The weather on harvest day, July 23rd, started out cloudy and a little rainy, so first we did a mini-build and put together the new Flow Super as well as some new frames in preparation for splitting the hive. But, once things got going, all together we harvested 29lbs of honey from the Flow Super and 29lbs of honey from the deep box right below it! That's 58lbs of total honey from the Flow Hive this year! Way to go Flow Team!!!
We also removed the drone board for Varroa IPM and removed the FormicPro strips we installed on July 2nd. Sadly we weren't able to complete the mite check to make sure our treatment worked, but plan on doing that next check. The good news is that the drone pupae cells had very few mites in them so I don't expect a high count of mites at the next check. Yay!
Next check plans:
1. Find and mark old queen.
2. Mite check (alcohol wash).
3. MSU European Foulbrood surveillance sample.
4. Thoroughly inspect Flow Hive to assess resources.
5. Split hive into 2 hives.
6. Install new mated queen in queenless hive.
Bad News: I would've liked this post to be talking about all the honey we harvested from the Flow Hive last weekend, but alas, unforeseen circumstances prevented the harvest, which has been rescheduled to Saturday, July 23rd.
Good News: Although I couldn't bee there myself, Chris and Clay were able to run the hive check without me. They added a 4th deep box of drawn comb, and had to move the hive down onto cinder blocks because it was just too tall! :D It looks like it was a good thing that they needed to move the hive because there was some ant activity on the wooden stand under the back corner of the hive. They didn't spot the queen this time, but saw at least 8 frames of capped brood and plenty of open brood and eggs. Unfortunately, it was still too hot to treat for mites, so they added a drone board for mechanical trapping of Varroa. We will remove this on the 23rd. Clay is also going to add a FormicPro treatment hopefully tonight since the weather has cooled.
Best News: The hive is still booming and the nectar in the Flow Super should be good and capped by the 23rd. Also, we plan on splitting the hive shortly after the harvest so that we can go into winter with 2 strong hives. This means possibly double the honey next year because were able to purchase another deeply discounted Flow Super from Flow Hive with our club credits! Remember, any member of A2B2 is eligible for a discount on certain Flow Hive products using a link in the members only section of this website, and when A2B2 club members purchase their Flow Hive using this link, A2B2 receives credits toward addition Flow Hive equipment.
It is very exciting to be expanding the Flow Hive portion of the A2B2 teaching apiary, but we will need to assemble some equipment before we can make the split, so look for information on a Flow Team build day coming soon!
Plan for Next check:
1. Harvest from the Flow Super! :)
2. Remove drone board for Varroa control.
3. Remove FormicPro strips.
4. Varroa mite check to determine if treatment successful.
Our next check will be Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 at 10am at the A2B2 Teaching Apiary at the U of M Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. For new team members, the hives are located next to the Project Grow Garden.
Thank you again to the Flow Hive team for making this year such a success!
What is a Flow Hive?
A Flow Hive is a Langstroth-style hive system with plastic frames which allow honey to be harvested directly from the hive. www.honeyflow.com/pages/how-flow-works