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When to harvest


#1

My flow hive sits on 2 brood boxes with plenty of bees and activity.
We are mid-summer in Sydney.
How long does it take for the bees to get a flow hive ready for harvesting ?
How indicative is the situtation on the first comb seen through the window of the super.
At this point, there is no honey being deposited there. I suspect that comb will be the last one to be filled in the box, if bees tend to work from centre combs towards outer combs. is that correct ?
Fred.

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#2

Depends on what nectar is available. Big flows here see the Flow go from empty to full (6 frames) in two weeks and capped and ready to go in 4 weeks. Other times takes weeks or months.


#3

I have the same question. How can I tell that 80 to 90% of the cells are capped? That is when my bee-keeper friend says he can tell when it’s time to harvest. I’m in the same geographic region as Sydney. It’s now the last month of summer. I can only see my flow frames from the back of the hive. There are 4 of them. I will be leaving the traditional frames on the outside of the super for the bees’ winter food.


#4

James,

I just estimate with standard frames n
It’s the same with Flow-frames. If the side n end windows look full n a lot of capped I’d pull the Flow-frames n take a better visual to confirm . Looking at the frame you should get a very good estimate… You only have to pull three frames (the back wall frame opposite the window side then every other. With the frame up you should be able to look down n guess the other frame percentage without lifting. So all in all … your only pulling three of the six Flow-frames.

Good luck n don’t sweat :sweat: the small stuff,

Gerald


#5

Depends on nectar availability and if what is coming in to the hive is outpacing what is being used by the hive.
I have the same set up as you, 2 brood boxes with the flow super on top. I put my flow super on about 2 weeks ago and the bees started to seal the splits at the top and bottoms of the cells but no nectar. The top brood box was loaded with nectar and brood in various stages when the flow went on but the bottom box was only about 70% utilised. I just looked at them again today and there is some nectar in the flow super now (only a small patch of cells on one of the middle frames) but the top brood box now has full capped honey and the bottom brood box basically the same). The lesson… I thought the hive was “full” (or close to it) but it was two weeks short of that now I realise.
I probably slowed them down slightly by introducing the flow super too early but they are picking up the slack now.

In short - once they run out of room elsewhere in the hive, they will go up to the flow frames.

And yes they mostly seem to work the centre frames first so you’ll need to pull them every now and then to check the progress imo.


#6

I harvested the centre 3 frames 24 days after putting them on in a good flow. They had filled the frames in about 2 weeks but took another couple for them to ripen and cap. The outside frames were about 10 days later before they were capped.
Only way to tell what percentage is capped is pull the frames. The outside window frame in mine looked fully capped but when pulled it was only the window area that was capped the remainder they were still working.


#7

Always harvest on a Saturday in the early afternoon. This way, if you get sticky, clean up is easy because Saturday is bath day :slight_smile:


#8

hey guys thanks for sharing such nice information keep sharing with us