Small harvest from flow frames

Hi Folks
Harvesting today and inspected the frames which were greater than 90% capped. Only getting about 2.1kg per frame. I thought the average was meant to be 3kg
Am I missing something here

How long did you let them drain? Many times the frames will hold less the first time they are used by the bees and the capacity increases as they draw the cells out further.

1 Like

I would be interesting to know the empty weight of a F.frame before use, then the empty avg. weight after an extraction. Then an operator would know how much didn’t drain out, simply by weighing each frame. Jellybush or crystallized honey could remain in the frames. Flooding can sometimes account for a shortfall.

1 Like

I let them drain into a 5L bucket one at a time for 30mins or more. Will see how they go next fill , thanks for the reply

Depending on the ambient temperature I have heard of people allowing upwards of 2 hours - so maybe that’s a factor.

The viscosity of the honey is obviously a factor and any chance that you have some crystallized honey in the frame too?

I typically have opened the frame in 25% increments about 15min per increment and then left them all open for 30 min after the last section is open.


I don’t think your missing anything because so much depends upon a bountiful harvest. Last fall it rained from dearth to the first frost in my area which knocked pollen and nectar off of plants. I had to feed a ton of supplemental food to my bees and one hive still starved over the winter. I take my supers off last minute to allow the bees to transport from surplus down to the brood boxes if its a rainy fall. Each season will be different as I’ve discovered. The honey is great but survival of my bees is the priority. So glad you got some honey! Whoop! OK here’s what a bountiful harvest looks like to me in my TN area. Each frame capped and full will yield a half gallon of honey. So I buy the 2 quart Ball canning jars for each frame so I don’t have to switch jars while draining a frame. My super will yield 3 gallons in a perfect season and more if weather permits. Rock on! :smiley:

1 Like

Hi Martha, what to you feed them over winter?