We installed our nuc in April last year and left them to fill the brood box over the winter as they had 2 frames of honey with them. By August we put the super on and by September we were doing our first harvest. It was a fairly mild winter last year and still sufficient flow on. The bees continued to fill the frames up until November when we started to see a decrease in the production of honey. We put it down to being a particularly hot summer and a limited bloom around us.
Sadly though SHB increased over January and our inspections became weekly as we tried to break their cycle. This together with a decrease in bee numbers alerted us to our greatest fear that a local beek confirmed as AFB at the end of February. We were devastated and I'm surprised as to how emotional the process of euthanising our bees was. Subsequently, we have had the flow hive treated at Steritech and are waiting for 8 frames with a new queen that another local beek is supplying us with. Despite their support and countless hours of reading and researching over the past 12 months, it really shook our limited confidence. As a result, I'm doing a beekeeping workshop over 5 weekends in Redlands starting in April.
We're determined to keep going! If you're on Facebook, I can give you the names of a couple of community beekeeper pages that have been very encouraging and helpful - one specifically for Flow Hive owners. Have you been to the local beekeeping meetings yet? They've now got a Flow Hive (although, it's not constructed yet) down at the research facility in Cleveland. I'll be going to the next field day which is on April 9. Send me a message if you're keen to go.
Hopefully all is well with your hive and your bees!