I succeeded in harvesting from my DIY JHB-Flow Hive (downsized Flow Hive for Japan’s native honey bees) on May 22, 2018. The JHB-Flow Hive is a hybrid bee box of a traditional pile box (as a brood box) and a Flow box (as a Flow Super). The Flow box has five half-long Flow frames. In three weeks all Flow Frames were capped after the Flow box sit on top of the filled-up brood box. Win-win Harvesting time (per frame) was less than ten minutes. The harvested honey is 0.7~0.9L/frame and is so clean, clear and pure in taste.
My successful example is not a sort of an accident or a beginner’s luck. It’s the result of right management based on three key knowledges.
Japan’s native honey bees(JHB) has enough flexibility to accept foreign honey cells as their own under the circumstance of no other choice or desperately in need of honey storage. -----> put a Flow Super when a brood box gets full (This is nothing but the guideline in the user’s instruction of Flow Hive)
Although JHB is more likely to abscond if they don’t like the given circumstances, less likely to abandon the hive with brooding area. -----> put a Flow Super when a brood box gets full (of brooding hive).
In Japan (in my region) only spring flower season(March- June) is a honey bee paradise. Summer to Autumn is too hostile working environment for the bees to accumulate honey stock due to less flowers, hot and humid climate and pests. ----->use the early swarms of the season or overwintered healthy colonies in hand.
This is the third year of my private Flow Hive field test. The last two years I used Western honey bees(WHB) and learned the basic performance and the knowledge 3). As an benchmarking before switching to JHB, I visited the first Honey Bee Summit(November 2017 in Tsukuba, Japan) and got good news and bad news. The good one was that JHB had accepted two prototype JHB-Flow Hives out of five in the litmus test conducted by Tokyo Univ. The bad ones were many failures caused by absconding. Toward 2018 season a variety of prototype were on a table waiting for larger scale field test. I wondered why no two-step management model that follows Flow Hive’s fundamental instruction. So I launched the model as my private option and reached the goal. This succeeded model and its concept has just started getting across the hobby bee keepers communities in Japan.
Now I’d like to say 2018 is the year when a pilot road to JHB-Flow Hive is paved. In the next season the road will be scaled up to a high way crowded with many hobby bee keepers in Japan.
Lastly, I have one important request for the Flow Team (Bee Inventive Company) to put short Flow Frames on a shelf in your Internet store by the end of this year.