Shall I harvest as soon as all the flow frames are full?

I just started my bee hive in October.

My flow frames are about 80-90% filled now. Shall I harvest a frame or two as soon as I can see all of them are full to make room for the bees to make more honey?

If yes, how long shall I wait before I harvest the rest of the flow frames so that the honey is fermented enough?

Yes - or add another super. You can harvest all the frames, 2-3 frames at a time if you know they still have nectar coming in. Otherwise, leave them some to make it through whatever dearth you may have coming up.

Make sure they always have space to store more nectar so they don’t backfill the brood box.

The honey should not ferment in the frames - if the frame is capped, then for most intents and purposes, the honey is dehydrated enough to store indefinitely.


I had the same question a while back and the consensus was to make sure they were capped before harvesting.
Have you carried out a frame inspection?

I inspected both brood and super last month.

My brood is really packed with some honey storage as well. So, I’m worried they will backfill the brood if they don’t have more room in the super.

I’m also a newbie beekeeper and got my frames about the same time as you.
What I did before Christmas (similar situation) was to harvest 4 (of 7) frames first. Then a couple of weeks later harvested 2 frames and before New Year, the last frame.
That way I was always leaving some honey in the flow for the bees ( if they needed it).,

@Heddyjan @ced Hey hey, I would like to join your club (got my nuc in October) but I have only just put my super on last week ! Bees took to it straight away and are busy waxing and preparing but I’m not expecting honey until the ground work is done. I did fit a queen excluder so that the brood stays where it is and the honey stays where I can let it flow :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Good luck and stay in touch :pray:

As a matter of interest, how many bees and frames did you have in your nuc?
Mine came with 6 frames of brood and when I transferred I to the brood box I put in 4 already imbedded frames.
They filled those within a month and I had my super on ready for the summer. My bees have been incredibly busy and my “bee buddy” estimated we’ve got about 60,000.
Just have to give them extra care during our Perth’s heatwave.

Our local Apiarist Society put me in touch with a local group of apiarists called “bee buddies”. My bee buddy has helped with frame inspections and given me invaluable assistance and advice.
There’s always help …if you ask.
BTW have you remembered to register your hive with your Department of Primary Industry?


Is this queen bee cell? Does the queen bee cell move from one frame to another? I couldn’t spot the queen bee during the previous 2 inspections. If not mistaken, I saw the queen bee cell at a different frame during my first inspection…

@Heddyjan That does explain a bit then :smiley: I got a 5 frames nuc and added three frames au natural (only a wooden guide bat at the top, ready for the bees to draw their own comb). They have done a lovely job, it’s a lovely creamy white colour and straight as. So far despite the humid heat this summer, no melts or wonky comb….yet !

Parramatta!!!?? I grew up in Granville.

To answer your questions: Firstly your hive tool is pointing at 2 queen cups. The bees will use them when it’s time to swarm or supersede the queen.

Secondly, no. Queen cups, or play cups as some people call them are a fixture on the comb.

1 Like

Jeff, I’m in Ermington.

Can you explain that second point further please?

I don’t remember Ermington. I left the area over 50 yrs ago. I dare say that Parramatta changed a lot since then… I still remember Ron Hodgson Motors.

In relation to the second point: The bees build queen cups or play cups while they construct the comb. They build them, however unlike worker or done comb, they sit unused until such times that they want to use them to build queen cells. When that time comes, the bees will extend them down & encourage the queen to lay a fertile egg in them, before the nurse bees feed the grub with royal jelly to start the process of producing a queen.

1 Like

Jeff, Thanks so much for clarifying that.

1 Like