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Perth (WA, AU) Flowhives and honey flow

A little update since my previous, ahem… “season closure” for those who could be interested in numbers.

I removed supers yesterday. Still not sure if I was right about doing this. But if hives start to burst with honey in the middle of the winter nothing stops me from putting supers back.

Season results look like this:

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That’s an impressive set of numbers if you ask me @ABB. Mr Frydenberg would be over the moon with a balance sheet like that.

Never thought about removing my super. I thought leaving it there about half full is sensible over winter. Am I doing something wrong here?

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Not really. It is just a way I do it currently. I have two brood boxes in each hive and the top brood box acts as a food storage for the winter time.
I haven’t seen any increase of honey in supers for three weeks and with cooler nights they work more as moisture condensers than anything else. So I took them off for detailed check and clean up. I also think they will be less mouldy when spring time comes if stored separately.

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depends on whats flowering, if its too hot, and who the queen mates with, if hes a nice or bad boy male bee
ive found the more nasty the queen, better the producer she is
if my queens are docile and calm, usually just average output of honey from the girls

The best hive i had was one of the most nastiest queens my mate of 20 yrs bee keeping has seen…she was truly savage, but the amount of honey i got out of that hive was phenomenal

just my experience

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Did my last inspection for the (long) season before packing the hive down for winter.

Stores of both honey and pollen are reasonable. Probably the equivalent of 2 and a bit frames of pollen, 3 to 4 frames of brood or eggs and the rest mostly honey (with some empty space). I also managed to get a shade over 3 full flow frames for harvest, which is what I had been expecting given what I observed in the last harvest.

No drones to be seen and bee numbers down (both as expected given the time of year).

Last winter bee numbers were a little higher so I left the hybrid super on. This year I’ve packed it down to only a brood box and removed both the hybrid super and full flow super. Subject to weather I’ll aim to do my first inspection for next season late July or early August, as I anticipate having to put a super on my mid to late August.

Thankfully I’ve got 4 traditional frames full of honey so I can just monitor the weight of the hive and if I need to I can feed those frames in (or I can squeeze 9 frames in the brood box like I did a couple of seasons ago). (The frames are now in the freezer… No wax moth for me, please!)

The season itself was pretty good… Just a pity I had the issue with the excluder and ended up with brood in flow frames. Live and learn.

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Batten down the hatches! The storms are coming!

Fake news Fred… I had more wind on Friday night… Possibly the real wind and rain never made it onto the scarp.

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Ahem… I think I need to do a serious review of my understanding of terms “winter”, “season closure”, “time to pack up”… russian_ru
Hives gained some weight recently. Nothing spectacular, but gain. In winter. Weather, on other hand, is quite warm though.

I wonder how other people in WA are doing at the moment?

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Yeah not a winter really. Mine have been breaking even for the last month or so. If it is the same as previous seasons They’ll start to slowly gain weight from mid July and then start to pack it on again from Septmberish through to mid DEC and then when the Marri flowers in Jan.

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Same here guys, I started to pack down and realised all the supers were full with me thinking them empty after recently extracting. This is where scales would be beneficial as I only have an opportunity to open up hives on every other weekend and of course the weather need to be fine. Planning to do some bench draining but still sorting out the warming cabinet. Hopefully we have another clear weekend so I can finish packing them down.
Yeah the warmer days must be confusing the bees.
Where have all the WA beeks gone?

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Honorary sandgroper still here, but semi-lurking… :wink:

By the way, happy joiniversary (cake day) Skeggs!

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Yes. I often remember the postal scale I had under one hive all season to have an idea what is going on in apiary. The scale was build, I think, from tanks manufacturing leftovers and I got it for purely symbolic price. Was very accurate too. I wish I had it here.

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I am noticing the same. I have no means to weigh the hives and I can only go by what I see when I open the back cover, honey seems to be increasing not decreasing. I was actually thinking that I might harvest a couple of frames.

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Hi @Honeyeater.

I simply lift a hive a bit by a bottom corner to judge the weight. Doesn’t give numbers but at least I can tell if it is getting heavier or lighter.

For me this season is pleasantly different from the previous one. I hope it will continue to be this way for a while :slight_smile:

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I’m still here. I was wondering where everyone went too!

My hive is gaining about 90g a day. But given it loses that on the bad weather days atm I figure it’s swings and roundabouts. If this weather does keep up I’l have to do an unseasonal June inspection!

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For me it is a combination of factors. Winter, life partially put on hold by Covid, uncertainty about future… With this background it is a bit hard to get excited enough to post something meaningful :slight_smile:

That’s a good idea, thanks. Do you have to suit up? I reckon the bees get angry if you do that.

I do. One of my hives gets angry over nothing. And I am not a big fan of being stung in general, so I suite up every time when I have to go closer than 3 metres to them. But operation itself does not disturb them too much. It is just a gentle lift less than 1cm up.

Yes very different to 18/19, but the flow sequence is till the same

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