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Brood inspection with Bianca and Mira

Hey Forum folk,

I thought you might like a chance to virtually ‘meet’ Bianca, who’s been posting on the forum a bit lately and responding to a few of your beekeeping questions.

She and Cedar’s sister Mira (also an avid beekeeper, as well as bee photographer extraordinaire) hosted this week’s special edition International Women’s Day Live Q & A (recording below for those who couldn’t be there…)

We are grateful to also have some exceptionally helpful and very, very experienced beekeeping queens on the forum as well - a big shout out to you all this week - we really appreciate your input.

And of course, it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge the industriousness of some of our favourite females - the ones populating our hives and making honey for us all to enjoy :slight_smile:

For anyone wondering - international men’s day is on 19 November :slight_smile: and yes we appreciate you too!

You can find the transcript for this week’s Live Q & A here if you’d like to have a read

We’d particularly love to hear some questions from ladies who are new to beekeeping this week, but of course all forum members are welcome to join the conversation, so if you have a question in response to this week’s Live Q & A we’d love to hear from you.

Happy beekeeping x

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Was lovely to finally put a face to the name :blush:.

They both looked like they were having soo much fun.

Couldn’t stop laughing at the trying to keep the queen excluder down :rofl::rofl: we’ve all had that struggle.


Yeah they do keep it real these two! (And on that note pardon the swear word in this video :grimacing: :joy:)

I also enjoyed the video. I have a couple of tips for @Bianca, #1 was recently discussed on this forum. It involves removing some flow frames before attempting to remove the honey super. The more frames removed, the easier it is to remove the super. #2 I nail my frames with 40x2mm flat head galvanized nails. I drill a pilot hole in the top bar first, to make sure the nail goes in straight. They never pull out, on account of the galvanizing on the nails makes them less slippery, thus more inclined to hang on.


Thank you Jeff, I will pass this on to Bianca for you. I’m sure she’ll be appreciative!

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(She’s off today or would respond herself)

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Thanks Free, it was lovely to see her & hear her voice. It’s impressive to watch her & Mira work the bees.

In relation to the flow frames. This is only if the super hasn’t been removed for a while, which was the case in the video. Sometimes it’s difficult to break one frame away from the QE, therefore because the 6or7 flow frames are supported by the honey super, the difficulty of removing one frame is multiplied by 6 or 7 while trying to remove the honey super full of frames.


I’ve just started using staples which I shoot through horizontally. The crown of the staple is only 4mm soyou get both prongs through the top and bottom bars. It only takes seconds to do a frame and is very cheap. Air operated staple gun for $60 and packs of 2000 staples for $10 from Bunnings. I think the big saving is time.
I’ll be interested to see how this works. The frames seem very sturdy but time will tell.


Thanks for this lovely feedback Jeff, they are both terrific women and both absolutely love the bees :slight_smile:

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@Freebee2 I thought this was an excellent video, well done ladies, you rock :grinning:


Lol aye that was funny. :rofl::rofl:

Good spot by Fred Dunn with the rings and if you got stung. I’m sure alot of people overlook that risk.


Thanks for the tips Jeff. And yes, I agree, that is a great tip. I wasn’t prepared for such a sticky situation with this hive and certainly would have adopted that strategy if I had to, which I have in the past and it worked a treat!

I usually nail my brood frames too. It was interesting to see that the staple failed like this, I wonder if it’s a common thing. Pre-drilling brood frame nails is a good idea to ensure straight and most effective nailing. I’m definitely experienced with wonky nailing in my time. Glavanised nails, thank you, I will keep that in mind.

Thanks for watching :slight_smile:

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Thanks Karen :blush:

I still don’t think I’d take off my rings :smile: but yes, great point that I had never considered!

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This is a great tip, Tim! Thank you.

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Hi & you’re most welcome Bianca. Just to be certain, I only pre-drill the top & bottom bars.

I’ve seen some pretty dodgy stapled AND nailed frames. One bloke with a flow hive picked up his bees. His frames were nailed with the smooth nails supplied without any glue. To make matters worse some of the nails had bent over during the nailing process, resulting with only a 1/4 - 1/2" of shiny nail holding the frames together.

Great video that would encourage any new beekeeper…Flow hive has introduced this experience to so many folk around the world. And your and Mira’s casual/fun approach to doing a hive inspection will tempt more I’m sure. :heart_eyes:

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great video!

but one thing stood out for me: the problem you have had with the queen excluder at the start shows exactly why you should not use plastic queen excluders.

I had the identical problem with my first flow hive with plastic excluder. Only I didn’t have anyone to help me. It is a really bad situation when you try and lift a heavy flow super and that starts happening. You will also damage your boxes trying in vain to prize them free. The brood frames lifted straight up with the excluder heavily attached to the bottom of the flow frames and this caused quite a few bee deaths :frowning: :honeybee: :skull_and_crossbones: You cannot have that issue with a metal one- with a metal one you could have prized it away with your hive tool. Since i changed to all metal: it’s never happened again.

I really- really- really think flow should strongly consider offering metal exluders instead of plastic ones.

Not only do you have that issue- the plastic ones crack, degrade, powdersise and are harder to clean. The plastic particles contaminate our pure Australian beeswax. And when you place them on a brood box they can (and do) warp- allowing bees to crawl under the edge- and then get SQUASHED.

None of this is good! When you consider a metal one only costs about $10 more it is a simple decision… And they will last for many years more.

When bees get squashed bees get angry- and beekeeprs get stung.Angry bees can make for angry neighbors too.

Also the point about not wearing rings when you inspect a hive without gloves is a VERY good one. A finger can swell badly- and having a ring strangling that already stung finger can be horrible.



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I overengineered my frames and used stainless screws (piloted) and glue, avoids my nightmare visions of it all falling apart, advantage of a hobbyist - I can afford to let fear slow me down!