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Hi from Australia


Hi Eric and welcome to the forum,

I still very much a novice myself but I know so much more that when I started beekeeping less than a year ago.

Your first priority is likely to be learning about beekeeping but you will want to get your hives started just as soon as you can. Depending on where you live in WA, that could be now if you’re in the tropical North or nearer the start of Spring if you are further south. The best advice is probably to source your bees locally so you will want to track down local suppliers, I’ve found local commercial beekeepers will usually let you know where to source your bees. I would suggest buying a 4 or preferably 5 frame nuc to start off with. Source your bees from within your state to avoid high state inspection costs. WA may even prohibit bringing in bees from interstate.


Hi Eric, you may need look a bit more deeply into your natural bush block and the floral sources surrounding it. Like us, bees need food year round, and some areas may supply this while others will supply food (nectar & pollen) only at certain times of the year. This is why bees store there food and it is this surplus that we as humans take from them. In Australia, outside the urban zones, beekeepers are mostly migratory due to the nature of eucalypts and other natives not flowering at regular times. I would suggest that if you live in a town or urban centre that you start your beekeeping venture there, there is less reliance on understanding nectar and pollen sources so you can concentrate on managing your colony.
As for the Flow hive, I have had a great success with it, it has produced some of the best honey I have seen and regularly sell out at the markets each month. My hives are all within an urban environment bordering national parks so the bees get the best of both worlds.


Thanks for the tip. I have a few acres and all my neighbors have the same so hopefully there will be a good supply of food all year. It would probably be an idea for me to supplement their supply by planting additional sources and ensure pollen and nectar are available all year round on my block. Can you recommend any references to identify what is best to plant?


Thanks sciencemaster (cool name). I have seeked out a Perth based apiarist society so hope to learn via osmosis by attending some meetings and seminars. I’m not far out of the Perth CBD so early spring sounds like the aim, which is only a few months away so should look at setting up a hive / or two? I have an old paperbark tree which has had a hive in it for quite a few years now, do you know if this will have any effect on establishing the new hives which I plan to set up 50 meters away from it?


Hi EricNewbee. Thanks for the “cool name” tag. I taught high school science for over 30 years and that’s where the name came from.

Near where my bees are located was a Wild colony in a big camphor laurel tree. The tree was poisoned to allow rainforest regeneration and eventually the colony died out. I had no idea at the time about trapouts and such and the camphor tree was both inaccessible and more than a little dangerous as it rotted away.

OK, what does this have to do with your paperbark tree bee colony?

When I installed my very first box of bees in their brand new hive, Small hive beetles started appearing within minutes. These critters can smell a beehive from many kilometers away but they’re not super fast fliers. I’m pretty sure they came from the old wild colony. I expect the colony in your paperbark will have their own little ecosystem of pests too. You will want to be vigilant with your hive hygiene. Small hive beetle (SHB) shouldn’t be a problem though because I don’t think it’s found its way to where you live.


This publication is excellent for Australia and contains specific flowering times, nectar and pollen guides, and it is free to download.



Hey there, I’m a new beek based in NZ. I’ve just caught a swarm 2 wks ago and spilt my chicken land so they wouldn’t bother the bees. Do they leave each other alone ? Cheers Belinda


Hi Belinda, Bees and Chickens compliment each other, I have not had any issues with the chickens around the hives, and as an added bonus they will eat the dead bees and any rubbish tossed out of the hive and leave the living bees alone.


My chooks are just a few metres away from my little apiary. They’re fenced off with 1.8m high mesh and they don’t cause any problems to each other. One of my mates has his flow hive installed inside his chook run. The hive sits on a bench about 900mm high. He doesn’t have problems with the interactions either.


Thanks guys. I have a high wire fence to keep the Tooks on their side and a mid height wood panel to keep the bees flight path above the birds and clear of us moving around. Everyone ignoring each other so far. Trying to ad a photo but…



I used to let my chooks out each morning to forage around the yard and beehives, they are excellent at cleaning up all the spiders and chasing away the bearded dragons that snack on bees all day. The problem with chooks is they just cannot help themselves and will dig all day, kicking & scraping the dirt from underneath plants trees and unfortunately beehives too… won’t take long before that hive in the chook pen starts to take on a lean and then one day it will be all over the ground… I can see it now. Bless those darn chooks! :smiling_imp:


Hey Rodderick, yes I don’t trust my Tooks to leave anything smaller alone, And they can be expert under miners …! My hubby put the net fence up and I put the wooden one to keep the bees high. Works so far.


I am a novice in Sydney NSW. In January this year and in October tapped 25 kg. I Split the hive and also started another new hive with new bees in October. Both new hives are now starting to put honey in their suppers.
My original hive I put a new brood box on to stop swarming and the bees have nearly finishing capping all the frames in the supper. I expect to take the honey in the new year. My novice advice is to be patient as this is all I have done.


I want honey in my supper too!! Crispy honey shrimp/prawns, honey roast pork loin, honey goat cheese balls. Yummy!!! :slight_smile:


Sorry Dawn. Funny. Should have watched spell check. Thought this forum was to help people not sarcasm


Not sarcasm, just humour. :wink:


If you didn’t get to do hive inspections and check for pests like SHB, then you are lucky as well as funny suttonivy. I would have thought you would have needed to implement some kind of SHB control in Sydney.


Hi All, another Aussie here (well, Kiwi, but that’s another story). Based in Bonbeach, Melbourne - have had the girls in since November last year and they’re doing well so far! Flow Super just went on this week :slight_smile:


Well I could see the humour in that. Sarcasm? No. I think Dawn goes above and beyond helping people on this forum and is a fantastic asset even if she is a pommie yank.