Has anybody else noticed this? This week, I have drained honey from 4 Flow frames in total. The frames were at least 90% to fully capped. I was expecting about 2 liters (2 quarts) per frame. I was wrong - the half gallon jars looked about to overflow. The Flow continued after an hour, so I ran inside and brought out some more jars. Finally the Flow ended after about 3 hours, but there wasn’t nearly as much honey per minute for the second and third hour. So is it really worth waiting for the last few drops? That is a whole different set of questions!
Per frame, I have different sized jars of honey. First jar from the frame is about 1/2 gallon (2 liters) - collected in one hour. Second jar is about a pint (a bit less than 500ml) - collected in the next one to two hours. So in total I now have 2.5 liters, but is it all the same quality? In scientific terms, they are “fractionated”, perhaps according to their viscosity?
Think about it. The less viscous (runnier) honey will flow out first. The more concentrated stuff takes longer to run out. So the first hour is the runnier honey, and the next one to two hours is the thicker stuff. But can we prove that? Enquiring minds want to know, and fortunately, I also have a refractometer.
OK, let’s cut to the chase here. The answer is that the first Flow honey had a water content of 17.5% and that was about 2 liters or 2 quarts per frame. The last pint (500 ml) or so of honey had a water content of only 16.5%. So I strongly suggest that you wait for the last few drops to drain out of your Flow hive, because your water content will drop dramatically!
Sorry if this was a bit too scientific, but these things fascinate me, and I intend to use them to improve the quality of the honey I extract.