Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Uncapped honey in flow frames

Hi
I have 4 flow hives and the flow frames are 90% full of honey and only about 40-50% capped.
Any suggestions or help that I can do to speed this up ?
It’s been like this for over 4 weeks now .
Someone suggested I take off the lid plug below the roof to help ventilate the hive but won’t this encourage the bees to build comb in the roof cavity ?
I live in northern Sydney NSW and have been having hot days but rain on and off quiet regularly the last 3 months
Lots of trees flowering at the moment too

Pauly

It has been suggested a few times to open that hole in the lid and cover it with screen.

You can also increase airflow through the lid by creating screen-covered ventilation holes at the ends.

I have done this in the past, and @Eva had good success with it last season too. If you have a medium box of frames (or even a deep), put it on top of the Flow super. It increases the volume of the hive, giving the bees a chance to drop the humidity when they are fanning. This encourages capping. Additionally, if they are running out of space, they have another box to focus on, rather than backfilling the brood nest or swarming. Works really well for me to get the frames capped, and perhaps even get a bit of cut comb honey. :blush:

Hi @Dawn_SD - I’m interested in your technique but can’t understand what you mean by ‘drop the humidity’ and how this happens by adding an extra box.

I assume they mean decrease the humidity in the hive so the bees can reduce the water content of the nectar faster, allowing them to cap it.

Yes
Any suggestions?

no not really- other than what others have suggested. That’s assuming also that the issue is the bees cannot dry the nectar fast enough. It could be that the honey flow has stopped/slowed down in which case ventilation won’t help… I know here in SA some older beekeepers routinely put a match or similar between the roof and the top box to increase ventilation during the honey season.

I occasionally see the same thing with traditional honey supers. I give them more time. That usually does the trick. If you need some honey for personal use, why not drain just one frame? If the honey is slightly unripe, you can store it in the freezer, as I do. I take out one jar at a time. The rest sits unaffected in the freezer & is just as nice as ripe honey.

Hi @Bianca, this is how I think about it. A hive packed with uncapped honey generates a lot of humidity from the water evaporating from the surface of the honey. One way to decrease the humidity is by expanding the hive volume with something that is not uncapped honey. This could be a box of foundation, stickies, frames etc. As long as the extra box doesn’t generate more humidity, it will give the existing amount of hive moisture more space to circulate, allowing the bees to drop the relative humidity, dry the existing honey faster and then cap it. As moist air is less dense than dry air, if you put the extra super on top of the Flow super, the moisture will rise up and let the humidity around the Flow super drop.

Even if my theoretical reasoning is wrong, I can tell you that it definitely works. :wink:

3 Likes

I will take the lid plug out and cover it with a small piece of mesh to stop them getting into the roof to help ventilate the hive as surely this will help With air flow

Worked like a charm for both Flow-supered hives last season. Then the bees continued to work the mediums I put on top, filled them, and they became winter stores after I took my last Flow harvest.

1 Like

Interesting. Thanks for explaining that Dawn.

1 Like