Time to harvest frames?

Hi All in central Indiana (US midwest) bees have been busy and working well this is what I am looking at as of yesterday. Question is should I wait for the other frames to fill or let the otter films

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Harvest as you wish, no need to wait for the rest. One tip though, before you crank that handle, take the lid off and have a peek inside, make sure the frames are fully capped before harvesting the honey.


thank you will do might wait a week and see how the others ones get filling :slight_smile:


I just posted this on another thread,

You make the comment harvest at will. Did not know if there was any experience given to the girls filling up the frame that was just harvested and not filling up the frames that were 90% filled before harvesting the 1st frame?

Yes Marty, that is a possibility. it could potentially slow down the rate at which the other frames are filled. But would it really matter, if you are only taking honey for yourself then you can harvest 2.5-3kg (5.5 - 6.5pounds) of honey. Should take you a couple of months to get thru this and in the meantime another few frames could be harvested.
Personally, I sell all my Flow honey and harvest all 6 frames at the sametime. People love it where I live.

I don’t use that much honey. I do plan on Giving all mine away. then sale what I don’t give away. Get friends hooked.

I was just looking at the hive and thinking I maybe harvesting 2 frames at a time. remembering people posting how the bee’s seam bothered with them being harvisted all at one time. so I was thinking of spreading it out.

any thoughts?

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Hi Marty on the subject of giving it away. I found that gets a bit tricky because if you sell it to your friends at what we call over here “mates rates”. Then your friends can feel free to ask for more. If you give it to friends & refuse to take payment for it, your friends might feel funny about asking for more. That’s how I see it. Also you can barter with it. That works for me a lot.



I think either way would be fine- but there is no problem I can see with spreading it out. Also I think there is less chance of causing disturbance to the bees if you spread it out- and also crack the frames in increments- waiting at least 5 minutes before each increment. This means the flow will be lighter with less pressure and less leaking.

When you crack a frame- you can see bees start uncapping the cells almost immediately- and within a day you can see honey going back in. On our hive- the bees totally ignored just one face of one outermost frame completely. If we hadn’t drained the other frames there is a chance they would have finished it off last of all- so draining may slow down the completion of other frames. Perhaps you would want to weigh this up as an issue towards the end of a season… In a full honey flow time draining frames as they fill may be a way to maximize honey production? In a normal hive you may not remove honey as often- as it requires more intervention and work… I am hoping this is one area Flow frames will have a good production potential advantage.

I suppose if you had a ‘dummy’ flow frame spacer- you could drain a few frames- remove them- put your spacers in so that the bees concentrate on and fill the remaining frames quickly.

I like the idea, not understanding though less pressure and less leaking. The box is not under a seal?[quote=“Semaphore, post:8, topic:7313”]
you can see bees start uncapping the cells almost immediately- and within a day you can see honey going back in

Is there any issue with moving the frames around? I know a brood box is a no no. But a honey super? If I drained the 2 middle frames and then moved them to the outside of the box moving everything in word what am I potentially doing to the hive that I’m not aware of?

I totally get it, and I gave it some thought. What I plan to do is tell them I’m giving them a gift worth X dollars and this is only to get them hooked to want more. I’m stating it up front. The gift, is for them putting up with me the past year talking about my girls and everything I’m learning. After that there on their own :slight_smile:

I hope I’m not setting myself up for further failure


That sounds like a good plan Marty.

Actually the other day a customer phoned us from a particular shop to see if we had honey & if we were going to be home a bit later on. My wife took the call & requested that the lady buy us some chocolate while she was there. Consequently the lady refused to take payment for the chocolate. Then I reminded her that if the occasion ever arose again that we wouldn’t be able to ask her to buy anything for us. Then the lady saw my point & felt ok about us taking the price of the chocolate off the price of the honey.

People often give us a tip. I used to always try to give it back. I started accepting tips lately with a thankful attitude. A couple of trips to the U.S. & Canada taught us how to thankfully accept tips.


Also curious if anyone is selling honey for more than what the stores are selling it for. My initial assumption would be yes since people know it’s local and its more natural i.e. not cooked not filtered. Anyone’s thoughts?

No- not the box- the honey channel at the bottom of each Flow frame. this channel is not actually one solid tube but made up of segments with small gaps between. Honey can leak from these gaps- and also from the faces of the frames where there are any uncapped cells when you open the frame. If you open it all at once the pressure in the channel will be higher than if you do it in increments.

how many increments would you think would work? 25% at at time 50% at a time?

Hi Marty, a lot of people sell honey around here for more than the stores sell it for, mainly at farmers markets etc. People come & tell me how much they see it for sale at. Sometimes $15 a kilo. I sell mine for $5.90 a kilo, however it’s on a byo container basis & they have to come to me. My price is $5.50 for large quantities over 25 kilos & $5.70 for quantities over 6 kilos & under 25. I keep my price slightly above what the processors will pay me. Plus I’d have to deliver it to them.

One bloke travels nearly a hundred k’s to buy my honey, then he tells me he sells it for $12 a kilo at a market.

To answer your question, yes people do sell it for more than the stores at markets etc. however I never hear of anyone selling it from their door for dearer than the shops.

Hi Marty, I am selling my honey for $30 a kilo and it sells out regularly, its about your marketing and the attractiveness of your product. Put it in a nice jar with a pretty label and a story, people feel a connection and are happy to pay for it. My costs are higher to get the jars and professional labels as well as a market stall once a month but when they buy the honey at the market they get to see real bees up close, taste the honey, meet the beekeeper and hear about their plight, this breaks the ice.

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Always. My honey is far better than what they are selling at the stores and I’m not ashamed to ask more for it.


I have a second question. After Harvest should we take the flow super off and replace with a conventional one so the bees can store up for winter? We are more bee orientated than honey orientated (this is a hobby not a business) and want to make sure the bees have enough storage for winter. Last year starting from a nuc they had a large dedicated to brood and a large full of honey (sugar water fed honey) as they were obtained late spring just before the nectar dearth. Happy to start feeding again when that is needed but now that they is brood in both Larges and a convention super I am trying to judge what to add to the show to make sure they have at least 10 frames of honey to winter on. Thanks

When I start a new hive, I like to make sure that the colony has enough stores to overwinter before I put on any supers for harvesting. As I use 2 boxes for brood, and our winters are relatively mild, they usually have enough stores in those 2 brood boxes for winter supplies. If they didn’t, I would be running on 3 brood boxes.

So to answer your question more directly, I would put the supplies box on and fill it before putting the Flow super on. The reason is that after the harvest, your nectar flow may be unreliable, and syrup is not as good quality food for bees as honey.

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I would put enough boxes on for winter before the flow super. I would leave those boxes when removing the flow super. I want to make sure they have enough for winter first, not last.