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Hi from Australia


Hi from the Pilliga just north of Coonabarabran.

Total newbie here on 700 acres of bush, as part of 1 million wild acres around us. Great to see so many Australians here.

I do have a dumb question (the first of many I will ask i am sure!)

The full kits come in December - but hive building happens in Spring - do we have to wait almost a full year to populate it - or will they still take up a new home but just not be as productive?

If they won’t then what would you suggest for 8 months with a hive but no bees? :wink:


It’s not a dumb question Allison. I am discovering just how complex bee keeping is. We need to set up appropriate homes for bees but then we need to get bees to live in them. My original plan was to encourage bees from an old dead tree on my place only to discover the bees had already departed. I needed a plan B. I ordered a “nuc”. This is a little box of bees complete with a laying queen. It’s coming in Spring so I need to have built my hive by then. I’m into woodwork so am building it myself.

Just in case plan B doesn’t work out I’m also planning to build a few cheap trap hives out of polystyrene boxes. I will set these up in strategic locations in a few of the trees on my 2ha property at Mullumbimby.

By the time my flow hive turns up in December I plan to have my first hive established.

Hope this helps. Please remember I am a total novice at this game.

I expect Pilliga would be a great place for keeping bees. I went to school in a place with similar vegetation to the Pilliga. It was called Terry Hie Hie and my Dad was the schoolteacher. The village was at the edge of a large cypress pine and iron bark forest, similar to the Pilliga. Iron bark honey would be one of my favourites.


Work towards getting a Nuc of bees and keeping them till your hive arrives or at least ask your beekeeper supplies to hold onto them till December if this is possible. Really depends on the supplier but you really don’t want to wait another year to get your bees.


Hi All, I am a mixed farmer, fruit and vegetable grower, geochemist and
beekeeper with about 300 hive. I have been keeping bees since I was
about 5 yo. I’m live in that Central Tablelands of NSW.


Hi S’master, looks like your on a good spot for bees. I’m not all that far north of you at Buderim. If your bees do as good there as they do here, you’ll have a strong hive going by the time your parcel arrives. Beekeeping is not as hard as people make it out to be. The main thing is to understand bee culture & when you apply bee culture to beekeeping, everything falls into place. I’m not very academic, but I love science & how things work in nature, I recently learned about Fibonacci numbers in nature. That’s all very interesting. If you follow the family tree of a drone, the number of the participants at each level is the same numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. If you count the drone as 1, the queen he came from as the second 1, then that queen had a drone & queen, so that’s 2, & so on. Another thing that might interest you is a video on youtube, the title is “hornets from hell” it shows how the bees (Japanese honeybees) are able to elevate the temperature to 117deg.F in order to roast alive a Giant Japanese Hornet scout. The upper limit of the honeybees is 118degF. The upper limit of the Giant Japanese Hornet is 115degF.


Welcome Dougal, we would love to hear from your wealth of experience in the group, that is, when you’re not out on the tractor.


California chiming in!
My husband and I ordered our first bee hive ever, a FlowHive from the other side of the globe! Is that a little crazy? Probably… (Wondering if there are any other FlowHives in California?)
We have an acre in the hot and sunny Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Angeles/Malibu area, serious drought and not very green… FlowHive delivery is scheduled for February, 2016 and we’ll need all the advise we can get! Reading and researching like as if we were expecting a newborn.


Gooday topangaBees ,
Hi its the captain from down under ,
For what its worth , from the other side of the world , join YOUR local bee club . They will be up with the local info and down here IN Australia , there is a wealth of knowledge freely given . The bee world is fraternal crossing the globe with advice and knowledge . Although climate and situation is critical , you will find useful ideas from everywhere and 10 x different ideas on the same issue all work , it is up to you to work out what is the best way . Develop your own style and you will find lots of people agreeing with you while others " skin their cats " differently . Try internet connections (Michael Bush ) is one of my favourite’s and one day I would like to do a course on his ranch . Club ,guest speakers also a bee book library are great . A clubs social side may also be good for some , they generally have a mentor program ; this is invaluable as you can get instant insights to your situations .
Be careful about the temptation of going second hand on equipment , disease is possible and you may not recognise what you have till it costs you .
Get a nuke now and build it in readiness to you getting your flow that way you are ahead and learning now . Hope you get this , sorry it is late to your posting _ see you later ??


