I have a large flower-filled garden and have been contemplating keeping bees for years. I was finally persuaded by a friend who said “Just do it” and the concept of the Flowhive. I’ve done lots of reading, a beginners’ TAFE course and joined our local Beekeepers’ Society. I decided early to get two Flowhives and colonies.
My first colony is in residence. A friend kindly donated a swarm they captured about 6 km from here, and in the two weeks since, they seem to have adopted their new Flowhive 2 brood box and the garden, and have filled the remaining three foundationless frames with a reasonable amount of comb, pollen and a bit of honey. It’s been unseasonably cold here so I’ve only managed one inspection at the 2-week mark on a 25-degree day, but was able to see plenty of larvae, perhaps some eggs (decided I needed glasses for those), and plenty of what I considered fairly grumpy bees (going by bee behaviour in videos, but there is nothing like reality I know!). I moved slowly and gently, tried not to use too much smoke, and really looked for the queen, but no luck despite having a good long look. I decided not to be too ambitious on the first go.
The hive has morning sun, and shade from about 1 pm, but I’ve already realised that I will have to protect it a bit better from morning sun on days when the forecast is 42 degrees (about 15 days in our SA summer). The plan is for a cut-down garden arch covered in 70% shade cloth over the hive (both hives in the end) that doesn’t impede the flight path.
It’s really hard to position a hive perfectly for both summer and winter in our weather - mainly due to the summer extreme heat. I will be reading as much as possible on the forum about other people’s solutions in the other hot states here in Australia (and hot US states too).
I have a great water source - about 400 litres, with pondweed on top, in the shade and not far away, which they are using happily.
Looking forward to reading more of all the extremely useful posts.