Confessions of a novice beekeeper – Part 12, 25 litres of honey in 7wks!

On the 18th of Dec ’21, we did our first full harvest of the flow-frames.

In just 5months our hive has expanded from the four-frame NUC of around 6000 bees to a thriving colony of something like 40,000 bees.

As per good beekeeping advice, we kept the bees in the brood box until we’d observed them building out the six, empty wax foundation frames with either brood or honey stores. This took them a couple of months and the flow-frame-filled super was installed in November.

Then as per this post, we patiently waited and watched the girls through the flow-hive windows build up the flow-frames with honey. Our first harvest of a single frame was on the 5th of December, yielding about 1.9litres of honey.

Our 1st harvest – 5th Dec ’21 – about 1.9l from a single flow-frame

On the 18th of December, we did another inspection of the super to find all seven flow-frames 95% or greater filled and capped with honey! This included the frame we’d harvested just 13 days ago!

A flow-frame fully capped with honey
We’ve removed the full super (about to be harvested) so we can inspect the brood box.
The magic of the flow hive system, tap the honey and watch it fill the jars
Georgia enjoying the process
40x 375ml jars of honey or 15litres!!

The jars above are arranged in order of the seven flow-frames, with frame one left of pic. Note the variability of colour in the frames. I’ve been told that the bees will typically fill a frame with a single type of flower nectar. As such, you get quite a difference in honey colour, consistency, and taste between the frames.

Following this full harvest (18th Dec), we packed the, now empty, flow-frames back into the hive and left them for their Christmas holidays.

Coming back home after our own family Christmas break down south, we did a quick inspection on the 9th of Jan but noted that only two frames were fully capped, with the remaining frames varying between 30 and 70% capped.

But, on the 26th of Jan – Australia Day – we observed that five of the frames were now fully capped, with the remaining two frames about 60%. So, on Aussie Day, just 7weeks after our first harvest, we harvested another five flow-frames. This harvest yielded 9liters of honey.

Jules and I tasted and score each frame out of 10.

As you can imagine, with so much honey most of our family and friends received gifts of honey for Christmas. And, we’ve been eating heaps of it, from honey on toast through to sweeteners in cocktails.

Hot honey tips!!

  • When having honey on crumpets, sprinkle a little salt over the honey before eating. Salt amplifies the beautiful honey flavours.
  • For use as a natural and yummy sweetener in a cocktail, dilute 3parts honey to 1part water by stirring them together and then use that in your drinks.

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