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How do I extract a sample of honey to test for moisture in a flow super?


#1

I’m a new beekeeper. My beekeeping club is full of long time beekeepers. They are positive that this super is going to fail. I can’t wait to prove them wrong. However, one question they asked that I couldn’t answer: how do I extract a sample from the flow super to test for moisture before I harvest? I’ve spent this year just building brood since I didn’t get started until mid summer. I’d appreciate your assistance. Thank you!!


#2

You could pull the frame out and use a straw to pull some honey/nectar out of some open cells?


#3

Pipettes. Multiple pipettes with honey from various cells as honey moisture content varies from one uncapped cell to another.

“How do they sample?” is the better question. Lifting a frame is lifting a frame is lifting a frame. Clearly they aren’t clear on what a flow frame is.


#4

I agree with @Bobby_Thanepohn, just use something like this to pull a sample out of a cell:

You may need to cut the fine tip off the pipette if the honey is very thick. Then you test the water content with a cheap honey refractometer like this:

Very simple and quick to do.


#5

You only need a drop. Use a matchstick. Or use nothing and just go for it if it’s capped.


#6

Shake the frame over a clean surface and if honey splashes out, use some of that; if it doesn’t, it’s probably ready.


#7

Those long time beekeepers are justified in asking that question. The only answer for them would be to tell them your going to lift & inspect the frames before harvest. Looking through the end panel to see if the frame is fully capped is not an accurate way to tell if the frame is fully capped or not. If you do use that as a guide, a simple test with a refractometer of the honeys water content would be advised if you intend on selling the honey.

Having to do something like what I suggested doesn’t equate to the super failing.

The most important thing for us is to learn is how to farm our bees. After that, which ever way we choose to harvest our honey (extract, crush & strain, comb honey or flow frame) is immaterial.