Thank you David_Smith for your advice. I’ll be sure to join a beekeeping club here in LA, and to check out Michael Bush! I’m still worried that there’s very few people here in CA who have seen a FlowHive, and that it’ll be met with skepticism and disregard…
Well, time will tell!


Hello from Minyip, North West Victoria. Newbie as well. Would like to know of any groups or mentors in the area.


Hi Topanga,

I keep bees in Los Angeles too. How many hives are you getting?



Waiting for my FlowHive to arrive in February of 2016. Do you have a FlowHive, or a regular hive?


Hi I am from Wollongong and have had 2 double hives registered for 10 years sitting in the chook yard up the back and they have supplied honey for my family friends and neighbours and more for this time. I don’t sell it as I really enjoy every thing to do with my bees even the stings.


How do the chooks cope with the bees?


Hi and thanks for the question, at the very first the chooks “usually 8” would run past the hives entrances but within a week they ignored the bees and vise versa and were scratching right in front of the hive they also clean up anything the bees discard from the hive. They do not try to catch and eat the bees which is understandable and they both supply me with a fantastic product for which I appreciate also I have my hives x “2” approximately 12inches high off the ground


One of me bee yards has chooks ducks and guinea fowl running free. I like to think they eat up all the hive beetle larve. I’m sure it helps.


Hello from South Morang

New to beekeeping, have my nuc courtesy of The Bunyip Beekeeper, and have the flow hive ready to rock and roll. Will be moving the bees into the brood box later this week, and hopefully the flow hive a little later on once all the frames in the brood box are full.

Love sitting right near the bees with my morning coffee, find the buzzing of bees really calming!



Hi Topanga Bees ,
its the Captain from down under again , I bet you are getting excited about getting your hive soon . On a pro -active note , you could explore " your floral calendar " , Floral abundance is considered important in bee keeping , So is continuous flowering throught the year . There is little chance that all bee friendly plants in your climate zone are planted in your bee foraging range around your hive . You can build a floral sequence matrix for your location with any gaps in the calendar year or infills to bolster sequential floral sequence . That being said , a fixed apiary of one or two hives in a domestic garden setting is usually well satisfied from local flowers and fauna .
The plant mix is critical however while the majority of domestic gardens on mass supporting multiple hives . Scope your area and swap plants at your local club. Most shrubs and plants can be struck or grown from your own seed . Swap seeds with other bee enthusiasts and you will quickly fill any gaps at little cost to you other than time .! There are books , websites and lots of information about , but I like to grow medicinal herbs well suited to my area . Rosemary , sages , lavenders , even the humble rose have great visual appeal , produce great honey and you can eat them too . A win/win/win solution . Cost bugger all to produce and make great presents for the neighbors - that keep giving back to you with increased bee forage areas . Local councils and government agencies can be lobbied to plant bee friendly trees and undercovers , and that only costs you your time to organize with the appropriate people .
Hope you have a great bee experience - Cheers from down under .


Hi all, Bronwyn and Will from Canberra here. Had our Flow Hive arrive recently and we are excited to embark on the beekeeping journey. Complete newbies, the both of us, although we’ve hosted someone else’s beehive in our backyard for about a year and have watched him maintain it when his visits and our being at home have coincided. Still a lot to learn, though :slight_smile: Have also joined www.keepingbackyardbees.com which, although based in the US seems to have a huge amount of information on starting up with and keeping bees.


Hi from Winmalee in The Blue Mtns, west of Sydney. I am also a novice to beekeeping. Just last month, a friend got me hooked on stingless native bees. Got a hive and they are very addictive but virtually no hands on needed at this early stage. I’m taken hook, line & sinker now with my winged friends and have ordered a complete cedar flow hive which is not due to arrive until April (bummer).

In the meantime, I am overindulging myself with learning information from the net, will want to join my local bee association if my work commitments allow. Considering also building myself a TBH hive and have it stand beside my Flow Hive on my 3/4 acre block.

I think that this bee addiction is my midlife crisis, if so, BRING IT ON !.