Here’s an end shot of the Flow frames - getting close to being able to turn the tap. The frames have been in for about two weeks.
We turned the tap for the first time today - about 10 pounds from 3 frames (not full langs - our hives are square so I had to take a few inches off the end of the Flow Frames for them to fit.)
Worked as advertised. Although I did have a number of bees that seemed to know exactly what was going on and weren’t happy about it. Our frames run side to side rather than front to back like a lang so I was working at the side rather than the back so it didn’t take long for the guards to notice me. I’m glad I built the collection bucket - I would have had a mess otherwise.
It took a few “turns” with the “key” to crack the wax and have the frames stay in the open position. The honey is beautiful and golden - almost could have been poured direct into jars - there are a few wings and legs in it. Maybe its my imagination but there is a nuanced floral note to this honey that I’ve never tasted from honey that I’ve spun out - I wonder if the lack of exposure to air and metal makes the difference.
It will be interesting to see how quick the refill is - the bees spent some time building out the cells in the fresh frames. Hopefully a bunch of that time will be saved for the refill.
What a nice job joining the drain tubes to the collection bucket. Did yo drill out the holes?
Where is the picture of the honey!!! well done where are you USA?
Hole saw - the tubes are 1" ID to fit on the flow pipe.
excellent. making note to check that I have that size… ; )
Here’s some honey porn. This is straight out of the hive - no filtering.We’re in Southern Ontario, Canada - north east of Toronto.
The tubing is 1.3 OD but I cut 1.25 holes and squeezed them in for a good tight fit.
Good tip, and HOW did ya know I was wanting that Honey Porn, huh???
I just finished thinking “Dude. Where is the money shot??”
And there it was!!
Bees had the caps off and were hard at refilling this morning. They are, hands down, the best employees we have on this farm - no supervision, no motivation, and they pay rent with honey.
Awww…that is wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing this in my own Bee Yard in the UK!
G’day Harry, that’s a great result, you must be on a terrific honey flow for the bees to fill & cap the frames that quick. A few people might be a bit disturbed at finding the wings & legs in the honey. Whatever happened to cause that MAY explain the bees behavior outside the hive.
Nice one @Harry_Stoddart great to see your ingenuity, cut outs, pipes, adjusting the frame length and the bucket. Originally we had predicted most people would just buy frames and modify their own hives, it is great to see someone doing just that.
I’m surprised to hear there are bits of wings and legs. Sometimes there can be little bits of wax in the honey due to the pieces of fill in wax between the plastic of the flow frames.
I look forward to seeing more pictures and hearing about everyones experiences using Flow™
Harry, @Harry_Stoddart it’s so good to see your pics!! Congrats on getting the frames full already. Interesting you report on the floral notes in the honey. You’re not the first to notice this. John gates from Canada said the same, and others too. We also think it’s due to less exposure to oxygen, and less contact with machinery. Oxygen is known to reduce the aromatic flavours and centrifuging honey does expose it to a lot of air. Being able to isolate flavours frame by frame also helps to preserve flavours too.
The little wing and leg like bits in the honey are most likely wax. Almost all of the wax stays in the hive but sometimes the little bridging pieces that the bees join the comb together with break off and come through with the honey. They do look like little wings and bits, not enough of them to bother filtering though, to me it’s ready for the jar.
If the flow keeps going you will find they will refill the Flow frames quite quickly.
Our hives aren’t Langs, so I had to do a mod regardless. I’m short on deeps but had extra mediums so I built out a medium. I think the reason for the couple wings and legs was in the mods - there was a slight gap between the bottom of the Flow and the frames below. It was just enough to allow bees to crawl out as I was putting the hoses in. I think I clipped a couple of the girls. I also only put three Flow in the middle so I could split a six pack between two hives for trial purposes.
The fill and refill are quick due to several factors. First off, we run three deeps of brood to increase winter survival. Second, we only have a few hives. Third, our farm is a little over 500 acres of hay, pasture and bush - so we always have something blooming. The pastures are rotationally grazed using Holistic Mgt, so we always have a good patch of some form of clover blooming. We were certified organic for a decade and continue to use no pesticides. Fourth, we use a hive that is square and passively ventilated. So, in short, my hives are stuffed with bees, the bees don’t have to fly far for nectar or pollen, and they don’t have to deal with many of the stresses encountered by other hives.
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Here’s a link to a topic I created on modifying them with a few pictures. Bottom line, it is dead easy - remove the band from top and bottom, noting where it passes around the end and that it is criss-crossed underneath. Remove enough sections to get to the desired length and then replace the band - I used a fine wire I already had in the shop to replace the band.
We took our second harvest from the Flow yesterday. 14 days for the refill! I quickly covered the gaps when I opened the door for the tubes and the honey key. It was much less exciting than last time. Making sure there are no gaps between the supers and the Flow is definitely key to an uneventful harvest.
Honey Porn, Please.
If we can;t see it it didn’t happen ; -)
Don’t tell me you didn’t tape it for us???
I haven’t mastered working bees and a camera simultaneously and everybody else here was either canning peaches or working on cleaning up the mess from a shed that blew down. I promise I will try to do better next time.