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Re: EZ Bee automatic flow

Old timer
I found on a flow hive forum where some one said that they were making the flow hive in brisbane (probly spelled wrong) austrailia and the workers were getting a fair wage. I apoligize for my previous post and don't know where I got it from. Though I have a bad memory, I usually remember little details like this more correctly when I post something. I hate being one that puts out bad info. Sorry
gww
 

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Re: EZ Bee automatic flow

Didn't put out bad info you just asked a question, nothing wrong with that :)
 

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Re: EZ Bee automatic flow

Will be putting a flow-hive or two into the garden-apiary/petting-zoo right after we get the unicorns to allow the panda bears to ride them.
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

A client for whom I maintain hives bought a Flowhive that he turned over to me to manage at his site. I have the advantage of 47 years of beekeeping experience to help me be successful with my first Flow experience. I also watched Flowhive videos on YouTube to educate myself and read the manual. I have long known that bees do not easily take to plastic foundation and that they have to be forced to use it. I threw out the foundationless frames which I feel should not be used for brood combs in hives for which high production is desired. On 4/17/17 I installed a purchased package of bees on drawn comb in the 8 frame brood chamber. I threw out the plastic excluder and used a steel excluder. The site is in a very productive neighborhood with ample nectar and pollen all year around. I fed the package two quarts of HFCS. I added the Flow super.

On 5/16 the bees had not entered the Flowframes. On 6/9 they were working in the Flow frames. On 6/28 I informed the client the Flow frames were full and that he should drain them. As wise as I am, I deduced that he would not take the time for that, so I added two medium supers above the Flow super. On 8/9 I harvested the whole apiary including the two full supers above the Flow frames and again told the client to drain the Flow frames, fearing granulation and wanting to have space for any fall honey flow. On 9/26 by request, my helper and I gave the client and his staff a lesson on how to drain the frames, even though we had no experience in doing so and knew little more how to do so than they did. I knew enough to manufacture hoses and lids to direct the honey into jars without robbing. Without those, exposed honey pouring in the middle of a nine hive apiary during robbing season would have meant for a huge robbing nuisance. We opened two frames progressively to make it easy to turn the handle and avoid flooding problems that I had seen on videos. It took well over an hour for the frames to drain substantially. The two frames produced two distinctively different colors of honey. It came out clean and clear totally unlike extracted honey which is littered with wax etc. and full of bubbles from extracting. On 10/11 the gardeners noticed the Flowhive was being robbed out and my helper went over and shut it down. Probably the package queen, like others from that purchase, had gone drone layer and the weakened colony fell prey to the other 8 hives.

Flowhives and Flowsupers are insane expensive and only a novelty for someone like myself who needs to extract a lot of honey from normal boxes. But if they hold up to old age, wear and tear, I can see them as useful for someone who only wants one or two hives and avoid the expense, storage and mess of normal extracting. No extractor, filtering, bottling or other equipment required. No sticky kitchen floors. If the client had drained it when it was ready, the Flow super could have collected two more fillings. The draining of a full box will take the good part of a day and has to be done when it is full so that the bees continue to have room to collect incoming nectar until the flow is over. The Flowhive does not replace a knowledgeable and capable beekeeper. It is NOT fill it, set it and forget it. So the time and commitment of being an good beekeeper is still there.



 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

Interesting description Odfrank. Rather surprised though that someone interested enough to purchase the flowhive would not even bother to watch the first harvest. Anyhow, no doubt he will enjoy the honey.
 

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Odfrank, it was nice to hear someone talk positively about the flow hive. Having beekeeping experience is pretty well essential to a positive outcome. The first flow hive I witnessed was operated by a retired gentleman who grew up with hives on the family farm. He is getting a lot of pleasure out of it and of course has a good understanding of bee behaviour and he has also combined his cabinet making skills to make his own boxes etc.

Personally, I think the inventors are 'true blue' types and I find it irritating when people slander both their product and reputation. After all, if you are a 'mug' and know nothing or very little about bees, success will be minimal.
 

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My brother marveled at the honey that flowed from his Flow Hive just 2 weeks ago. He kept bees in the 70’s a few years and just started again with the FH. He is quite pleased that it worked exactly as stated by the inventors even though he had to start again with beekeeping skills. They were good bees (he bought a nuc from Randy Oliver’s operation) didn’t take care of them like he should have, but they are hanging in there and he’s relearning the basics again from his big sister :)
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

How do you get the bees out of the super when you are ready to extract the FH? You don't get little bee parts in the honey? Is there a filter on the FH that filters out the cappings?
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

How do you get the bees out of the super when you are ready to extract the FH? You don't get little bee parts in the honey? Is there a filter on the FH that filters out the cappings?
I have a flow hive, When I crack the frames the capping stay intact, no capping no bee parts in the honey, the bees continue to occupy the bee space between the frames. At some point they realize the cells are empty they open them up and refill it.
The honey is as clear as I get after filtering from my normally extracted honey.
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

>How do you get the bees out of the super when you are ready to extract the FH?

