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Should I wait until more frames are full to harvest?


So close to my first harvest! The frame in the center is capped and seems ready and inspection. Would it be advised to wait until more frames are finished to harvest? Or just drain them as they are ready?


You can drain them as you wish. Have you taken them out to see if they are really full? My bees found it funny to fool me. One hive started filling inside out, so I thought they didn’t do anything, but in the end I got 12kg. The other hive started from the outside, so I thought the frame was full, but there was only just a rim with capped cells and an empty center. Got 18kg from that hive. Both hives I got only in April, so I missed quite a lot of spring flow.


You could do either, but if you do harvest all of the frames, I would suggest that you drain no more than 2 or 3 frames at a time, then wait for a couple of hours before draining any more. The reason is covered in this thread:

If you have a leak during harvest, it should help the bees to clear it up quickly if it is not a flood from all 6 frames at once. :blush:


I harvested all 6 at one time and had no problems. I did two at a time keyed about 15% at a time. Had no leaks.


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so yesterday i pulled out the frame that appeared to be completely full and it looked beautiful! both side of beautifully capped honey. the other frames with getting full, but not quite ready. because i got in yesterday i decided to wait until today to harvest the full frame. when i opened it up i noticed the bees had removed a large amount of the honey(compare this photo to one up top). What do I do in this situation? This makes me think I should either a) only pull out a frame if i want to harvest that day or b) wait until there are more frames than 1 to harvest from?


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I check them the week before last and there was a lot of stored and capped honey in the brood boxes!


that is odd actually- we periodically inspected our frames before we harvested- and the bees never did anything like that. Also we harvested 2 frames at a time- as they were filled.

On our frames we noticed that in some cases- the ends of the frames did not look completely full- but the vast majority (+95%) was capped. So just looking through the rear window did not indicate that the frames were ready- only pulling them out confirmed it.


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It’s exactly what I am observing, the bees keep shifting the honey relentlessly. And if you use smoke, they are even more inclined to suck up their stores for danger coming.
So, I am wondering if you could let us know how you ended up.
I would like to check my flow frames before harvest, but think after what I read and heard, will do it without smoke. What is your take?
And did you end up with a bit of sweetness?


If you are genuinely concerned about the amount of honey the bees take off when smoked impacting the honey yield you mustn’t have much honey in the super.

Checking the frames is necessary to correctly determine if the honey is fully capped/ripe.


Totally agree. It’s just, one Centre frame may be full and an outside one half full. If I smoke them, they shift honey, and my full frame might then be 60% full and the outside frames have more honey than before.
I can imagine that some colonies shift more than others. But I don’t know.
Might be best to wait till it’s all filled up then and there is nowhere to shift to.
Or don’t use smoke.