My first Harvest Time

Hi guys. Looks like I’m coming up to my first harvest.
What size/quantity jars do you suggest per frame?


Probably just over 2 liters per frame. But have some extras handy in case you get a little more otherwise you’ll be spilling honey while running back to the house to find another jar.

I’ve actually been harvesting into a bucket with a honey valve on the bottom, which makes it easier to divvy up into smaller jars to give away/sell.

Once you crack the cells, you can stop it.


Thanks @chau06
I’ll get a few 300 ml enough for 3lt. So should be good.

Well we got 3 jars 450ml each from the first frame.
Getting too dark for others. But happy.


Nice work - how long did you let it drain? And did you open in segments or all at once?

Were the cells all full prior to harvesting?

1 Like

Hi @chau06 all up it took maybe 20 minutes for the frame.
Open in 3 segments.

Not sure. It looked fully capped from the end.

It is difficult to tell from just looking at the end of the frame despite what flow suggests in their marketing material.

Sometimes cells in the middle or an arc or cells are empty or uncapped.

It is possible that there was an unfilled/uncapped portion on the frame that you couldn’t see and so you didn’t get as much as expected.

Most experienced flow users recommend inspecting the frames directly (a day or two) before harvesting so that you really know how they look before cracking it open. Perhaps with more experience you can tell which frames at which times of the year in your area are full.

Of course, the frame facing the window can be a little more thoroughly inspected than a middle frame without pulling the frame out.

20 minutes per segment isn’t a very long time, that alone could have decreased your yield (and increased the spillage into the hive). It does depend somewhat on the honey type and the ambient temperature.


I totally agree with @chau06, inspection before harvest is essential for me, to avoid flooding and unripe honey. I also allow 2 hours per frame, and I try to start late morning to midday. That way the hive is warm, the foragers are out of the way and the honey has plenty of time to flow.

One other thing, I have a refractometer. On one occasion, I harvested a frame in timed amounts. Over the 2 hour draining period, the last 20-30 minutes had the lowest water content of each frame, sometimes by as much as 0.5% lower. I think that the riper honey flows more slowly. This means that if you don’t wait for the full 2 hours (or even 3 or 4, depending on the honey), you are depriving yourself of a harvest of the lowest water content. That is a lot of lost flavour! :wink:


Thanks Guys… Learning Curve.

I have a refectometer, it’s calabrated but have issues using it???
Job todaye to learn how to us it.

I had issues using mine too. I now have two refractometers - one for honey and a general one for measuring the brix of my pasture. The one that measures the pasture won’t work on the honey (although technically it should as it’s the right range). The other issue was operator error. You need to smear the honey across the whole prism (not the whole surface area, just the prism) rather than just dobbing a bit on. Finally, don’t rinse under the tap, just wipe over with a cloth. Good luck!

1 Like

Hi Daz, Wilma & I made this video to show an easy way to tell ripe honey from unripe honey.

I have never used a refractometer & probably never will.



Thanks Jeff, great video

i’ll give it a go

1 Like

It’s been good since the first harvest.

1 Like

You can crack just a few of the cells though too by not inserting the key as deep.

That should have said “can’t stop”

Oh. I’ve read it as such. :slight_smile: That’s why I suggested to only crack a few and not harvest a full frame.