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High water content

I have two flowhives: the left is a flowhive 2 (one brood box), and the right is the original model (two brood boxes).

I am having some issues with high water content, particularly in the left hive, and I am seeking advice. I am located in Hawaii - typical humidity is 70%.

Yesterday, I harvested the honey in frames 1, 2 and 6. Frames 1 and 6 were capped when viewed through the window. Water content for the three frames was 20%, 19.8%, and 20.3% respectively, which is higher than I want, and higher than it should have been for capped cells.

Has anyone had similar experience, or does anyone have advice?

The bees are very productive in terms of honey right now - I need to empty the hive roughly every two weeks. If I don’t empty it soon enough, the bees build honeycomb in the roof and store honey there.

I don’t seem to have the same high water content issue for the right hive. It is not a refactometer calibration issue.

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You need to take the frames out to check they’re completely capped like you would in any hive. You can’t rely on what you see through the window.

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I’m wondering if you think you included a photo that didn’t come thru with the post when you talking about the hive on the left and right…
Did you remove the Flow frames from the hive and check that at least 80% of the frame was capped on both sides before you drained them??
That water content is high and could ferment if not used quickly.
Cheers

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Just a thought that it could be a humidity problem.
I found the two brood box hives regulate the humidity much better than the single brood box hive. Just one of the reasons I now have both my hives with two broods. If the humidity is high the honey will take longer to ripen. However the bees should not cap until the cell is fully ripe.
Maybe has nothing to do with your problem. :thinking:

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As @Stevo says, you really need to see both sides of every frame that you are extracting. Having said that, I have found one technique that helps in high humidity. If you put a box of frames (medium, deep, whatever you have) on top of the Flow super, it helps the bees to dry out the honey much faster. It would also help with your honey in the roof problem. Of course you then may have a box of traditional frames that you would need to extract, but it works very well, as @Eva can tell you. :wink:

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not my flow but I am in Hawaii also and my July harvest was very wet and it did ferment 22 % when I finally got my refractometer. My Sept flow harvest was up there at 18%. Not sure myself but I am paying close attention to the moisture content these harvests.

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As Dawn points out, placing another super on top of a Flow super in progress definitely worked for me! The medium supers I put on also filled with beautiful comb, some of which I harvested.

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Mine were building comb on top of my flow So would you add frames?

I’d add a medium or shallow super with frames, yes - provided the nectar flow is ample

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