So I attended a two night beekeeping course that was given by Knight Family Honey. After attending the class I feel much more prepared to take on beekeeping. Their information was very informative. They taught us how to check the hive, when to check the hive, what we are looking for, and what to do about what we saw. They also covered when to add more brood boxes and honey boxes to the frame.
I now understand a little more why some bee keepers are hesitant to accept HoneyFlow frames as a reality. For one they are worried that people will think they can simply stick a beehive in their yard and never look at the bees again and never have to touch the hive. They think people will get the wrong impression of beekeeping and simply think you can just show up and steal the honey from the bees. But in reality there is some more steps that need to be taken to make sure your bees thrive through the season.
One thing I read about earlier, but had forgotten, is that in Utah with the cold winters I actually need to have two brood boxes available for the bees so they can make it through our colder winters. The hive that comes from FlowHive only had two deep boxes, one for the brood and one for the honey. If I hadn’t taken the classes or taken the time to read additional books I would have fulfilled the bee keepers prediction of an uneducated group of beehavers instead of beekeepers. I.e. one who simply has bees vs one who learns and cares for the bees. In FlowHives defense they are telling everyone to get educated and they are hosting free classes that are well done on YouTube.
After taking their class I have changed my plans a little. I am going to run two hives. One hive will be run in the traditional manner and the other I will put the FlowHive honey super and see how it does. This will also allow us to have and store some comb honey where the wax and honey is eaten. I have always loved comb honey simply because it is more of an experience.
I ordered all my equipment from Knight Family Honey and one more box of Italian bees from Knights. The equipment will arrive next week and I will stain it and get it ready for the season. Armed with a better education and exactly what to look for I am now even more excited to get busy. The other nice thing about the class is it is not over yet. Next month we will go out and work their bees preparing them for the summer. And in the fall we will work their bees one more time to winterize the hives. This will give us some additional experience to work our hives.
For the new kits I am switching over to all medium supers for the brood and honey supers. The mediums make it easier to lift and it seems more interactive as it is likely the mediums fill up more quickly. They talked a lot about the pros of having all the frames be the same size so it is easy to mix and match the frames on the fly. For instance, if one hive is really producing a lot of honey you can take one of the frames and move it to the slower hive. Or in the winter you can ensure that the brood has at least 7 honey frames in the top box so they can make it through the winter. I also like that the honey comb will be slightly smaller for when we cut the raw honey comb.
Here is a picture of the kit they sell. It comes with everything you need besides the bees. The boxes can either be painted or stained. I am still excited to try the HoneyFlow frames and I am excited that they got me off of the fence and into beekeeping. Who knows, maybe they will blow everyone away. It will be fun to see how the two hives do in a side by side comparison. The next bee post will likely be putting the bees in the hive or staining/painting the hives and putting them outside.