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Is it possible to harvest the bees wax with a flow hive?


I understand that the concept of this hive is to not interfere with the bees and let them do their thing, but had a friend pose a question to me today about whether its possible to harvest the wax.


Hi Emily, I would say ‘No’ to harvesting wax from Flow Frames as there may be a risk in damaging the cells. Can I suggest you add another super “under” or “on top” of the Flow super with standard frames, you can then harvest the wax and honey as per a normal hive. If you are only using a partial Flow system (just a few frames) then you can add standard frames to either side of your Flow frames… lots of options


As Rodderick says, you could certainly harvest wax from a hive that has flow frames in it. You won’t be harvesting wax from the flow frames. But you could put some foundationless frames in the middle of the super (or another super) and crush and strain that to get wax and honey from those foundationless frames.


You could harvest your brood frame wax more frequently and keep that wax newer at the same time. Maybe toward the end of the season when the colony is shrinking in size anyway.


There isn’t much wax in brood frames. The cocoons absorb a lot of it, and if there are very many layers of cocoons it will actually absorb all of it. Bees winter better on combs with cocoons in them. I don’t want newer wax in the brood nest.


Has anyone tried the technique of adding a super with jars built in and allowing the bees to build honey comb in these jars and harvesting it that way? I saw an interesting you tube video on this and wondered if anyone else has tried this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfCx4X36tY0


That’s interesting, good to know.


Yes, I’ve done it. It works MUCH better if you run a bead of wax down each spot you want a comb drawn. Bees have trouble clinging to the glass and hesitate to draw comb on it. Also, the jars need to be in the dark or the sunshine will melt it and the bees won’t want to be in the jars.