I have two boxes one brood and the other full of honey stores. Placed flow hive on beginning of July. I’m in south Central Idaho USA. its looking like the honey in flow will not be capped before I need to ready for the winter. What should I do? Should I leave flow Hive on and move below brood box for winter?
It will most likely get capped. The colder temperatures make drier air. I would just worry about how much stores they have besides to get through the winter. Also it might be dry enough, but only a refractometer could answer that question.
Thank you. The honey stores look great
I took classes from local beekeeper and have what he said as far as honey stores for this area. I really didn’t expect honey since it was a package of bees for the first year. Would it be wise to let the bees have this honey even though they have the appropriate amount of stores for this area? I want to do what’s best for the bees.
I am a bit confused about your description. Do you have 2 brood boxes and the Flow super on top? Or just one brood box? If you only have one, your bees are going to have a tough winter. They will need that honey, but if you have a queen excluder in place, you will not want to leave the Flow super on. I would drain the Flow super, buy a $40 refractometer from Amazon like this one, if you like and check it is less than 18% water:
If you have 2 full brood boxes, then you are probably set for winter without the Flow super. If you only have one brood box, your bees are going to need all of that honey from the Flow, and may need additional feeding too. If the honey you drain from the Flow super is above 18%, freeze it and feed it back to the bees when they need it.
I’m sorry for the confusion. To answer your question. Yes, two brood boxes and then the flow hive super.
No apology needed. OK, so in your position, this month I would harvest the Flow super and test the honey from each frame separately with the Refractometer I linked above. I would then take the Flow super off the hive, and store it outside but out of sunlight (degrades the plastic frames) until around April next year, when your nectar flow gets going well again.
Some frames may be more ripe than others, which is why I would keep the honey separate. Then as I said above, if the water content is less than 18%, do what you want with the honey. If more than 18% water, you will need to refrigerate or freeze it to prevent fermentation. You can feed it back to the bees, or use it yourself. You just can’t sell it as “honey”, because if it is that wet, it is quite perishable.
Thank you so much. I will do all of the above.