesitate to harvest the honey from that frame as well as others when they are ready. I would just harvest away from the hive, but that’s just me.

It’s worth remembering that bees constrict the brood during winter & replace it with honey. Therefore the bees have a lot more honey in the brood box during winter than we’d give them credit for. That’s my reason for harvesting a lot of the honey out of the honey super.

cheers

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Hi Andrew looks great. Well done for doing an inspection prior to harvesting.
As per your photo some cells may always be uncapped or incomplete and this is not obvious from looking at the rear or side inspection windows.
For that reason only extract in small increments on any one frame and keep watch on the level in the drain tube (75% full max to prevent back flow through those open cells) and look for leaks on the bottom tray. If it is excessive wait or stop as you do not want too much going into the hive. You should only get a few drops or at worse a table spoon or 2.
Good luck

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Busted for being a big toe!
Will definitely check in a week.
Thanks

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You are right Jeff, very suburban!!
Now you say it I had noticed that both outside brood frames were all capped honey.
I was thinking of harvesting one frame only since winter is close.

Thanks Gaz, I have been doing some reading here on extracting & had read that incremental opening of cells is the way to go to avoid a flood!
Would you ever just extract a portion of a frame, or all of it?

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We always extract all of a frame unless a problem is evident.
Only had 1 issue in years and that was a frame that hadn’t been opened in a long time.
We always take a look and keep track of each frame so that we always are moving through them all. We usually only take 1 or 2 max at a time.
Thanks

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Use a Texta pen and mark the key into five equal lengths and insert the key 1/5th of the way in and open that section of the frame, when the flow almost stops open the next 1/5th. Till you have fully drained the hive and the draining stops. Don’t expect the honey to instantly flow when you crack it open. Flooding of the hive can happen so take your time. Some members prefer to take the frame from the hive to extract it. I do mine on the hive and do sometimes have some flooding, that has been well discussed elsewhere on the forum, if you want to research then click on the magnifying glass at the top right.
Cheers

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Hi Hallux, not only will the outside frames be full of honey in the brood, the other brood frames will also have a considerable amount of honey in them, on account of the bees reducing the brood area. There will be large honey arcs on the outer frames, grading to smaller honey arcs in the middle frames. Which all equates to a lot of honey, more than enough to see them through a suburban Lane Cove winter.

In relation to harvesting off the hive: All you need is something to support the frame/s, a second key & a drip tray. You can open the frame in one go with complete peace of mind knowing that absolutely no honey is going to cause any issue in the brood box. The reason for a second key is to avoid frame flexing.

The thing about harvesting away from the hive is, you turn the keys in one go & walk away & forget about it. When it’s finished, put the frame/s back in the hive, making sure the drip hole is clear. You haven’t squashed any bees in the mechanism, which can lead to hive beetle problems, if that happens. It’s better on the bees all round.

That’s the only way I would harvest honey from my flow frames.
cheers

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Hi All,

Flow Frames are specifically designed to be harvested on the hive. We strongly recommend that you do not harvest away from the hive.

We understand that in beekeeping people have different approaches and methods, and that sometimes beekeepers may want to reduce space in a hive. If you decide - against our recommendations - to harvest away from the hive, you will need to make preparations to capture possible leaking honey caused by external factors (for example temperature changes, brittle wax, flexing, gradient).

If you are harvesting and you happen to notice uncapped cells or leaking from a previous harvest, our preferred solution is to still harvest on the hive, but to stagger the harvest. This can be done by simply inserting the key only part way into the Flow Frame and draining it bit by bit. This controls the amount of honey going into the honey trough, lessening the risk of overflow or overfilled frames backing up. Some beekeepers will even mark a Flow Key at quarter intervals with a permanent marker, to indicate how far the key should be inserted at each interval in this case.

If you have any questions on this, please feel free to email info@honeyflow.com for assistance.

Cheers,
Free

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Hi @Hallux, in view of Free’s recent post, it would be best if you ignore my posts in relation to harvesting honey from flow frames away from the hive.

I wont give that advice to anyone on this forum ever again.

cheers

Thanks for the Texta tip Peter, will do.

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Thanks for the advice Jeff, always good to have alternative options. I had wondered about harvesting away from the hive!

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Thanks for the info Free, good tip marking the key.

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Thanks for the great advice Gaz, appreciate it!

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Why did you try to stir up controversy mate? It’s not nice to see an old bloke like you playing silly games you know.

I noticed your posts try to rubbish Flow hives. They’re not perfect but if it wasn’t for Flow hives I wouldn’t be keeping bees.

No wonder they banned you.

Jeff’s primary concern is for the bees and the bee keeper runs second. His advice is sound. Most experience flooding issue for one reason or another, heck, I have had them in the past but have figured it out that any flooding is minor now and seems the wet looking comb is the issue here.
I’m not sure he is actually rubbishing Flow Hives, more he is giving an honest opinion of his experience and advising of another way of extracting the honey that won’t harm the bees.
I still extract with the frames in the box, but credit to Jeff for his opinion, he does call a spade an spade and not a shovel.
He hasn’t been banned from the forum and it would be sad if his honesty caused that to happen.
Cheers