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Honey in the hills


Hi all and happy new year.

Im up in Roleystone and Im still feeding my girls, is anyone else up here having to feed theirs? I checked my frames a couple of weeks ago and they were totally empty.



I try not to feed them and leave plenty stores in spring. Like your area we rely on natives. Summertime is lean pickings for them but the marri flow isnt too far away.
Im assuming the super isnt on?


Hi Skeggley,

I left the super on as I left them food stores for winter, there’s nothing in them and the brood box is empty. I was going to take off the super but thought it was a little late in the season for that now. Last time I checked it there was still some honey in there for them to have. :frowning:

I have spotted some trees up here that are starting to flower along peet road but its only one or two. Our jaraha trees havent flowered at all for us and we have been here 4 years now, plenty of buds but they just keep dropping and not flowering.


I saw jarrah flowering around a few places but not much.
Reason i asked about the super was that if you are feeding theres a chance they are putting it into the super which will taint the honey when you do extract.
If we get a week of rain then we will be in trouble as you say they are using what they bring back. I nearly lost a colony from starvation around this time when it rained for a week.
I like to feel the weight of the hives to check for stores. An empty colony is surprisingly light.


I know whay you mean. We had one frame totally empty of anything, even brood, but the queen was there and new bees were being born. Im assuming that they would fill up the brood box first?


Happy New Year @Sharon_Olesen & @skeggley and the silent lurkers :slight_smile:

It seems that the dearth back in the hills has been continuing forever!

I invited my neighbours 86 year old father over to look at my new design horizontal flow hive and at some flow frames as he had never seen any before. He was saying his bees, back in the hills, are struggling as well, but that he expected a flow to start soon.

He is a retired professional apiarist who only has 20 hives now. He started out with one at retirement and couldn’t help but split them regularly, he has been maintaining his genetic strain for decades.

He warned that if you take all the honey at once, the bees may blame the queen for losing the honey and kill her.
I interpreted that as him agreeing with my management practice of always leaving one fully capped frame for the bees as a reserve.

He also warned that it is important to rotate out older blackened brood frames to ensure the bees remain large and in good health.

To him, Flow Hives made frame rotation difficult and costly as you cannot rotate older brood frames into the super before cutting them out and rendering down the wax.


You actually can. Not simple, but possible. Just add an extra box above the QX, and put the old brood frames in that. If you put it above the Flow super, they will likely move any honey down too. You can cut a groove or hole in the lid as an upper entrance, to let any drones out. The only problem is that you may get some crazy comb if you don’t fill the box. To prevent that, you can just put some new frames of fresh foundation in the empty space. If the bees start drawing it, so much the better for the next hive that needs some frames refreshed! :wink:


As Dawn says it can be done with a bit of extra work. To me there are two things that I regard as negatives for a Flow Hive. One is the extra hassle of rotating out old brood comb, but that can be worked around. The second is that a Flow Hive super doesn’t yield any wax for rendering down which is a saleable resource. Of course the + side is in the ease of taking the honey :grinning:
I’m still learning the tricks of extracting in a Flow Hive adjusting the drain tubing length down into the the bucket, the shorter it is the faster it will drain the honey. But I like the idea of the Flow hive draining while I can work elsewhere in the apiary on traditional hives.
Cheers Terence


Hi @Dawn_SD and @Peter48,

This is one of the reasons I am going horizontal with movable FlowFrames.

One of the goals has always been to manage the horizontal hive so that all excess stores go into the flow frame and the only honey not in the Flow Frames is in the honey arch in the corners of the brood frames.

The proposed Brood Frame Management Plan is to place new frames between the Qx’s and the brood frames and rotate the old brood frames from the centre to the outside of the Qx, between the Qx and the flow frames. Once hatched and before too much honey goes into the old frame I can remove the hatched frame and push the Flow Frame back up against the Qx and recycle the old frame.

This is in a way similar to Dawn’s suggestion, it sounds harder but is actually easier and you don’t radically change the volume of the hive or distract the bees from their main task by them trying to fill the space.