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When to harvest?

I have a lot of honey in my super but none of the frames are fully capped. Some are a apes on one side but not the other. Some are capped at the top but not the bottom. I don’t want to harvest the frames too early but not sure if this is normal or not. Any advice? This will be my first harvest.


Technically you should harvest based on moisture content… But a rough guide I use is if 80pc of the frame is capped it’s probably good to harvest.

Fyi, you can have honey at the correct moisture content that isn’t capped. In that situation don’t harvest in situ because the risk of flooding is very high.

Thanks. See a few photos attached showing end and side windows.

The end window shows a reduced amount of honey from previous days which I assume is due to the bees eating honey from cells that they had already filled due to colder and wet weather.

While those pictures are good they aren’t helpful for advice regarding harvesting. For advice with harvesting photos of the frame face will be needed.

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Hi everyone. I am new to all this stuff and it is very interesting when to harvest? Thanks for the info.

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Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

The simple answer is that honey is harvested when the frame is at least 80-90% capped (the cells are closed over with wax caps).

You may not get any honey in your first season, especially if you live in a climate which needs double brood boxes (pretty likely in Canada). As to the exact time of year, that will vary a lot, depending on weather and nectar flow. I have harvested in the UK and here in California any time from April to September. Usually my last harvest is around the beginning of July in San Diego, as we really don’t have any nectar after then, due to our desert climate.

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We made this video a few years ago.

During this video we came to the conclusion that you need to inspect the flow frames to determine whether the frames are ready to harvest or not.

We also pointed out the advantage of using foundation in the brood box.


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Hi @JeffH , great video and explaination! Just an observation… it pays to take the back door off of the super when inspecting as there is not enough bee space against the timber and bees get squashed back there. No doubt you are probably all over this already :grin:.

Hi & thanks Tim, that’s a great observation.

The challenges of keeping the bees in good health became too much, so they sold the hives. I found this out through a new flow owner I pointed in their direction for guidance.

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Hi, thanks a lot for your reply smile6