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Hello from Western Australia

Hello. New beekeeper here. I have two Flow Hives which I think I managed well so far. This is going to be my first winter.

I have a question for you experienced beekeepers. There’s a wild storm forecast for tonight and tomorrow and I’m wondering whether I should have prepared or done something to help my bees during the storm. Forecast is for very strong (70km/hr) northerly winds and heavy rains. My hives’ entrances are pointing North.

Sorry if this is a silly question and by the time I see the replies it may be too late anyway. I’m worried my hives may topple in the storm.

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Do you have a brick/rock on top of the roof to help weigh it down? If your hives have honey in them likely that is enough weight to hold them upright just fine. You could put winchable straps around them otherwise but I don’t think 70km is that out of control.

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Hello Buz, your on the right site to get sound advice.
If your hives have a wire mesh floor then any wind driven rain will run thru the mesh so not be a problem.
You should have the hive strapped together so that it is a single unit, in Australia any bee gear shop can sell you an “Em-lock” which is a strap that goes under and over the hive with a cantilever latch on a strap that can be either a plastic or a metal strap. It takes a much stronger wind to blow a strapped hive over.
You could reduce the entrance to cut down too much wind blowing into the hive, especially cold Winter wind, mine are reduced to 10cm width.
Cheers

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I’m in the southwest of W.A and I prepared my hives this way

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Thank you guys

@Peter48 is there anything special with emlocks that makes them particularly good for beehives?

Thanks have an ordinary tie down strap to hold the hive together.

@Tim_Purdie gabled roofs are hard to balance bricks on them. So I did as above looks.

@3jk I see you pegged them down with star pickets. Looks like a good idea.

I have my honey supers on and I think it makes the hives a bit top heavy.

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I just strap the roof down. There should be enough weight in the hive to keep it down and stop it toppling over.

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It only looks top heavy but as the weight is spread over the hive is actually makes it more stable.
Nothing special about an em-lock, I prefer the ones with the poly strap. I use them because they are fast to release and adjust and infinitely adjustable. As @3jk show he uses star pickets and great if you get really strong winds but my limit is about 70 kph and not had an issue just using straps but with that wind speed I have had a couple of roofs blow off on the original Flow Hive Classics that I have, The FH2 has screw in locks built into the roof.
Cheers

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Thanks @fffffred. I glued some wood inside my flow hive lid. Idea was to increase insulation and make it watertight. It also added a lot of weight which helped keeping it secure in the wind.

Thanks @Peter48. Mine don’t have any locks in the roof. Must be a different model.

I went down to the hives this morning and gave them a bit of bump. I agree they are heavy enough to withstand a fair bit of wind. Forecast is 70/hr with gusts of op to 130km/hr.

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The original FH classic relied on gravity to hold the roof down, the FH2 has wing nutted screws under the eaves. one each side 1/2 way along the length that screws in to hold the roof down.
Saw your weather forecast this morning, bugger, you get it today then in 6 days we will get it too.
Fine, sunny 26C with not even a breeze here today, just been out to the hives and they are hypo-active and so calm I put stickies back on the hives and didn’t even light my smoker. A great day to be a bee keeper.
Cheers

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My girls live out in the open on the top of the scarp. I’ve never had the tops blow off and we regularly have 100kph winds summer and winter.

Primarily I think the girls know how to use propolis to bind everything together.

If in doubt… tie em down :wink:

View to the West

View from the top balcony

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You are right on the edge there Terry, the mountain goat hive I have off site from my apiary is on a steep as your place but just enough flat space for the hive, and a toe grip, taken a few slides down to the back fence.
Buz is new to bee keeping and playing it safe. Better to play it that way. I have only had one roof lift off but no idea what the wind speed was.
Cheers

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Hi there @SouthEastScarp thanks for your insights.

I find that my bees are happy to glue the inner cover to the super but never the lid to the inner cover.

I lost the lid once but since I’ve been strapping them.

I found some stretch cords from the hardware store and will be fitting those at some point.

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My property drops off at 70 degrees Pete. At around 520 ft above sea level we can see everything, except the ocean :slight_smile:

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Hi Buz,

I should have said welcome :slight_smile:

I think because the hives are located where they are the girls get the southerlies and westerlies blowing up the slope and as such they glue everything shut which makes it a pain to do checks as cracking the propolis binding everything together is hard work and damages the timber.

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Thanks @SouthEastScarp

My bees don’t usually have access to the lid to propolise it down if I block the hole in the middle of the inner cover. Unless they are smart enough to propolise it from outside.

They look good… I wonder how well they stand up to our sun over time…

Bunnings have over centre latches. Might be overkill… but they’re mechanical in nature.

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Why don’t you let them access the lid?

Activity, building comb up there etc. to me is an indicator that they hive is booming and that I need to actively manage them.

Reading that Terry reminds me of the first day at the mountain goat hive, I had to use a shovel to prize the migratory roof off it. The first inspection in 3 years. It took 2 days to do that inspection and took 3 bucket of broken frames and comb away. Some how the colony survived but I had to get Jeff to help with the hive as they were in out out of control temper, next time I went there a week later they went for me when I was about 25 meters from them. With Jeff’s help we won and did 3 splits and that calmed them down. Done many split of that queens progeny and you couldn’t want for calmer bees since those days.

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Hi @fffffred are you referring to toggle latches? I tried them but they need to align perfectly and my two Flow lids are slightly different and won’t be interchangeable.

Those stretch loops are ‘marine’ grade, UV treated and designed for boat canopies etc. Bunnies also sell extra heavy duty UV treated stretch cord to make your own. I used some to keep my compost bin lids in place and have been in use for several years now.

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I use the roof cavity as an extra layer of insulation that’s why I block it.

I do get a clear indication of bee numbers when I remove the lid and uncover the hole. If the hive is strong a lot of bees come out.

I will unblock it and see whether they glue the lid down.

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