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Using Flow frame near the end of season? (Southern Ontario)


I wasn’t really expecting any parcels, so I was really surprised when the door bell rang and my flow frames arrived. I was expecting the kickstarter to deliver late (kudos to the Flow team for exceeding expectations) and was planning to use them in 2016. We have 2 hives a long langstroth and a regular. Right now, our long hive has a 2 week old split that is growing and our 10 frame langstroth has 2 deep brood chambers and 3 medium supers, 2 of which we are about to harvest. I am thinking about moving 2 frames from the langstroth to the long hive and putting in a flow frame just to try it out for this season.

I was wondering about what to do when we start over wintering preparations. I do not intend to leave the flow frames in the box for wintering, and because it is late in the season, there’s probably a chance that the frame won’t be capped when I need to remove it. I guess I could drain it for whatever is there when I take out the frame? Or alternatively freezing the frame as is and put it back in spring for the bees to fill?

Thanks for any suggestions.


My thoughts would be to freeze the frame as is in preference to harvesting unripe honey. That would save the trouble of washing the frame out after harvest, having said that, you could probably freeze the frame instead of washing it out.


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Doesn’t always work
My shake test frames are coming out at 22%


I haven’t heard of the shake test. I was hoping to have a way to measure moisture content a while back, if only the kickstarter for the pocket molecular sensor isn’t running so late!

As it turns out though, my question is moot. My partner thought it is a bit late in the year for us to try the frames, and I have to reluctantly agree. Getting the bees through winter is more important.


Cheap refractometer from China via eBay


I would be cautious of the shake test. I saw it done on Youtube. It might be ok if a frame of honey is 75% capped & you want to see if the other 25% is close to ripe. Trust the bees. The bees cap the honey when it’s ripe. Most times I’ll use my hive tool to test the other 25%. If we’re selling the honey, it must be ripe. There is a bit of an urban myth that honey doesn’t go off. I keep correcting people that honey will go off if it’s taken from the hive too quickly or it’s kept in containers with loose fitting lids.