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Is it too early to harvest?

I reaped my first harvest a couple of weeks ago and in no time they had filled my three flow frames up again (I have the hybrid model). I didn’t open it right up, but the view from the door looked quite promising. However this second batch, while delicious, is noticeably runnier than the one built up I the first weeks of Spring. Should I let it mature a bit longer before taking it? I’m keen to try making a big batch of mead and a few more kilos would put me where I need to begin.

Hi Josh, is there any honey in the traditional frames? You might get what you need from one or two of them.

That runny honey could be unripe. If it is, I would suggest storing it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. I have no idea if unripe honey works with mead. I’m sure you would know from research about whether unripe honey can be used or not

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Emptied all three on Saturday and they’re refilling cells already. Also looks like rats have been gnawing at the bottom of the hive trying to get in.

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It probably was rats Josh, they love gnawing on frames of brood or pollen. Therefore they could have been trying to get to whatever was on the slider, or simply trying to get to the brood frames via the back door.

Hi Josh be careful about what you see at the rear as indication of the frames being full.
It is a guide for sure that things are going well but we always do an inspection of the hive first. We take out 1 flow frame then slide each other frame over to get a good look. We keep track of each frames fullness and usually only take 1 or 2 at most on the same day. The reason being is if some cells are not capped internally you can get leakage. You can also monitor the flow as you partially crack the frame open about 100mm at a time.
Good luck.

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I’ve heard that unripe honey is great for making mead. Be careful when harvesting uncapped cells though as this can be a strong cause for leaking into the brood, as when the honey floods the trough, it can be pushed through the top of the uncapped cells at the bottom of the frame.

I always do my best to only harvest ripe, capped honey, avoiding frames with any uncapped cells, so to avoid any leaking and not-ideal honey. This is best achieved by inspecting first. I’ve acquired quite a superior honey pallet since becoming a beekeeper.

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