We harvested our first honey on Saturday, apart from our Bees bearding, everything was fine, we did spill a little bit of honey but cleaned it up straight away. We go out and see our Bees everyday, but yesterday we worked all day and didn’t get home until dark, this morning I went out to see our Bees and our core flute slider is covered in honey and dripping out onto the ground, what have we done wrong? How do we fix this, Help Please.
You haven’t done anything wrong. You operated the flow hive how you understood it should be operated according to the flow advertising. I did mention that flow beekeepers are harvesting in 20-25% increments to reduce honey spills. I found that I got substantial honey spills even by doing that.
That probably explains the bees bearding because they need to give the bees that are cleaning up room to move. That process will eventually come to an end. All you can do is wash the coreflute & bottom board, then hope that not too many ants are attracted to it.
My flow frames are sitting on top of a cupboard, however if I was going to use them, I’d harvest the honey away from the hive, with the frames above an oven tray because I wouldn’t want a honey spill over the brood & bees. I believe that a substantial honey leak is an undue stress for the bees.
Good luck with your next harvest, cheers
I suspect you didn’t wait long enough for all of the honey to drain and so you closed the frame with to much honey still in it. I run plastic tubes from the Flow Hive draining tube down into a honey pail with the tube fitting into a tight fitting hole of the lid of the pail. I do three frames at each extraction and leave it hooked up over night with the frames in the open position and in the morning all of the honey has drained into the pail and it is just a matter of closing the frames and job done. No bees can get into the pail. Food for thought for the next extraction to increase your honey yield and no mess or issue with the spilled honey attracting ants.
Thank you for all of you help and advice, we learnt our first lesson, we will learn a lot more with all of you help, today we experienced our 1st swarm, our whole Flow Hive is black with Bees bearding and cleaning up our spill, I looked out the kitchen window and there where Bees everywhere, they swarmed, they landed in our fig tree, our hive split, we caught the Bees in a new hive, now we have 2 Bee Hives, not sure what to do now? Thank you for all of your help.
That was very likely an absconding. The bees got upset with the honey spill. The only way to know for sure is to inspect the hive with the spill. If you see lots of queen cells, it was perhaps a swarm. You may see some queen cells anyway if the hive is now queenless, but they would be uncapped at this point. I would do this inspection pretty soon, because you may need to clean up quite a bit. At least you don’t have SHB to worry about.
Crack a bottle of wine and celebrate Look at it this way, if you hadn’t caught the swarm they would take up residency nearby and your bees would have to compete with them for nectar and pollen. You have now increased your hives so have the means to double your honey production and you have saved a hollow log to be used by some other creature. You have won in every direction.
Let the swarm settle for a couple of weeks and in four weeks check the old hive for signs of brood and that will tells you you have a mated and laying queen.
Before your next Spring swat up on preemptive swarm management and if you don’t want more hives they are a very saleable item on Gumtree.
Dawn could be right that the colony absconded, that is easy to work out by a quick look inside and if there are no bees there then you will know there must have been a much bigger spill than you think.