Hello from Perth. I am currently in the city but am shifting back to my small farm soon and am keen to keep some bees. I did a bee course at TAFE about 15 years ago and have forgotten everything I learned, so its all brand new again. Starting from scratch. I would never have taken it up again had I not seen the Flow Hive system. I consider this a great opportunity to help keep bees safe (I hope) and get lovely fresh honey all at the same time. I have got a lot to learn so I will learn from all of you. Thanks for all your great comments in the topics.
Welcome to the forum. I am in Toodyay but quite a few on here from all parts of WA.
Most are newbees so can learn from each other . I completed a one day course last month which was good but like anything it takes practice.
Hi Colin We are neighbours as our small farm is behind Culham. Where did you do your one day course please as I need to re-learn. Really have forgotten the course I did at TAFE. Have not bought my hives yet. Good to see others from Toodyay here.
I’m a newbie based in Ballajura and just got my hives 3 months ago. Never in a million years did I thought about being beekeeper but soon got interested after my daughter showed me the flow hive system! Then I attended an introductory talk about beekeeping at our local library and I was hooked!
I attended a beginners’ course run by WA Apiarist Society (WAAS) in August before I had any hives. Have a bee buddy that lives 30 mins away and it has been a great adventure ever since!
We are at Coondle so not far . The course was conducted by WAAS and held at the Ag Dept.
If you want to call me I can give you more details.0439 255 665
Hi! Great to see you’ve joined us here!
This local thread for Perth might also be of interest…
Not much going on here in the hills. I was speaking to a supplier when I was picking up another hive body and he said that it has been very lean so far for the commercial guys, he told me of one beek that had to move his hives 3 times in a month which was apparently unheard of. Last year was lean but 2014 was a cracker.
The bees here were capping honey a month ago however those combs are now empty. I’m noticing more trees flowering now so I hope it starts cranking up soon.
I am beginning to wonder if there are too many colonys in the area to get a honey crop…
Being a newbeek myself I’m not sure what to expect but it’s not what I was expecting for sure.
Fortunately I have much patience so I’m learning from these times but I don’t really want to feed at this time of year.
Honey or not my aim is to get them through this summer to recoup some of my investment it would be nice to not have to purchase honey…
My name is John and i am a newbie as well, I have a property in Balingup 3hrs south of Perth.
I live in Perth but travell down to the property every 2 / 3 weeks
I also attended the beginners course run by WAAS in August before i got my bees.
I have one Flow Hive at the moment and hoping to have another one early in the New Year,
Only had the bees for a month so early days, look forward to Bee-informed from all of you.
We are struggling up in the hills too. There are only 2 trees on our 12 acres in bloom, though the rest of the white gum have had buds for over 2 weeks now but no blossom yet. This is our first year keeping track of blossom but I think the cold spring shifted the flowering and our bees are in a bit of a dry spell as the bottle brush and cape weed have finished. Did an inspection on the weekend and all hives seem to have less bees and a lot less nectar/ honey compared to 2 weeks ago. A couple worried me so much I have actually started feeding syrup & one hive took over 2l in 2 days. Hopefully in a week or two when all the blossoms come out they will flourish. There are a lot of feral hives on our block that have lived here for years, so I don’t think we are overpopulated in general, just under flowered this year. We’ll do some mass planting in autumn/spring to try and fill in any potential gaps so this doesn’t happen again!
My hive is going ok. Not great, but ok. The 3 frames I robbed about 3wks ago about 40% full again. The 5 frames I robbed 2wks ago…empty.
If you are looking to plant out your land I’d suggest a few winter flowering bottlebrushes and also a native vine (Kennedia Nigracans) if you’ve got anything capable of not being overwhelmed by it.
I would also recommend these website for native Australian plants:
Gday my friends call me Rod (nickname). I live NOR round the Balcatta/stirling area and im also new to keeping bees.
I purchased bees from a nice chap in Wanneroo who also gives me advice etc when i need it.My bees are going great guns as we have a variety of established trees and plants round the area.
They have been with me since mid October. Brood box is full so i put a 2nd super on with the queen excluder tween them prior to leaving for a trip during November. I checked last week and the bees were 20/30% thru fill filling the 2nd super. Perhaps by the end of December, i can put the Flow hive on top and perhaps draw some honey thereafter. Ill draw most of my honey from the flowhive and perhaps a couple of frames from the middle box.
That way the bees have plenty of stores if they require it. I hope thats ok by u all, perhaps more experienced folk can chime in
Anyways welcome aboard and perhaps ill see u at the next Apiarist society meeting in Feb
They are good links.
