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Canadian Flow keepers


#1

I’m Gabriel from Hastings, Ontario. I invite all Canadians who are getting the Flow frames to share their experiences here and perhaps get together to talk bees and drink a beer or two. Cheers!


#2

Hi Gabriel! I’m currently in Toronto but will be moving out of the city to build a home a start a micro farm with my husband and a couple friends this summer. I’m excited to start beekeeping as well! I’ve never done it before but I’ve got a full flowhive ordered and have been doing as much reading and research as I can. Hoping to join beekeeping groups in my area!

As for a beer and chatting, we are always game!


#3

Hey all
I’m in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, it might make it a bit complicated to come out for a beer but . . :smile:

I’m also new to beekeeping and have joined the local bee club to learn as much as possible over the summer to be ready to get my own next spring


#4

Hi Alyssa, I am inviting you to the Urban Toronto Beekepers Association meeting this Tuesday, May 5th at 7:00pm Earth Sciences Building, U of T. Use the Faculty of Forestry entrance on Bancroft St., next to the GSU Pub. Signs will be posted. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/urbantorontobeekeepers/
We can talk more and I can give you advice on your exciting journey!


#5

That’s wonderful, thank you! I have a work meeting at 8pm, but I will definitely make it to this for a bit. It’s not from from UofT so I should be able to stay for close to an hour.

I’m excited to learn as much as I can and meet new people along the way.

See you on Tuesday!


#6

Brad and Debi here from Okanagan Falls, BC
We have a small orchard and have hired bees for years!
The Flow Hive is a good enough reason for us to try bees for ourselves! ( I Love Honey! :honeybee: Brad )
I too have been reading what I can find on the subject … Seems to be lots of info out there!
There are lots of groups in our area and we will join one once I find a close one.
( I work in bush camps 14 days in and 7 days at home)
I will be the main party looking after the bees and I’m hopeful I won’t hurt the little buddy’s if I’m gone that long ?
If so I’ll find a source to that problem!
Any and all advise is welcome and I’m thankful for it!
I have a ton of questions:
For where I live what is better?
Like which type of bees?
Large or small?
Buy a Nuc ( I think - is a group of bees with a queen) or see a local bee keeper for extras??
Besides a suit ( I’m a little scared of the strings) and a smoker which I have , but hear it might not be needed?? What else could I prepare until the flow hives come ( I bought two)???


#7

Hi! I’m in Calgary. Super excited to get started with some hives next year including the Flow hive. I’m looking forward to connecting with other beekeepers on here!


#8

Hey @Sabine! I found some beginner beekeeping courses here in Alberta and it looks like you have some in BC as well: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/apiculture/courses/index.htm

I haven’t taken the course here yet, but I will in November when it’s offered next. Not sure if you’ve found those resources yet.


#9

Hi Gabriel! I’m from Central B.C. and I have ordered a 7 frame super. I have been keeping bees for about 8 years and trying to do it as organic as possible. I overwintered 5 hives and they all are doing well this year. I look forward to learning and sharing with everyone.


#10

Hi, another newcomer here! I have been beekeeping in Langley, B.C.for the past five summers.i have four colonies and I am looking forward to trying the flow frames on two of them. It will be interesting to compare them.


#11

Hi I’m Su from Penticton BC. I have a full flow hive coming and am interested it connecting with others. Thanks


#12

We are from Delta BC. No experience but are very excited to learn and prepare for the arrival of our flowhive.


#13

Good day everyone, my name is Rod. I live about 30 minutes outside of Calgary. My wife and I are looking forward to our bee adventure and with no experience other than what we can read it’s going to be on heck of a ride. I look forward to our conversations.


#14

Hi Brad and Debi! (and all other beginners!)

I think you are on the right track joining a local group. It is extremely important to have a mentor or a group where you can ask questions. Definitely buy a couple of nucs from a local beekeeper. Those are the best bees for your area. Ask him (or her) if you can get a hands on experience in their apiary before you get your bees to have an idea how things are supposed to be inside the hive. Try to find a beekeeper that is either Treatment and Sugar Free or at least uses the least treatments possible or uses only essential oils. Why 2 nucs? Because every hive behaves differently and since you don’t have previous experience you don’t know if they are doing well or not. Having 2 allows you to compare things and fix things if one hive gets in a bad spot (for example the queen accidentally dies). With nucs bought end of May - beginning of June, you have a strong chance for them to get established and have a little surplus of honey for you. I bought 10 nucs and split them in the same year and I got some honey from them too, and I’m in Ontario, which is cooler than BC. If you didn’t get the Early Bird deal make sure you have extra supers to place on your hives to give them enough space if you don’t split like I did.

About the protection, I always use a suit and even gloves (Princess gloves from Dollarama) so I can work without worrying about stings. I will occasionally get stung through the glove, but the stinger will stay in the glove and very little venom enters the skin so there is no swelling after. The smoker is really useful especially when you want to put the hive back together and the bees look like they’re “boiling over” the sides. Smoke them, brush them from the sides and place the box on top quickly. This way you don’t squish too many bees.

Depending on the hive’s size and queen age, the bees work in 2 modes. A young queen and a nuc work in “developing mode”. They will work hard to grow comb, raise a lot of brood and gather as much food as possible for a successful winter. In the second and following years, a strong hive or an older queen will work in “multiplying mode”. They will use last fall’s pollen reserves and stored honey to have an early spring fast developing of the colony then little before the main flow, usually in May in my area, they will start to make swarming preparations. You need to check the hives at least once every 10 days at this time. You will have to split the colony or give it plenty of room in both the brood box and in the supers to make them think they are not ready for swarming yet. That is why you will see hives that are taller than a man. The bees will not fill all the supers with honey, but they will try hard to do it. With the Flow frames, the technique will change a bit, since you will drain the honey periodically, but you will still need to add an extra super and have at least 2 brood boxes where you don’t touch the honey.


#15

Hey Gabriel! We are just down street in Warkworth! We are excited to get out Flow Hive early next year! This will be our first try at Beekeeping!

BeeWarkworth!


#16

Nice! I got a Light Kit with Early Bird delivery, so I will get them in June. If you want to see them, come visit me!


#17

Thanks @lisa I check it out, the course I took was organized by the local Bee club over a weekend and was very helpful


#18

Hey Su, we’re close to being neighbours !
So no there will be at least 3 flow hives in the valley!:smiley:


#19

Hi Sabine, I’m in Nanaimo too! I plan to make it out to one of the bee keeping group meetings soon, so far the dates haven’t worked out. Which end of town are you in?
Crystal


#20

Hey @Crystal_Hanson

that’s cool, I’m in South Nanaimo and yes make a point to come to one of the meetings they are very informative and you get to meet a bunch of helpful people.
Also have you been out to Fredricks in Cedar on a Saturday?

Did you also order a FlowHive?