so I have been keeping bees in the suburbs of Adelaide and it has been going swimmingly. We get good honey flows throughout the year- colonies build strongly in spring, and overwinter without the need to feed. In fact we never feed- and bees come out of winter with stores of honey intact. Over the last 8 months I have moved some hives up into the Adelaide hills at various locations and have discovered that it is an entirely different kettle of fish.
I have three different sites in the Hills: Bridgewater, Upper Sturt and the Fleurieu Peninsula. So far all locations have been very different to what I have come to expect int he suburbs. We are well into spring and none of my hills apiaries yet have honey stores. There is open comb at the edges where there would be honey in town. Several small late season swarm Nuc colonies I had starved and perished over winter.
I now realise that I will have to manage my hills colonies differently than I would in the suburbs- and perhaps feed some of them in winter.
I am curious if anyone on here has experience int he adelaide hills and can share things they have learned? I would have assumed the hills would be very good as there are many large trees, etc. but it seems things can be quite patchy. I inspected two colonies yesterday that came through winter meekly- and are only just now building up. They have very little stores on hand. However many very large river redgum trees adjacent are covered in buds and look like they will bloom shortly- so I have hope that when that happens the flow will start. At upper sturt my hives did produce lovely honey in Autumn last season- so I know flows do happen. It just seems they are not as regular as in the burbs. I am thinking the cold nights- and less diversity of plant species means that there are more dearths- and also maybe more competition from other bees.