Bees: new hive, Flow harvest

We did a beehive inspection yesterday, which included adding a new hive, and harvesting honey from the Flow hive.

You may recall from my previous bee post that we added a nuc box with some frames split from the Flow hive, that had some queen cells. That worked out well, as they established a colony there. We saw bees going in and out of the box, but until we inspected we weren’t sure if they were living there, or just robbing it of resources. But when we opened it up, we found lots of bees doing their thing. Excellent: our first split!

In anticipation of that possibility, we had purchased new hive components (base, cover, etc), and painted them. Yesterday, we transferred the frames from the nuc box to the new hive:

Transferring frames from nuc box to hive

We were pleased to spot the new queen, too:

Queen spotted

Here you can see the queen near the center of the picture — the longer, more mono-colored bee. Lots of good brood activity, too:


Here’s the new hive, which we’re calling the “hot pink” hive:

New hot pink hive

Inspecting the orange hive, they made a bit of a mess of the comb, with extensive cross-combing (where they build the comb between the frames, instead of contained within each, which makes it impossible to remove the frames without dislodging the comb). One of the dangers of foundationless frames:

Messy comb

We also started harvesting honey from the Flow hive. These use unique plastic frames that can be split apart to extract the honey without having to remove the frames or disturb the bees, with the honey flowing down inside the frames and out through tubes inserted in the base.

Here’s a flow underway on the left, and just starting on the right:

Harvesting Flow hive

A view from a little further back, showing the whole hive. The access door becomes a shelf via handy new brackets:

Harvesting Flow hive

Meanwhile, we continued inspecting the hives. The bees still hadn’t done anything with the Ross rounds frames, so we removed them. We’ve heard that they are difficult to get the bees to accept them, and that certainly matches our experience. A pity, since they make nice packaged comb honey, but we’ll just have to cut that from regular frames:

Ross rounds

Speaking of, a nice frame of honey underway:

Honey frame

Jenn waiting for the honey:

Jenn waiting for honey

The Flow hive again:

Harvesting Flow hive

Here are all five of our hives: yellow, purple, orange, hot pink, and Flow. Which are conveniently in alphabetical order when viewed from the front (which is why we called the new one “hot pink” instead of just “pink”):

Five hives

Harvesting different frames:

Harvesting Flow hive

Closer; such pretty honey:

Harvesting Flow hive

Did you see the video of the honey flowing?

We left a couple of frames for next weekend, when we’ll have some beekeeper visitors, but the harvest from the four middle frames was 7 quarts (6.6 liters) of honey:


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