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Flow 2 Inner West, Sydney

The hive and bees have just gotten started this week and already very busy with heavy pollen sacs and lots of activity building out the remaining frames in the brood box.

Would love to meet other Sydney Inner West Flow owners.

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Welcome to the forum Robert, there is lots of friendly folk here and happy to give advise. It will be interesting as to how successful bee keeping is in Newtown, my memory of it is 40 years ago and it has now become a residential suburb from what I hear. Back then the air quality was pretty bad and not a place to find a bee.
Looking forward to an update from you.


thanks Peter. There are a few hives around. i know that there is a commercial operation with hives on top the Marlborough Hotel which have already produced well. As for my guys, they’ve been busily returning with full pollen baskets and i assume nectar from the 100s of jacaranda and flowering natives throughout the university of Sydney.

The honey remains to be seen, but they seem quite busy from daybreak, well before the sun fully rises there were some returning already with lots of pollen.


Thanks for the photos Robert. It is good to hear that the inner city is becoming bee friendly. If you have pollen coming in you can assume the bees are also foraging for nectar. Great to see you doing your bit for the bees and the environment.

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that was a question actually, i see hundreds of them coming in with pollen and more heading out right through till sundown. I have been hoping that if they have pollen baskets full, they also have nectar. so, thanks for that.

The same bee will not carry both pollen and nectar. They pick one or the other for foraging. Fascinating bee facts. :blush: So while your hope is reasonable, it may not always be the case.

A related fascinating fact - a bee carrying pollen takes it to the cell she wants in the hive, and puts the pollen pellet into the cell in the comb herself. A bee carrying nectar hands the nectar load off to a house bee near the entrance, then goes off for the the next load. Amazing creatures we have around us! :wink:


Ah ok!! I thought that might be the case given so many bees were flying back and straight in without pollen baskets at all.

Fascinating. I’m now constantly late for everything coz i can’t stop watching them.


Hi Roptate, have you seen any Small Hive Beetle (SHB) yet? I am in Lilyfield and my hive is 10 days old and I have found 4 beetles so far. Otherwise I think my crew are going well too. Lots of yellow legs.


not yet, but its only been about 4 days! very fresh. Did yours come in with the nuc maybe?

you’re very close, newbie too?

Hiya Ropate, just to reiterate, just because pollen is coming in doesn’t mean nectar is, I got caught out by this a few years back and nearly lost the colony. Inspections and hefting (lifting) the hive and feeling weight are good indicators. A dry hive is remarkably light and a full hive is remarkably heavy!

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Hi Robert,

I notice you have your Flow Super on your hive already. You mentioned that you started this week? I’m assuming with a nuc or package?
You will need to let your bees build up in your brood box before you add the Flow Super.
Let us know :slight_smile:

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As has been said a bee will either forage for pollen or for nectar but not both. As there is pollen coming in you can assume there is nectar available in the flowers but not necessarily enough to give enough excess to store in the cells for capping as honey. You will only know that when you do a hive inspection.
I agree with Faroe in that the normal practice is to build up a hive till it is very strong as a brood box hive on its own and when there frames are in almost maximum capacity of use for brood, pollen and honey you then add the Flow Super so if you can remove it now and shake off the bees I would remove the super until it is needed.
That will also lessen the attack of SHB which is a part of bee keeping. The extra room makes it hard for a new building colony to defend against a SHB attack. Take it as a given that you will see a few SHB in the hive but if the numbers are low the bees will control that situation. When you see one you can help the bees out by squashing the SHB. When you do an inspection check the slide out board for them as well, they are a small dark brown black circular insect. Remove any squashed or dead bees where the SHB will lay eggs.
No question is stupid if you don’t already know the answer or unable to find it in the forum already. We are happy to pass on our information to a new bee keeper.
Cheers Robert.

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thanks Faroe, yes the mentor/bee supplier delivered the established brood from one of his hives with 6 very busy frames containing lots of brood, honey and quite a number of bees. and 2 fresh new frames for them to build out.

He said, given the size of the colony it was good to go with the flow and we set it up -> brood transfer here -> https://youtu.be/JWB_o1Ka6aE

Do you think i should take it off then until its even more established? i’ll do a hive inspection this weekend to assess if the 2 new frames are built out and to check it all out overall.

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ok noted. i might have to wait for the weekend to get to this unless i manage it one of the evenings this week. but as mentioned above, the frames aren’t anywhere near max as 2 were still new and without comb. the other 4 were full of pollen/brood/honey bar one which was half capped with honey.

I’ll remove the super on the weekend and report back. Thanks for spotting it and pointing it out @Faroe and @Peter48

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This was exactly my point in the earlier post. You cannot assume. Not all flowers provide nectar.

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Hi Skegs, your idea could be right in a single flowering location, but in this case he isn’t, and given that he has Jacaranda’s in flower close by then as I said, he can assume he has some nectar flow.
I have Jacaranda in flower here and bees are working it for nectar, for some reason they are not gathering from them for pollen, maybe it is that the hives have enough but I noticed today there are bees bringing in some very white pollen, but not much. I don’t know the source of the white pollen, maybe from Gum Trees, there are some in flower.

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slight problem @Peter48 and @Faroe - checked this AM and one of the middle flow frames (which was an older frame that my mentor gave me to start them off) was being worked on and is about 15-20% capped with lots of honey in other cells. And the 2 beside it were having the cells completed.

I moved it to the side so i could observe through the window.
20181129_083816 20181129_083821

Should i still remove the super? Also, should i not have moved it?

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Maybe the colony is bigger in numbers than I was thinking. As the girls are now working in the Flow Super leave it on now. There is no issues from me about moving the Super frame to the outside against the window.
I go against the majority of thinking in that I look at each frame by taking it out of the super a day or two before I plan to extract the honey so that I am certain that the frame is 95% capped, this eliminates any concern of taking honey that may ferment and spoil. I accept that goes against what a few will say but I have had one side of a frame capped and the other side about 40% with honey and not a lot capped.
Yes, it disturbs the bees by removing and checking the frames but I regard that as a small price to pay. After a couple of days the bees will have calmed down and a normal extraction, as in Flow Super, can happen normally.


Thanks for the quick response

ok, noted. will do a full hive inspection on the weekend and see how they’re going with the 2 new/empty frames in the brood box.

great, i realised after moving it that they may hve been used to it being where it was. Interesting this is, the frame was about 20% capped when the bees were delivered but they removed it all and must have taken it down into the brood. But now they have refilled and capped with fresh honey.

All of a sudden… There are loads of bees outside the hive. Is it all those brood cells hatched, is it the sun, or is there something wrong? Video here

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