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Bees in the Blue Mountains (NSW)


Where are you? There are lots of drones about so its swarm season. As for temperature, if you can get around in a Tshirt then its OK to dive in. Today would be perfect.


I’m at Mt Victoria. It’s warming up but only to mid teens and still getting to zero at night.


Cooler up there but still keep an eye on them, when they start expanding its a bit like an explosion. I am at Woodford and mine have been really active even through the recen cold spell so watch them.



Got it. Thanks for the advice!


Yes, Rob’s right.
They will amaze you with the speed they will build up this year.
Take your eye off them and they will be gone.
Good luck :smile:


Sorry its been a while the bees in the flow hive are going great guns i have got 3 full frames ready to be extracted which i am doing today and putting on a ideal on top for some honey comb. Pics to follow.




What i did notice when havesting is the bees were very quick at pulling the cappings off and cleaning out the cells also if you have a look at the frame to the right it was all capped and ready to go but by the time the first frame was empty the little suckers started draining the frame on the right so i didnt touch that one. I will have to get more hose and drill more holes in the lid so i can do all at once. ended up getting around 5kg or 4lt out of 2 frames, first harvest


Hi everyone. I’m getting a little discouraged with my hive and hoping for some advise please. The colony is 9 months in and started from a package. 3 weeks ago I inspected and found the brood box full. I added a second box under the first with half plastic foundation and half wax starter strips. I’ve also found them getting progressively more aggressive with each inspection. Yesterday I opened it up to check the new box and while there were loads of bees in the new box, they haven’t started drawing the new frames. They had filled the migratory lid with comb and honey. I swapped the lid for a new one and put a board on top of the frames, hoping to discourage them from building up and start building down. I assume they will draw the new frames when they have no other choice. The main issue is the aggression, as soon as I lift the lid or touch a frame they charge my veil. I ended up with 2 stings on the ankle and loads of stingers in my gloves. Even after packing up they chase me back to the house and just keep bouncing off my veil. It’s really not pleasant working on the hive with the bees attacking like they are. So is this normal? I’ve not found the queen for a while now as the inspections just get too full on. Thanks in advance.


Hi Clint
They seem to charge at the veil if I am lax with the smoke or make quick movements.
Is there much nectar around at the moment? Mine seem more agitated with nectar in shorter supply.
I use a rectangle of vinyl above the frames but below the roof to stop them building comb and storing honey up there. In my experience, they seem to like going upwards when building and storing honey etc.


Hi Dan, I think there is plenty of nectar around. We had a dry winter but have had plenty of rain lately and there are flowers everywhere. It would be nice to put the super on but I’d prefer them to get well established in 2 brood boxes first.


Hi Clint, if I was going to add a second brood box, I’d put it on top after removing 3 of the brood frames, then place them together in the center of the second box. I would checkerboard with fresh foundation in the bottom box.

Use plenty of smoke & work at the back of the hive.

Adding a second brood box in this manner means that you are also doing a brood check which allows you to observe the condition of the brood, looking out for any signs of disease & how the queen is performing, etc.

In relation to plastic foundation, make sure it is well waxed otherwise the bees wont build on it properly.


Hi Jeff, I see, that does make sense, as right now it seems they have no place to bring in nectar without moving the brood nest down. So if I understand correctly I’d end up with 3 frames of brood in the center of the top box? Surrounded by honey frames? Where should the remaining brood frames go?

I was always working behind the hive. I have a spare box so it seems pretty simple to remove both boxes, place an empty box and build bottom up. I’m just concerned about the aggression. The yard was basically off limits all day because bees would start bombing anyone in sight. If this is normal I think I’ll need to move the hive.


Hi Clint, my thinking would be, instead of putting a second brood super under the first brood super, put it above the first brood super. Lift 3 of the brood frames from the first brood super, then put them in the middle of the second brood super. Flank them with the rest of the foundation frames. Use 3 of the foundation frames to replace the 3 frames of brood out of brood box #1 in a checkerboard fashion.

Leave the honey frames where they are, above the QX, assuming that you are using one.


Okay thanks, Jeff. That’s clear. There is no QX as I don’t have a super on yet.


Hi again everyone. I put a second brood box on my hive at the beginning of this season and both boxes are now chockers with bees, there is no super on this hive. At this stage in the year should I put the super on or do a split? I don’t want them to run out of space and swarm. Thanks!


Hi Clint. I would put the flow super on - there should still be a few months ahead before having to prep for wintering so worth seeing what honey you can get for this season.
I am in Wentworth Falls on the edge of the bush and we are having a very unusual season - it is our second after a fantastic start last year. We are surrounded by E. Sieberi (Silvertop Ash) and we noticed a few trees flowering at the end of Dec, but NOTHING since…I now have 2 Flow Hives both with the Flow Super on. One is doing ok (50%), the other not so good (10%). I did an inspection 2 days back and both hives have been using their honey stores - not a lot but noticeable.
So I am hanging out for the flowering to happen - though have just read that this may not occur every year!

Anyone else out there having the same issue with late (non?) flowering gums?

Cheers, rick


Hi Rick - in Tasmania, E. sieberi flowers every 6 years apparently but when it does, can offer good nectar. We call it Ironbark.


Hi, I’m in the mid mountains and at the very early stages of learning about beekeeping. I have no bees yet. Is there any local group someone can recommend to me as a ‘where to start’? Cheers


Where abouts in the mountains are you Kristy?