Our beehives have kicked it into high gear. Look at the photo above, is that a box full of bees, or what? Not bad for a hive that started out as a nuc four weeks ago.
All three of our hives have multiple frames of brood in nice patterns with good amounts of honey and beebread. Two of the hives are filling out their second hive body and in each case, the queen is laying in both boxes.
While I was not planning to get any honey this year, this hive looked so strong that I decided to add a super to it and see I have any luck. They will have to draw out the comb, but if we get a good flow, they should be able to do that. If I don’t end up with any honey, hopefully I can get some drawn comb out of them so they can get a head start next year.
A fellow beekeeper in the area who owns multiple Flow Hive harvested twelve quart jars of honey last week, which is about 36 pounds. He promptly sold them to a local retailer for $300. That much honey would thrill me, as it would be more than enough for personal consumption and several gifts.
If you are not familiar with the Flow Hive, it’s an innovative honey super that allows you to harvest honey directly from the hive. No removing the frames, no decapping the honey comb, no spinning the frames so that a centrifugal force shoots the honey out. It also minimizes the work bees must do to draw comb. I think the Flow Hive frames and supers are very clever. They work especially well for someone with a bad back, or who does not own traditional extraction equipment.
Unfortunately, flow hives and supers are eight to ten times more expensive than traditional Langstroth hives, supers, and their frames. That puts them out of my price range. If I only had two bee hives, I could see the appeal. I’m planning on ten hives, maybe even 20, so I am going to pass on the Flow Hive for now.
This other beekeeper has invited me to attend the next harvest, so I may be able to give a first-hand report on the Flow Hive soon.
Video of the Day
Our video of the day is from Frederick Dunn on his early experience with the Flow Hive. A beekeeper who produces many informative and dare I say enlightening videos on beekeeping. Mr. Dunn also has some of the highest production values you will see on YouTube. (This video debuted in 2016, so it’s a bit old and slower than his current videos.) If you are interested in beekeeping, new products for beekeepers, different techniques, or have questions about how you can become a better beekeepers, his videos are a must see.