No need.

>You don't get little bee parts in the honey?

None whatsoever.

>Is there a filter on the FH that filters out the cappings?

There are no cappings and absolutely no need to filter at all. It comes out clean.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FlowSixWay.jpg
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

I got my first harvest out of the Flowhive this year on a Spring package install. The FH didn't go on until late in the flow.

The bees refused to fill the cells, so a brood frame was moved up into the FH box. Eventually, that encouraged the bees to fill up one side of one Flowhive frame. Harvesting that half of one frame was still a pleasure. If I ever get a hive through the winter, I hope to see a 6-frame harvest.

And yes, it was clear and pure. No filtering needed.
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

See Post #2265 - My client never got around to draining his Flow frames and turned them over to me. I contemplated methods to warm them for draining, my extracting room is down to the mid 40's in the morning. We had some other miscellaneous stuff to extract and I didn't have the key or tubes for the flow frames. My mind might be old and rickety but I still have some genius in that old grey mass. We scratched the cappings and into the extractor they went. Hours of warming, setup and draining saved!
My extracting tech noted that the little wood cleat that covers something (key slots?) at the top of the Flow supers does not fit well, is not held in by the swiveling holder and falls out.

 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

Lol! Isn't that a bit like using a gas chainsaw without starting the motor?:D

The most expensive frames I have ever extracted! Luckily not my money.
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

THE AGONY OF ORDERING A FLOWHIVE!!!!

Another bazillionaire apiary client wants a Flowhive, and since I only am making money hand over fist on the first one, I didn't argue with this guy. BUT OH THE AGONY!!! of ordering one.

It listed a $100 discount code for the first 50 ordering, but the discount would not take so I went on chat with the FLOW GIRL!!! She had to get the tech guy to fix it. Then my credit card was rejected because it is a foreign country purchase. Then my browser would not connect to PAYPAL. So I tried another browser. Then my Paypal balance was not high enough and my credit card through Paypal was rejected also. So then I had to call my bank and you know what an agony that is. So after wasting half my Sunday afternoon I got the Flow ordered.

So you are asking how do I get rich like Oliver selling Flow Hives? Well, you charge for the two hours of ordering the Flow, you mark up the price of the Flow, you charge for unpacking the Flow, you charge for assembling the Flow, you charge for staining the flow, you charge for making a stand for the Flow, you charge for the install of the Flow, you charge for the bees for the Flow, you charge for the management of the Flow, you charge for the lesson on how to drain the Flow, and if your wealthy client of course does not have time to empty the Flow, you charge for emptying it. And then you start all over in Spring.
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

I think Ollie is the first beekeeper that’s figured out how to actually make money beekeeping!
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

Interesting! From the looks of it it's everything the original FlowHive and website _should_ have been the first time around. That's not a criticism, as it's nearly impossible to get everything right on a global launch on the first try. But it does indicate that they're taking customer feedback seriously.

I'm very surprised that they're manufacturing in-house with laser cutting. That's way more expensive than manufacturing in China will ever be, but apparently they thing it's worth the extra cost. They probably got a lot of grief over the initial build quality during the first few years, and decided that shipping good product is cheaper than shipping poor product 2-3x. My early unit was really out of tolerance, and took a lot of sanding just to get assembled.

But this does kill the notion that they're going to get less expensive on the 2nd generation. Then again I'd rather have better quality at a higher price. Beeks have many, many options for buying less expensive hardware. There just aren't many options for "turnkey" harvesting, and Flow seems to have it. Good for them!
 

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Re: Extractor-less honey by- "Honey Flow"

I have a flow hive, When I crack the frames the capping stay intact, no capping no bee parts in the honey, the bees continue to occupy the bee space between the frames. At some point they realize the cells are empty they open them up and refill it.
The honey is as clear as I get after filtering from my normally extracted honey.
ABruce:
(hoping you see this although the thread is a bit old)...
I drained my Flow frames late Summer and noticed that the capping indeed stayed in place. Do you feel the "realization" of the bees that the cells are empty took some time (delaying their being refilled)? My guess is it's hard to know. Anyone removing the cappings manually to avoid delays? I'm not planning to take any extra steps but it "feels" strange to load up the Flow this year wtih capped (but empty) frames.
 
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