One of the great benefits of the Flow Hybrid is the ability to harvest both Flow harvested honey and honeycomb from the same super.
To harvest honeycomb you need to open the super (remember to take safety precautions – please see our Flow sponsored safety pamphlet covering common beekeeping safety risks and first aid responses).
First, remove the roof and inner cover and then carefully remove the timber frame that you want to harvest.
You need to check to ensure that the frame of honeycomb is ready and fully capped, otherwise, the moisture content in the honey may be too high, and may lead to fermentation.
Take care to move slowly and gently, or you risk of damaging the comb, as well as disturbing the bees.
Once you are ready to harvest you need to remove the bees from the comb. To do this, give the frame a short, sharp downwards shake into the hive and then you can gently brush with quick flicks any remaining bees off using a bee brush, gloved hands or a soft tree branch (a sprig of rosemary works quite well).
When you have removed the bees from the frame, you need to take it away from the hive (preferably indoors) to cut away the comb, so that bees are not attracted to the honey.
Using a small knife or a hive tool, carefully remove the honeycomb from the foundation. Take care to remove all of the comb from the bottom edge so that when you add the frame back into the hive, the bees should build comb again from the top foundation strip.
It is best to use foundationless frames for harvesting honeycomb, however, if you do happen to use frames with foundation, you will need to be careful to not cut the wires.
How much honey can I collect in a Flow Hybrid?
The amount of honey your hive will produce is dependent on several factors, such as the strength of the colony, time of year and available forage. However, when the super is full you can collect up to 9 kgs (20 lb) of Flow harvested honey from the 3 Flow Frames in the Super. This is in addition to the 4 x frames of honeycomb that you can also harvest.
Each Flow Frame holds approximately 3 kg (6.5 lb) of raw, unprocessed honey – this can increase if the bees really build out each frame. Be prepared with extra jars in case your first one overflows!