We’re in my backyard, and today I’m going to show you just how easy it is to harvest honey using our Flow Hive.
Here’s the things you’ll need, a jar, a tube to get the honey into the jar, and a Flow key to turn to harvest the honey.
If you’re new to beekeeping, it’s a good idea to wear a bee veil or a bee suit until you’re really comfortable and confident around your beehive.
Okay, so let’s have a look and see how much honey is in the Flow Frames.
Oh, look at that, isn’t that gorgeous?
Here we have a completely full Flow frame.
You can see when it’s ready, by the way, they’ve put the wax capping on each side.
Next to it, we’ve got one that’s filling.
You can see them actually depositing the honey in the cells.
If you look closely, you might even see their tongues depositing honey.
I’ve harvested these two frames a couple of weeks ago, so you can see these ones are empty.
Here, you can see a few cells that are still empty.
Because this is edge frame, we can take a look at it through the side window.
Look at that, the girls have kept all the cells beautifully.
It’s good to wait until the frame is all kept, or at least mostly kept, before harvest, so you know the honey is ready and will keep without fermenting.
Before you harvest, make sure the hive has a 2.5 degree or more slight backwards, so the honey drains out of the frames.
If you have a complete Flow Hive, the slope is already built into the bottom board.
There are two positions for this core flute slider.
It’s important before you harvest to put it into the top position, so if any honey spills, the bees can lick it back up from within the hive.
I’m just gonna remove the tool access cover, then take out the upper cap.
Sometimes you need pliers to do that, especially when they’re new from the factory.
I’ll remove the lower cap, and there’s a tag on the end of the Flow tube, and that goes into the honey leak back point, so the Flow logo is on top of the tube.
One jar under the tube, and the Flow key goes in the lower slot.
Wow. You can see the honey pouring down.
Get a look at that.
It is absolutely pouring inside that tube here.
Isn’t that gorgeous?
Beautiful fresh honey straight from the hive.
The left hand side is draining away.
The right hand side’s hot on its tail.
Just remember, this is just the honey harvesting process.
You still need to look after your bees just as you would with any beehive.
The quickest I’ve had a jar filled is in seven minutes, and the longest would be three, four hours.
It can be quite hard to turn the handle and open the whole frame at once.
So, to make it easier, you can simply open part of the frame at a time.
What we’re going to do is open the frame in section.
I’ve just put the tool in a quarter, then I’m gonna turn that.
Then another quarter, turn it again.
Another quarter, then all the way.
So you notice this honey is flowing quite quickly.
The bees keep the hive at about 35 degrees, which means the honey comes out quite warm.
You can feel the jar, and feel that the honey is actually is a little bit warm.
So you can see the bees are hardly disturbed on the comb surface.
The wax capping that they’re standing on hasn’t changed, except for the honey is drained out from beneath their feet, out the tube, and into the jar, and the bees are coming and going at the front of the hive just as they normally would.
Sometimes the honey can take 15 minutes to come out like this jar, or sometimes it can take three hours, and it just depends on how
thick the honey actually is.
It’s spring time here, and there’s plenty of nectar coming in.
As you can see, the bees haven’t come around to rob the honey.
But if it was the time where the bees are a bit hungry and you were harvesting, you would need to cover your jar.
You can do that quite simply.
We’re using a piece of netting like this and a rubber band, or you can bend a piece of tube into a jar, or you can use a plastic container like this, just by making a little cut and a little hole, or some kitchen cling wrap just to wrap around the jar like this.
Make sure you save it for next time, because I hate wasting plastic.
This jar is just about to overflow, so it’s more than than three kilograms of honey now that’s come out of that one frame.
We just had to do a quick jar swap, because this jar was just about to overflow.
Isn’t that amazing?
That’s over three kilograms in that jar, and it’s still flowing out of one Flow frame.
To finish off, we need to reset the combs into their original position.
To do that, you need to get your tool and insert it into the upper slot.
If you look at the top of your Flow frame, the tool goes in the upper slot, push it all the way in.
Then you simply just turn that, and now that comb is reset for the bees to fix it all up and start filling with honey again.
The upper cap will fit in there.
If I haven’t reset the comb like this frame here, the cap actually won’t fit in.
It’s a little fail safe to remind you to reset the comb into the correct position for the bees to use it again and fill it up with honey.
The honey hasn’t quite finished, but what we’re gonna do is close this off and let the rest go back to the bees.
I’ll pull this out, and I’ll put the cap in.
Now the last bits will drain through that honey leak back system back into the hive for the bees to reuse.
That make sure that the trough is clean for next time.