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Hive inspection - advice please, Newtown, NSW, Australia


Haha… And you mate!


You have now been initiated but will become a full member when you get a sting in your shorts :smiley: and that hurts. :sob:
Happy new year mate, and same to all on the forum family.:tada:


Ha… Happy to never have to experience that.

Last question… Given this is the bearding during the day now, should I remove the bamboo stick reducing the entrance? Worried the ventilation is compromised.


Go and get a ruler. Measure 15 cm. Reduce the entrance to 15cm and leave it like that all year, bearding or not. 15cm is sufficient for good ventilation, honest! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If the hive gets sun all day, you might want to consider a parasol or a shade “sail” to give them some shade in the afternoon. That can help a lot with bearding due to heat. :blush:


I fitted an insulation board inside all my lids and bearding, which is usually full on this time of year, is minimal. Really surprised at the difference it has made. Bit less daggy than a parasol too. :wink:



Better watch whose parasols you call daggy, Skegs!

Happy New Year from Philly, USA :pretzel::beach_umbrella::fireworks::eagle:


I also fit an insulation board cut to fit the top of inner cover, acts as an cover for centre hole also, the bees propolise it down which stops it separating from cover during inspections.
I also use slatted racks on all my hives, works well in Adelaide hot 40C+ summer, very minimal bearding.:sweat_smile:


I love slatted racks, or salted rats as I believe @skeggley has posted in the past. :smile: Did you make yours, or is there a supplier in Australia?

Slatted rack installation - Newtown NSW

I made them out of WRC using the original design of slats running perpendicular to frames, Not sure about suppliers in Australia.


Very nice job. I think they work brilliantly to reduce bearding and to encourage the queen to lay worker brood all the way to the bottoms of the frames in the lowest box. Is that what you find too?



Yes I find this as well, also the space left at bottom of comb is more uniform in appearance, I use foundation less frames.:rat: salted rats lol


Fab, I’ll try the insulation!! The non-diy guy in me wonders whether that would just hold more heat in from the sun on the sides of the hive.

As for the slatted racks, forgive the stupidity, but where does that go exactly? Would love to give it a try.

Thanks for this! :grin: Will use fly screen on the ends of the entrance to reduce to 15cm.



I’d feel better seeing eggs or young brood. The one frame of brood is older.


I would give as much entrance as available, remove the bamboo stick. You are having heat wave weather and that is your major issue more than anything else at this time of year.


I haven’t seen them in Aussie catalogues or on the net so I doubt they are available here Anthony.


just found one online in the US and will ship to family in New York for them to bring down this month. PErfect timing!


noted. i will definitely be looking for eggs in the next inspection. saw quite a bit of larvae in the first inspection mentioned, but as i was letting the bee expert do the inspection while i watched I didn’t get a chance to look for eggs. He mentioned that he wasn’t looking for them himself.


An expert would have walked you through an inspection at your pace of understanding what you are seeing. with his mistakes he made he has over rated himself to you.
As a thought, in your location it may be worth considering a piece of thin plywood well painted white and adding that on top of the hive. Cut it a good 25cms or more larger than the hive and holding it in place with a brick. That is assuming you have a flat roof on the hive. Sort of as a sun shade, that will make the hive cooler and cut down the bearding.


no such thing as a stupid question. The slatted rack sits on the bottom board with the brood box on top, the entrance is at the end with wide slat and is designed to stop wind on front of combs. As @Dawn_SD noted this allows queen to lay to bottom of combs. It’s a bit like a foyer where workers can hang out with out crowding the passages and over heating combs.


I’ve ordered from Mann Lake! It will arrive with my niece in a couple weeks. Until then, I’m going to make a very basic shade cloth cover with some stakes. Seems to be the simplest and cheapest option.

I have the flow hive gabled roof, so that won’t work. But started the idea process for the shade cover above. Thanks though.

As for the expert… Yes well, he kind of ran through it at his pace and seemed a little nervous. So, not quite at my pace. Lessons learned.