On hive robbing station; Cleaning out combs


#1

Background: I have a flow hive 2, and this was my first year. The starter nuc I received had a couple of rubbish frames in it. These frames were full of sugar syrup. I also needed to figure out a way empty the flow frames for winter and have them clean and dry. Open robbing is illegal to prevent the spread of AFB and the like.

First experiment and failure: I look out one frame, cut it up and put the comb in a rapid round feeder. The feeder was put on top of inner cover and surrounded by a vented shim then roof on top. This just didn’t work very well. The bees couldn’t get into all the spaces, and the hives beetle and greater wax moth plague that came with the nuc had a smorgasbord. The bees couldn’t decide if this was part of the hive or not.

Second experiment and huge success: I used the flow super as a robbing station. First, I removed the observation windows to let the light and took it off the hive. The flow frames didn’t have much in them, but none of it had cappings. Onto the hive, I put a Vivaldi board then vented super then opened-window flow super then inner cover then roof. If marauding bees came, they would have to go through the hive to get to the robbing station. After a day, the lightest flow frame was empty so I took it out. I used a rolling uncapper on the second rubbish frame and put it in. I put it in the window that would get the most sunlight, and I also replaced the back panel of the flow super so no bees would enter. The bees cleaned out the combs and got every last drop. I also put the uncapper in the Vivaldi board and they cleaned it up too.

To better illustrate what worked:

Roof
Inner cover
Open window flow super
Vented super
Vivaldi board
Winter stores super
Brood box
Baseboard
Stand

A theoretical equivalent:

Roof
Open window flow super
Vented super
Inner cover
Winter stores super
Brood box
Baseboard
Stand