New Flow Hive bee boxes

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Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Second disappointing season

Post by Dick » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:21 pm

A bad year for honey last year was followed by the worst year I have known. These are the results of tapping the flow hive. I got nothing from the traditional Langstroth hives in the same location. It looks like I'll now have to wait until next season. The bees do seem keen to move the honey out of the flow frames if other suitable locations are available for storage.

Two frames had some honey
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Total crop
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ForbesCreekBees
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:25 pm

Re: New Flow Hive bee boxes

Post by ForbesCreekBees » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:03 pm

Hi Dick, as promised and after the meeting tonight, a few people were interested to hear that the bees in my Flow hive had managed to produce enough honey for me to rob them, so here is a summary and some less than professional photos.
The Flow Hive sits right next to my Technoset langstroth hive and I would say that both hives are of equal vigour. This is only my second summer of beekeeping, but this season certainly seemed to be better for my hives than last year. The bees also had an unscheduled temporary (and now probably permanent) move out to Forbes Creek. I was concerned that there would not be enough for them out there, but they seemed to kick on out there, just as the season in Canberra appeared to start to falter.
At this point the hive was set up as two brood boxes and the flow super on top, but I had it set up earlier as two supers over the one brood box. Some photos are attached, but basically on March 5 I took the two centre flow frames, which you can see in the photos. Interestingly the frames had more honey in them than it appears by looking at the end of the frames, the bees seem to avoid filling the edge cells to some extent.
The two centre frames produced 4.5 litres of honey, which was taken with out any fuss. The bees worked out very quickly that something was going on and started to uncap and clean the cells while the honey was still flowing out. I also took four frames of capped honey from the Technoset hive, they are still in my deep freeze, while I work out whether to keep them for spring or extract them.

Two weeks after the robbing he bees had refilled the two centre frames and also almost completely filled the other four frames as well. At that time they were bringing in masses of pollen as well, so much so that pollen was dropping off the bees as they came in and about a cup had collected around the hives. Things appear to have slowed down again now and we have had some bees make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good as it is a couple of degrees cooler out there at Forbes Creek.
I will check them this weekend if the temperature is ok and work out my strategy for packing the hives back down to two boxes, depending on where the honey reserves are up to in the two boxes below.
Attachments
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Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: New Flow Hive bee boxes

Post by Dick » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:53 am

Tremendous Rob. Loved reading your story and seeing the pictures. It looks like the bees moved at the right time. Maybe you will encourage others to share their experience.

By the by, I don't know whether you are on Facebook but Cormac just posted a link to a very interesting article, Is the Flowhive Bad for Bees:

https://www.facebook.com/GirlNextDoorHo ... =3&theater

RBK
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:38 pm

Re: New Flow Hive bee boxes

Post by RBK » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:44 pm

Thanks for posting photos Rob.. looks like a nice result.
Dick wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:53 am
Tremendous Rob. Loved reading your story and seeing the pictures. It looks like the bees moved at the right time. Maybe you will encourage others to share their experience.

By the by, I don't know whether you are on Facebook but Cormac just posted a link to a very interesting article, Is the Flowhive Bad for Bees:

https://www.facebook.com/GirlNextDoorHo ... =3&theater
Interesting post.. but doesn't address some of the genuine technical issues with the Flow and seems overly sympathetic to the Flow teams missteps (eg. their original video messaging and suggesting that the queen won't lay in Flow because cells are too deep).

I am happy to have and use a Flow.. but i'm not a convert.

Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Is this a first for Canberra?

Post by Dick » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:46 pm

Stan's hive in MacArthur was started with a swarm last season and swarmed itself a week ago. It looked like the bees left enough honey to try the harvest process and we got Stan to demonstrate for the sceptics. Worked like a charm as Rob found in Forbes Creek but some thick looking honey was left in cells, probably from the Autumn honey flow.

It is not an ideal time to extract and Stan will need to ensure the bees have enough honey from now on, and are left with a full box for Winter.
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And it only took four beekeepers:
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It only took four beekeepers
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Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Is this a first for Canberra? Part 2

Post by Dick » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:02 pm

Just a few days after the extraction, that candied honey that was in the cells has been cleaned out and it looks like the bees are refilling.

After extraction
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Saturday 30 September 2017
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Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Eureka

Post by Dick » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:04 am

I am very happy. Being a 'Flow Founding Supporter 2015', I've waited nearly two years to harvest any honey because of the bad seasons we have had in Canberra.

But today was my big day. Total harvest 4.5kg from two frames. More to come hopefully.
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TeodoroKen
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:35 pm

Re: Second disappointing season

Post by TeodoroKen » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:11 am

Dick wrote:
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:21 pm
A bad year for honey last year was followed by the worst year I have known. These are the results of tapping the flow hive. I got nothing from the traditional Langstroth hives in the same location. It looks like I'll now have to wait until next season. The bees do seem keen to move the honey out of the flow frames if other suitable locations are available for storage.

Two frames had some honey

20170414_flow1.jpg

Total crop

20170414_flow2.jpg
Could be worse Dick, I got less than that this year.

Dick
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: New Flow Hive bee boxes

Post by Dick » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:17 pm

Chin up. With any luck the season is just beginning in Canberra. I've tapped 4 of the 6 flow frames in my super and am getting 3 kg of honey a frame. The two end frames are just about ready and they are refilling the others. If your colony is long established and you do not have plenty of bees in the flow super, there may be a problem with the colony.

One of the frames before it was tapped:
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Today's situation: The four middle frames have been tapped.
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