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Flow Hives in the Hawkesbury, NSW


#1

Hi - are there any other Hawkesbury beekeepers here?


#2

Hi - I am one of two that have a Flowhive setup and that I know in the Blue Mountains.


#3

Hi! Nice to ‘meet’ you :slight_smile: I’ve got my flow hive up and running (have been able to harvest honey twice already!!) and am caring for another one that belongs to friends. I go to the Nepean ABA meeting and there are a few members who have flow hives - slowly, slowly :slight_smile: It’s great to see them there, they all just want to learn about bees and beekeeping - the flow hive has created a lot of interest in beekeeping! The Hawkesbury branch also has a few members with Flow hives, and again, everyone is just beginning. Have you had bees long?


#4

Thanks for your reply…

I ordered my flowhive in March 2015 and received my first one in Dec 2015. This one flowhive i promised my brother who has 28 hives in the conventional way, with the prospect of maybe converting him…no such luck so far.
I help him occasionally as he lives in Murrays Beach near Swansea and good 3 hour drive for me. He recently harvested 800kg of honey, which believe me is a lot of work.
I ordered 16 more flowhive frames in June this year and build my own 2 supers. In the 2nd week of Oct I received my bees and wanted to start with one hive only. I set up the brood box with 8 frame and used the sugar mixture to get them started. The brood box at the end of Nov was 80% full and that is when I decided to place the flowhive super on top. This flowhive super I coated with bee wax just like rubbing it on a surf board and with a few days the bees started to close the gaps in the flowhive frames. I have not disturbed them at this stage and look through the side and rear windows of the super and see heaps of activity.

Regards,
Hendo1944


#5

That’s great - this beekeeping hobby is so fascinating!! Yes the standard beehives are a lot of work when it comes time to extract the honey. My friends have 12 hives and I’ve helped out a few times when it was time to extract - a lot of disruption for the bees, and a lot of work for the humans! That 800 kilos your brother worked on must have taken him days!!
Your bees must be busy working in the flow frames now - it’s so much fun watching them fill the cells with honey :slight_smile:


#6

Hi Hendo1944 :slight_smile: I’m in Katoomba with a flow hive (my blog - beekeepinginkatoomba.com has my journey so far). Hope your bees are doing ok in this heat.

Katie


#7

Hi Katie,

Thank you for sending me information about your experience with the flow hive and your first honey extraction.
One of my hives has the same smell of honey and I know what you are talking about…fantastic aroma.
The inspection window shows me that the bees are very busy in filling the cells with honey, but at the extraction window I am not seeing any honey, so I presume it is not time to rob some honey.
Only a few days ago it checked the brood box and removed some full frames of honey and replaced them with empty ones to give them some room. As it has been very hot here in Lawson…I have decided to leave them alone before the next inspection.

My second hive is only new and this is where I placed the full frames from my older hive to give the new hive a good start.
I will be placing the flow super on this later this month.

Please do keep in touch as I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

Regards
John Hendriks
hendriks1944@gmail.com


#8

Thanks John for your reply. I am definitely wanting to set up a second hive. I have an empty langstroth hive sitting there waiting for bees. Where did you source your’s from? I think I should probably wait until spring and buy a nuc to start second colony. The thing I have realised about a single Flow Frame hive is that you don’t have as much flexibility in swapping frames around as you would with two standard hives. Im also thinking of getting one of the hybrid flow boxes and put both flow frames and normal frames to allow for that flexibility.

Katie


#9

I have a flow hive at Bar Point it has been working now for over 12 months and I will be splitting the hive in August. It is very strong hive producing lots of honey in the warmer months a bit quieter now though. I have two brood boxes and obtained the swarm from a friend who caught it and put a new queen for me and bought up the river on my boat! It was an exciting day. They settled in very quickly and we have harvested about 70kgs since it was set up in March last year. After the split I think I will have two flow hives but that discussion is still proceeding so there will be a lot more honey!

I am going to try and build the ant moat this weekend so I will see how that goes

Mac


#10

Hi,
we have a flow hive near Wisemans Ferry along the Hawkesbury. we set it up late Dec and so far not harvested any honey, the super is not yet 100% full so leaving it over winter to make sure the hive has enough food. We are hoping to harvest early Spring. We had a lot of trouble with small hive beetle and little black ants, got an oil trap for the SHB and built a metal stand that sits in buckets of oil for the ants, so hive is strong now the pests are under control. The girls are working the wattles now, coming back to the hive with bright yellow pollen pants.


#11

The legs of your hive stand look sci fi impressive. But probably work, main thing. Next to AFB, which we don’t have any control over, SHB sure is the next worst thing to get to us.


#12

I have put on a new roof and stand so I can revive the old one. Also I have installed ant moats and filled them with baby oil to keep out medium sized ants that were living in the roof. Cinnamon also keeps them away from the roof.
Mac