When we were first starting to plant out back in the 1980’s we visited George Lulfiitz’s nursery in Wanneroo. Excellent nursery but we found his guidelines were far too restrictive. He would not grow or sell anything which was not native to South West WA. Very passionate and friendly to talk to but native plants meant native to the area West of a line about Geraldton to Kalgoorlie to Esperance.
We wanted much more diversity like the 3 varieties of blue gum, the iron barks and the box’s and many other species. Mind you we still grow a lot of WA plants In the end we raised all our trees from seed and still do a few most years to fill in the gaps.
One of the best books you can own or borrow from the library is
"Grow What Where" Published by Nelson and produced by the Australian Plant Study Group.
If you are interested in planting native trees and shrubs… get this book, you will not be sorry.
Thanks. Never heard of that book but will certainly look it up. I agree that they are focussed on the Sth West pocket - Gero to Esperance. This being said, it likely one reason my garden tends to thrive
Zanthorrea are also a good native nursery with a wider variety of native plants, but I find their advice to be too generous with regards to fertilising requirements. I’ve also found Lena Nursery along Wanneroo Rd is pretty good for ordering in plants (special orders), especially native Australian trees.
I totally agree with your endorsements of Zanthorrea and Lena. Don’t get to them very often now.
With our children not studying in Perth any more, our travel to Perth is very spasmodic and infrequent.
I’m a Hills beekeeper too.
Yes this winter/Spring has been hard on the bees up here…quite different to the flats/metro area.
My bees are picking up a bit now.However the early Jarrah is still only yielding pollen with a bare trickle of nectar. That is a fairly common experience in the past and should change for the better in a week or so. My Flow hive however is still struggling to wax in the gaps in the Flow frames! I am even considering a syrup feed now to boost that before the Jarrah flow begins in earnest. I am anticipating that once the redgum starts in ~ late January things will be very different!
Thanks for that.
We are mostly Marri and white gum. Strangely all the white gum na have had buds on for the last few weeks, but only 1 is flowering still.
I offered all hives syrup and 2 wolfed it down while the two strongest refused to take any, so must be getting what they need elsewhere.
All hives are looking a bit more active this week, though still quite slow. One is finally actively working the flow hive, waxing up the gaps and one has still not (and has drawn out 7 out of 8 frames), but I think it will just take time.
Hopefully after Christmas the Marri will flower and all will be good. Great to know this is pretty standard for this time of the year - should allow us to plan what to plant for next year.
My Flowhive is being shipped this week: I’m so excited!
I’ve never kept bees myself, but my dad has kept a hive in Claremont, my sister in Gidgegannup, and my mum in Margaret River, so I figure I will have plenty of support.
We are in West Leederville, and have lots of flowering trees all around us, and well-watered gardens, so I’m not anticipating the troubles with winter/spring mentioned in recent posts in this thread.
I will chat to dad before deciding where to put my hive, and whether to buy a swarm or just wait for some locals to move in (they seem to like our neighbour’s tree every year!)
Hi Sue, welcome to the forum. Sounds like your family will be really helpful with your new hobby.
You should have a productive hive down there, the urban beeks seem to do very well and have a long season.
I’m not sure the availability for a well bred queen in Perth at the moment but have seen some complete hives and nucs at reasonable prices on Gumtree.
If you do choose to go down the Gumtree path make sure you take someone who knows their bees with you, there are some shonky suppliers out there preying on newbees.
Anyway good luck and keep us informed of your progress.
Thanks for the warning - I wondered about just setting up the hive and waiting: the bees go berserk in the big tree in our front yard every year: it sounds like a whole swarm, but I think it’s just the massive amount of flowers on our tree… After watching the Queensland video (was that JeffH?) of the swarm that settled in his pile of boxes, I wondered if it was worth giving fate a chance…?
I’ll be discussing my ideas with dad on Saturday, but he doesn’t know I’ve got a hive yet… I think he misses having bees since moving to the apartment…
I have been waiting to buy my first hive and am still saving. At the moment I have two sets of bees who have set up house in my backyard. I would love to get my hive to see if if one of them would consider moving into it. I was wondering about the queen and if I would have to get a new one. I am a total newbie having forgotten everything I learn’t at a bee course long ago. What is the name of the video from JeffH please so I can watch it?
I am currently in the southern suburbs but will be shifting my hive (once I get it) to our farm.
Thanks for the warning to skeggly about Gumtree. I am probably too trusting. You are lucky to have your dad to help.
Best of luck Sue with your “new” hobby!