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Honey flow South East QLD


He needs to do the maths, a swarm leaving the hive means less bees and so less honey collected. It isn’t rocket science but it seems to go over the heads of some.

Got the honey into jars today and more than happy with the color and taste. Using the new decapper has given the lighter color, a good result I think.
Cheers mate


That’s a great result Peter.

The bloke relates bearding to swarming because he got bearding last July. He phoned me about it, I told him it wasn’t on account of heat, that they must be getting ready to swarm. He decided not to get me to do an inspection. He went on holidays, that was when they swarmed into next door. He’s friendly with the people, they must have communicated on skype or something. He told the people to phone me. Anyway I caught the swarm. I never heard anything for 2 months, that was when they were bearding again. He got me to do a check, sure enough, they were preparing to swarm again.

I can fully understand why he relates bearding to swarming at this point in time. He’ll have to learn the hard way that swarming can occur without bearding.


It seems he is lacking in the gray matter between his ears. July is probably our coldest month and he thought the bees were bearding because of the heat WOW, he needs a dose of reality. :grinning: Some people are hard to help.
I did a split of the last hive I got, there was about 50% stores in the super, both pollen and honey and the hive was bursting at the seams with bees. I took half the brood taking each 2nd frame and half the super to the outer positions of the brood boxes and will look for which hive has made queen cells on the next warm day.

Cheers mate


I think from memory that he told me about the bearding. I think he might have researched bearding before he phoned me, I’m not sure. Anyway I remember telling him that we can rule heat out, that it must be on account of getting ready to swarm.

As far as his flow hive is concerned, he’s had a dream run. He probably got my best ever queen to start with. He got a lot of honey in the 7 months before they swarmed. The swarm got removed without any hassles. The hive only issued a primary swarm. It was back to swarming strength in 2 months & produced more honey by then. He got me to do the split which allowed him to harvest a heap more honey up until now. Going by how strong the hive was last week, I’m really surprised that it didn’t swarm before winter. So his dream run continues. He hasn’t had any flooding issues. I guess he’s asking “how easy is this? I’ll get a second hive & I’ll get Jeff to come around whenever I see bearding”.


Sounds like you need to start charging double for those visits. :smiling_imp:


Hi Dawn, my first payment was the split in lieu for service. I’ll charge him hourly rates this time round, we’ll work it out when he gets his split back. I guess I’ll have to make sure his new queen is mated first.

When I talked about his “dream run”, it was soured a bit last week with all the stings he copped. Apart from that he has had a dream run.

If he’s using “bearding” as a guide as to whether a colony is getting ready to swarm or not, he mustn’t have noticed any bearding during the hot summer. That would be testament in favor of spacing the frames, as I do. He has a solid floor because the core flute is in the top slot & well & truly propolized in.


A word of warning about the coreflute staying in the top position and getting propolised in - it still allows access to wax moth and possibly other pests as well and the bees cannot clean it up. My coreflute was disgustingly dirty and riddled with webs etc and gluey muck when I dismantled the hive to get at it.


This bloke’s dream run continues. I checked on his split today, which would be 23 days after doing the split. I saw his beautiful new queen on beautiful brood that would be only a couple of days away from getting capped. They filled out the 10 frame brood box. I had to replace 2 frames that were half full of honey with fresh foundation to give them work to do before the weekend.

I wonder if he has his 7 frame flow super ready yet. I’ll have to phone him


With the bumper season you are currently experiencing how’s your gifted Flow super going Jeff?


I have a similar situation with a split making a new queen about a week later. The brood box is nearly full. I’ll wait until I get the second super half full of bees before I swap it for the flow super. That wont be far away.

That bloke didn’t return my call last night. If he’s not ready to receive his split back yet, I’ll use it as a feeder hive in the mean time.

