Is December too late to establish a hive from a nuc in Australia?

Hi there Beekeepers,

I’m in central Victoria Australia. My Flow Hive has just arrived, it’s all prepped and I’m keen to get a hive established (I’m thinking Ligurian).

Is December too late to establish a hive from a nuc ?

What’s the best time of year for the bees happiness level on hive building ?

Thanks you



@Debra December should be fine. You could probably go as far as January. Are you in a drier hotter area of Victoria. You probably don’t get cold winds off the Bay. How close are you to the Great Divide?

I’d recommend contacting your local bee club or bee keepers, as they can recommend what’s best for your area.
We also have a section in this forum where you can connect with locals in your area - could be good for you to have a look through there and see if anyone is in your area.

Have you pre-ordered bees? There is quite a shortage at the moment throughout Australia. Many breeders are late to supplying the local market due to large export orders going to Asia and Canada. Some smaller beekeepers may have something if you are prepared to ring around.

You should be fine, but you may need to feed, especially if you are relying on Eucalypt blossom. Remember that we are due for a harsh El Nino event, which will dry the landscape, and may cause a sudden drop in nectar production.

Not too bad, but you may need to feed. Also make sure that they have plenty of water so that they don’t get heat stressed, which also cuts into their development.

Thank you for your replies, it’s great to have access to all your knowledge :smiley:.

Hi Valli,

I’m located about 120kms North west of Melbourne, Kyneton/Castlemaine area.

I haven’t ordered bees yet, but about to get onto to it.

Good idea about feeding the bees, I think December is going to be very dry.



Sounds like you have some ringing around to do.

@Cormac_Farrell what sort of hassle are you guys expecting from El Nino? Hot and Dry, Drought?

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not to late…we’ll be preparing nukes for flowhives until late summer (mid autumn would produce drone layers).
for more info see
cheers frankie

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Hi Debra, I’m in Mandurah West Aus, & I received 2 nucs mid Dec '14, by March 2015 I had a super on each & although I pinched 8kg in April they filled that up nicely for their winter stores. late Sept I robbed 25kg from those hives then last week mid Nov took another 23kg .
Our winters are relatively mild & we have a cottage garden plus veggies so there’s always plenty of activity in the little house yard.


That’s good to know esttile, I am in Perth and expecting my flow and nuc in Dec, I was wondering if it would be to late in the season, but sounds like it will be fine. Cheers Tim

Unfortunately the weather in central Victoria and WA are poles apart. WA is much hotter and drier - the Great Dividing Range also dictates a lot of the weather in the eastern states - we have small pockets of micro climate you don’t get in WA

Hi Timbo. I got 2 5 frame nucs from a beek near Freo 3 weeks ago & moved them into full depth boxes 2 weeks ago. There is so much blossom around up here (Moore River) that the 3 empty frames I put into each box are nearly full already. I expect to have to put supers on in the next week or so, & my Flow frames won’t arrive until mid-Dec. I had only a single hive last season & it produced a lot of honey right through to May. How your hive goes will depend on how much nectar you have where you are & how the summer pans out. Best of luck.

That is good to hear, I am around Joondalup area on the edge of lake Joondalup, we have lots native bush and large native trees in the area, red gum I think, and all the house gardens in the area, so should be ok I think. Cheers exchampagnedrinker, Tim.

Yes, we are expecting heatwave conditions throughout summer this year. It can be a problem, as it will suddenly shut off nectar supply. In extreme cases, it can also cause wax to melt in the hive, especially if the bees don’t have enough water to cool the hive.

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I thought you lived in the UK?:grinning:

Valli is an Aussie transplant to the mother island ; -)

@Kirsten_Redlich Spent the first 26 years of my life in Australia, travelled to UK for a working Holiday and to see the world and fell in Love with my now Hubby of 27 years. What can I say. :blush:

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Hmmm I think Valli just told us how old she is… :wink:


55 I have no Problems with That!