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I have a flow frame, wich is filled only on the sides. what is full is capped. is it ok to harvest?


#1

I have a flow frame, wich is filled only on the sides. what is full is capped. is it ok to harvest?
look the same on both sides.


#2

Welcome to the forum Martin. Not sure which part of the world you are from, perhaps complete your profile…
I would say that less than 1/4 of that face is capped. Ideally you would want a minimum of 90% capped. Honey is only ripe when it’s capped otherwise the water content is too high and the honey will spoil.
Why do you want to harvest that frame?
If you are removing the super for winter then yes, harvest it but store it in the fridge or feed it back to the bees for winter.
If you are planning to harvest because you are impatient and want to try the honey, no it’s not ok to harvest, sit back and suffer like the rest of us… :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks :slight_smile: I’ll wait then…


#4

There is another issue in addition to @skeggley’s information. If you try to drain a partially capped Flow frame, you are very likely to get significant honey leaks from the frame’s face back into the hive. This might annoy or even kill bees. The reason it happens is because the Flow design partly relies on the sheet of cappings to hold the honey inside the cells after you crack them open. The honey flows behind the sheet into the bottom channel. If your honey isn’t capped, there is nothing to hold it in, and you may lose a significant portion of your harvest. :sweat:


#5

@martinsp I’ve had that issue with my frames. Either flick some sugar water, some honey water (if you have honey from the hive from a previous extraction; don’t use other honey), or rub beeswax on the frame. That will help speed up the process of filling the frame.


#6

Hi, I inspected the picture some more, and I noticed, the there are eggs or very small larvae in the cells in the middle.
I do have a queen excluder, and inspected the brood box, and I have plenty of capped worker brood and very small larvae, very few drone cells and no queen cells. I did not see the queen, but I rarely find it.
Could it be that the queen could fit trough the excluder and started laying in the flow frames?
if she did fit, will she be able to go back down into the brood box, or she will be locked in the super?
Here’s a pic of the larvae in the flow frames.

Thanks in advance
martin


#7

To the right of your red circle, I think I see the likely answer. There are eggs in those cells, but they are on the walls of the cells, which usually means a laying worker. Workers do not have a long enough abdomen to reach the center of the base of the cell, so the tend to lay on the walls or at the edge of cell base. They happen sometimes above queen excluders. Nuisance, but I am not sure that there is much you can do about it. Maybe somebody else has some clever ideas! :blush:


#8

I run without excluders.

When the brood creeps up I add another brood box.

In this case I would add a second brood box and remove the flowframes with larve in them and hold them out for a few days so the larve die and then put them back in the hive and let the girls clean up the corpses and carry on.

Although Dawn has a good point. Maybe no second brood box, just temp remove the frames so the larve die off.


#9

Surely laying worker eggs are found in multiples. Would you expect a normal queen to be able to reach the bottom of a flow super cell?


#10

Absolutely true. Normally. But nothing in nature is absolute. So if someone is certain that the queen is not above the excluder, my answer would be the other possibility.

I guess I have another irritating answer to this… It depends. It depends on the size of your queen. I have seen queens less than 2 cm long, and others perhaps around 2.5cm. I think a bigger queen could reach. It also depends on whether your bees have drawn out the surface of the Flow frames. Several owners have noticed that the harvest increases with multiple uses, probably because the bees extend the wax more each time. If it was drawn out to the maximum, I doubt that even a big queen could reach.

Brilliant idea. Twenty-four hours in the freezer would kill them too. Plus the protein would be recycled by the bees. I love this concept and will use it myself if it happens in our hives.


#11

I Tough I could be laying worker as well, but I inspected the brood box this morning, and there’s plenty of worker capped cells, almost no drone cells and no queen cells. also there larvae of all sizes, from very young to big size. the colony looks strong, and the other flow frames have no larvae or eggs, and look normal.
I’m thinking maybe I have a small queen.
Also some of the flow frames are not drawn at all yet. I installed the flow super about 5 weeks ago.

Any advice?
What can I do, other than remove the frames for a while?
If use the freezer idea, can capped honey be frozen and then thawed and replaced in the super?

Thanks for any advice :slight_smile:


#12

Absolutely. It works just fine. :wink:

The other thing you should do is check your queen excluder. If it is the Flow one, it should be easy to check - just make sure none of the plastic is torn or deformed/bent to make bigger gaps. If it is metal or wire, you may need to look more closely, and I believe that @JeffH has a good way of fixing any problems, if I remember right. :blush: