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Is it time to rob the bees


Is it time to draw honey. The flow frames between 50-90%capped Would it be ok to take a middle frame or should I just wait till spring. We have have had unusual warm Autumn and the girls have been very busy since I got the swarm in September… I’m seeing 60% capped in the window. I pulled the the flow frames today and the middle ones are 80-90% capped… Spring is only 4 months away so should I rob a middle frame? I’m thinking a second brood box in spring.


Where are you in the world?
Do you have just one brood box?
Is that enough to get your hive thru the winter?
You want an individual frame to be 90% capped at least, before you harvest it.


Thanks Sara, I’m In Australia and we have had the longest Autumn ever. The bees are still working hard and the flowers are still doing their magic. It will be a really short winter so expect we will have continuous supply till spring. On a really really great note if that wasn’t already. I appears the hive has ousted the beetles, John paul ringo and the other one. Now I’ve developed an allergic reaction to be stings. I’ve never been stung working on the hive. Just at night when some late bees are distracted. So I’m thinking if there is anyone on the Central Coast NSW that would like to buy or half buy my hive please call me. If you buy the hive outright. I will expect 1kgs of honey every year :slight_smile:


How do you know? Has a doctor tested you? Most people who think they are allergic to bee stings do not have a true allergy. If you have been tested, I am very sorry that you have to lose your hive. :cry:


Hi. Not sure if my last message got through. Im on the central coast and looking at getting a hive. Let me know if you need to move your hive on. Ray.


Hi mate I’m not sure if I really want to let go of my girls. The problem is i’ve developed an alergy to the stings.
If you have space and your happy for me to drop in to check on the girls. This Hive is pumping it was a swarm caught last September. Brood is full. I’m going to put a new brood box on asap.
I just think I need to get it away from the house.
If your on land at Copa and happy to share the rewards I’m in.


Unless you are having an anaphylactic reaction you are not allergic, just sensitive. Everyone is sensitive to some extent or another.



Here in Mullumbimby Australia, We are having a very reasonable honey flow right now. On Thursday, I will be taking out a frame for my sister and the bees will still have plenty left. I checked the super yesterday and lifted two frames of mostly capped honey. They were really heavy but just two seeks ago they were almost empty.


It’s called venom for a reason… if you itch and swell, that is not allergic, that is normal. If you break out in hives from head to toe, that is worrisome. If you have trouble breathing you have an allergic reaction and will probably need to be desensistized.


I had long lasting hives on one arm. They only covered a 2inch circle the sting site was 3-4 inches away. I’ve never had reactions in the past. Cheers turns out I got some payback yesterday with a 3.5 extraction of honey. I’ll go lick my wounds.


Swelling and itching on the limb involved is normal. Reactions vary a lot. All stings are NOT created equal.


I agree with Michael, which is why I suggested getting properly tested by a doctor. They can do a simple skin test or a blood RAST and then you can be absolutely sure. Surely it is worth doing that before you give up your bees?


Maybe I should have been more specific. Reactions to stings on the same person vary a lot, not just from person to person. Most stings I can’t tell where they were five minutes later. Some stings have swollen my ankle to where I couldn’t walk. They are hard to predict and not consistent.


An allergic reaction doesn’t just hurt or itch or make you uncomfortable. It stops you from breathing. You are not experiencing allergic reactions. You are just getting stung.

Some stings are more troublesome than others. Location, removal success and how aggressive the bee was all seem to play a part.

Keep in mind that it is possible for anyone to develop, at anytime, an allergic anaphylactic reaction. But there is no reason to think that you are more or less at risk than anyone else.

Educate yourself on what reactions look like so that if anyone, you or another person, are stung you will know if something goes badly. Keep a first aid kit handy with the usual suspects for treating stings to avoid extra discomfort.

Now go enjoy your bees!

; -)


Thanks everyone all good info.
After checking this afternoon I’ll robbing again tomorrow. Leaving at least four frames for our winter. We never have no flowers. So of to buy more jars in the morning. Download honey in the afternoon. It’s a great system.


I’m normally OK - The first dozen or so stings swelled and itched as you described - previously I had 1 bee sting as a child.

Since then it depends where I get stung and how long it is before I remove the sting.
around eye - face swelling is more noticeable, fingers a slight swell, arms and legs small raised bump.

If where you get stung is loose skin the swelling is more noticeable.

One time I didn’t realise I’d been stung on the forearm underside and the stinger stayed in - so full shot of venom - that area was red, red and itching for nearly a week.
What I’m saying is if you get the stinger out quickly, and it is not on a loose skin area, the reaction should be minimal.


I know I’m lucky here as we have had a rather extended summer. It’s winter next week and it’s 25 degrees C outside. The bees are still working hard and I’ve not seen a beetle nor moth grub in over a month. So today I robbed or downloaded another 2.8kg’s of honey from one frame. I’ll leave the rest till spring now. Only 3 months away. It tastes awesome. Fresh honey is just yum yum yum. I have to thank the flow team for this really smart invention.It is simple and works great. In just six months I have learned so much. Ive caught a swarm watched it grow, dealt with beetles and moths now If getting honey and all my neighbors love me.


Do your bees have stores below the queen excluder? If not they may move up into the flow box and abandon the queen. In some ways it would be better to take the flow box off over winter.



Thanks Rob. Last check they had good stores below. I’ll do a deep dive next week. Last time looked there was lots of bur comb. As the hive was really building well I didn’t want to mess to much with the. So I guess if your saying remove the flow box for winter. I guess I need to check all the brood frames for honey. Then rob the flow frames? Is that standard practice to just pull all the top frames over winter?


Not too sure how to keeep the flow frames. I don’t have any, I also don’t use a QE so my bees can move freely within the hive. Its the QE restricting the queen that is a potential problem. After saying that you can’t just take it out as the queen could lay brood in the flow frames and that would be a mess.