PS. a different person dropped off a flow hive for me to put bees in last night. It came with a bamboo looking QX


Uh oh. Fake “Flow hive” alert! :hushed: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Hi Dawn, the bamboo QX was a dead giveaway. Their first flow hive was the real thing. They were so excited with their recent first harvest, they decided to get a second flow hive. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the lady opened the boot, I spotted the QX first, which was on top of the brood box.


The 2nd of August, with 4 weeks of official winter remaining, I just walked in from capturing 2 swarms in my yard. They swarmed out of the splits I’ve been doing. Nothing to do with lack of space in the hives. No problems there. They just wanted to swarm with the first (I’m guessing) virgin queen that emerged, leaving the other half for the next virgin to emerge. While I was in the middle of doing that, the phone rang, it was a bloke with bees in his wall. Nowhere near my bees, luckily.


Hi Jeff,

Are you saying that the splitting of the hives may have caused the 2 swarms?


Let me hazard a guess… :blush:

I think he is saying that he guessed their intentions a day too late. :smile: Happens all the time when we keep bees. They are way ahead of us stoopid humans. :wink:


Hi Dan, the hives I split from are doing fine. It’s the actual splits that were making new queens in my yard that decided to swarm.

I was pottering around about 10 o’clock when I heard a swarm. It was issuing out of a hive. I looked to see where it would land when I saw the 2nd swarm perched in a tree. I thought at first that was where the swarm was landing, however it landed in a different spot. I had no open brood at home, so I raced down to my main site & grabbed 2.

The one I watched was a piece of cake, the one in the tree was a bit challenging. The frames with open brood usually assures that they stay in the box.

The hive that I watched the swarm issue from contained 3 frames of almost fully sealed brood. Maybe they all emerged & wanted to swarm. Some of my other splits had the same thing, lots of emerging bees in quick time. Something I’ll try to avoid in the future.


Hi Jeff

Yes, I thought it was the splits that swarmed as opposed to the original hives.

I’ll try and put this one in my memory bank for the future. :neutral_face: So you split a couple of hives and moved the splits to a new spot I guess? Those splits made a bunch of queen cells and then the first (virgin) queen out (or perhaps queens) was taken with the swarm/s
I am surprised that they did this with a simple split in a new spot even with good numbers of young bees emerging…I could understand it of course if you put the split in the position of the original hive.

Is that how you did the split? Perhaps you will even get some cast swarms if you still have virgin queens in there? If this is how you performed the split, perhaps it gives credence to the approach of removing all but one queen cell in the split?


Hi Dan, that’s what happened as you described. I’ve been successful for the most part by letting the queens fight it out (natural selection). That is with emergency queens, not swarm queens. I mostly don’t allow swarm queen cells to develop. I mainly tear them down so that the colony raises emergency queens, which I believe a colony shouldn’t swarm with. Last year I only lost one that I know of. This year it’s 2 in one day. I have a lot of colonies making new queens at the moment. I’ll just have to be careful with those full frames of sealed brood.


Hi Jeff, ok I’m perhaps not understanding the terminology of various queen cells or perhaps exactly what you did or what the bees did. So are you saying there were already queen cells (swarm cells) on the frames you moved into the split as opposed to frames with no queen cells on them which then had emergency queen cells built on them once removed from the original hive into the split?

Thanks Jeff…


No Dan, I’m doing the splits before the colonies start their preparations to swarm (preemptive swarm control). In those cases the splits make emergency queens, as long as they have available eggs or young larvae. I take mostly sealed brood out of the strong colonies to ensure that their population growth slows right down. However that can cause problems with the splits population rapidly expanding.

I noticed the other day that I must have killed the queen in my observation hive while I removed the middle frame & replaced it with foundation. The bees started building emergency queens on one of the side frames. I saw an opportunity to start another colony, I grabbed the other frame from the observation hive, placed it in a box in the shade, then put a heap of bees from another very strong split with it. I locked them up for three days which expired yesterday. An inspection today revealed a lot of emergency queens under construction on that single frame of brood.