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Hive set up on in Tasmania


New here to Bee Keeping and trying to work out what set up I need for here in Tasmania, Australia.

We have long cold winters, would the one brood box be enough or would I need to get another brood box or a super for honey storage over winter. I have read it is best to remove the flow frames over winter.


Hi and welcome to the Flow forum. We have had another Tasmanian beekeeper here in the past, haven’t seen him for a long while though. I would certainly suggest double brood or “brood and a half” using a Langstroth medium or similar depth box. I prefer not to use multiple frame sizes, so I would go for double deeps.

I think you are absolutely right about removing the Flow frames over winter. Propolis makes a big mess of them. :blush:

Welcome to the forum, lots of reading and good tips and advice to be found here.Regardless of where you are in Tassie a double full depth brood box is best for the bees. If you have a look about you will find everyone has doubles.
As you haven’t got a hive yet the first thing is to decide on either an 8 frame or a 10 frame set-up. There is for and against with both, too much to discuss on the forum but feel free to PM me or anyone else for a 1 on 1 chat.
There is no need to buy a complete Flow Hive as they were designed around the measurements of a Langstroth Hive so if you like the idea of a Flow Hive you can save a lot of cash buy buying the Super and the Flow Frames from Flow and the rest of the hive can be bought from a local bee equipment supplier or on EBay. Beware that there is junk copies of Flow Hives on EBay that are made in China and just rubbish. I have 4 Flow Hives that I bought just the Super and frames for that are Flow Hive and I’m happy with them.
Happy to advise you as you move forward, bee keeping is so interesting it is addictive. :grinning:

It appears, by watching this video that they do use 2 brood boxes in Tasmania. It’s also apparent that varroa is also in Tasmania, if the video is anything to go by. Pause at 1.30 & 5.05.

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I saw it Jeff, I haven’t an answer but it does make me wonder if varroa has snuck in the back door. Looking forward to others in Varroa areas as to what they are seeing. It is something I haven’t seen in any hive before, so I’m looking forward to guys like @Michael_Bush and @Dawn_SD for their opinions of what is on the bee in that clip. Strange it was ignored in the clip with no reference although it is easy to see.

Not so sure @JeffH and @Peter48. It is the right size and colour, but the legs don’t look right for Varroa destructor or jacobsoni. The look like they are on either side of the body, where as on the Varroa I have seen, they are all along the front:

Either way, I don’t like the look of the freeloader on that bee! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Also having recently worked with the media, I know they often use footage from elsewhere. So that may be from a US infested hive! :blush:

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A very valid point Dawn, it might be just stock footage from anywhere that is used in the story. I think if varroa was found in Tasmania alarm bells would be ringing right across Australia like what happened when it was found in a swarm in a shipping container in the port of Townsville. That certainly got in the news here then but there is nothing about it being in Tassie.
Cheers and thanks for your input.

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It is Braula coeca, a wingless fly commonly known as the bee louse.


They are harmless. They are seldom seen anymore anywhere they are poisoning for the Varroa mites because the treatments kill them. After all they are an insect about the size of a Varroa and acaracides are just relabled insecticides.


Exactly what I was thinking about them using footage from elsewhere. I never thought for a minute that varroa was in Tasmania at this point in time. I don’t think a beekeeper had anything to do with the editing of that video. I know I wouldn’t have included those few seconds.


Yes I remember @Dan2 talking about braula fly being in our island state.
To even suggest it being varroa… to jump to this conclusion? Really?
The sky is falling.

I wonder whatever happened to Dan?, last I recall from him he was finding bee keeping hard in Tassie with floods and the cold weather.
I’m not sure anyone said it was varroa in the clip and I for one asked those that might identify what it is and it was well explained I thought by Dawn and Michael.
I wouldn’t be surprised that when Varroa does arrive and gets a foot hold in Australia it will arrive in a minor port with possibly less stringent bio security than in Melbourne and Townsville.