Looking for help and advice

Hi All, I’m totally new to bee keeping.
Received my new FlowHive 4 weeks ago, very pleased with how it all went together.
It is all painted up and 2 weeks ago I installed my 1st Nuc
4 frames with plenty bees installed in the brood hive with 4 empty frames.
I have left off the Flowhive .
My question is, should I now, after 2 weeks, do an inspection of the frames ?
Or should i leave it for a few more weeks ?
The bees have been quite busy, we still have a few trees, large bushes and bottle brush bushes still in flower and the bees are buzzing around them all day
I live in Wanneroo and if any experienced bee keepers in the area I would really appreciate a visit and give me any tips on my set up and if the right time, inspect the brood hive frames.
I think this is a great forum and have spent many hrs reading all the comments.
Look forward to hearing from others.


Welcome @George_Slieker , sounds like you are off to a good start.

I’d take advantage of the warmer weather to get some inspection experience in while you can, but noting that each inspection will set the hive back a few days. A new nuc is also easy to handle so building confidence at an early stage is good.

There is a Perth thread here, so may be worth a shout out for help:

Also, if you’re on Facebook, there is Perth Bee Community:



I would wait till the colony has been settled for three weeks after installing them so that there is all the stages of brood so that the bees have ‘bonded’ to the hive so they don’t even think about absconding.
Don’t add the Flow Super till the brood box is bursting with bees, there is no set time but anywhere from about 6 weeks to next Spring depending on nectar and the the bee numbers in the hive.
My mentor who was a commercial bee keeper 45 years ago told me that just lifting the hive roof off for 20 seconds sets the colony back 4 hours till they settle down. A full inspection sets then back at least a day. I do inspections every two weeks here.
Cheers George and welcome to the forum.

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Thanks to fffffred and Peter48 for your advice. I still have a lot to learn. I think I will leave the hive for another couple of weeks before I do my first inspection. Hopefully by then I may have a mentor buddy to assist me and also explain what to look for. Looking forward to many more posts.

Good morning George. I’m an hour away from you, but if you would like to pop over and inspect my hives together you are more than welcome. I’m not a mentor, nor will I try to impress with how much I know, because frankly I don’t know much, but I can share with you everything I learned.

It is good to know your brood from capped honey, drones from workers, worker brood from drone brood etc.


Hi Wandjina, Thanks for your offer to help me. I would like to accept your offer and come to visit you.

It is good to know your brood from capped honey, drones from workers, worker brood from drone brood etc

All that I still have to learn

Let me know how I can contact you/find you so we can work out a suitable time/day to suit you.



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Hi George, best to send you a PM and organise a time.

I’d also look for a training course. I know the Western Australian Apiarist Society has just advertised their 101 courses for summer 2020.

They also run meetings, although you have to be into that sort of thing.

They also have bee busy groups and from memory they have one up your way. It is a more casual group to connect bee keepers in a local area.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.


Thanks for that Adam.

I will look into that, look forward to learning about bee keeping.




Well I did my first frame inspection in the brood hive, that is after receiving some great ‘hands on’ advice from Wandjina. The Nuc frames have now been in the brood box for 2 weeks
All looking good on the 4 Nuc frames.
2 of the 4 empty frames are now 1/3rd covered with new cells. The new frames just have a timber strip along the top frame and the new cells are build down from there.
However, all the new cells are totally empty, I can see right through them, is that any cause for concern ?

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That is great George. I hope your visit was worthwhile.

When they build new comb it will be empty at first. Give them some time and they fill them up.

Putting just the wooden strip is ok, but if you put a starter strip of foundation or even better a full sheet it would be better.

Did you manage to see differentiate between the honey stores and brood etc in the frames? And did you find the queen? Don’t worry if you don’t see her as long you see her evidence.

I did not find the queen but did see some evidence of her being there. I have also closed the entry back to 75mm and that made a big difference to the bees temperament, they were a lot calmer, I could stand right in front of the hive and they did not bother me, no suit.
Also there were quite a few black cells on the Nuc frames, what are they ?

A photo will help diagnose those black cells.

Sometimes uncapped honey may look like a dark cell, at least through my veil.

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I agree, a photo would be best. If they are empty, black cells are usually old brood comb. As a larva develops and pupates, it secretes shellac, which is brownish black. Some of this gets left behind in the cocoon, and each time the cell is used for brood, more shellac accumulates turning the cell darker and darker over time.

If there are contents in the cell, it could be very dark honey, as @Wandjina says, or some pollen is surprisingly black too. In an abandoned hive, black discoloration could be mildew.

Those are the main possibilities, I think. :thinking:

Newly made comb is very light transparent compared to older comb George, so it is no cause for concern.

The black/dark grey cells I mentioned are mainly in the top RH corner of the frame and occupy about 1/5th frame. I am reluctant to open the hive again for a photo. Will have another look in a couple of weeks
Thanks to Wandjina, Dawn and Peter for your comments


No need to open again George. I suspect it is nothing to worry about especially with a new nuc from BeeWise.

Next time when you inspect again in a week or two have another look, and if still in doubt take a photo. I bet you will find it capped. Being in a corner it sounds like honey.

Dear Peter,
I am also new to beekeeping. I have to study so much!
You would help me a lot if you could find out whether there is some FlowHive installed in Slovak Republic. My mountain location is central Slovakia, near Martin town, Bela-Dulice village, 48°59,777’ N, 18°58.952’ E🙂
I am planning to order 1 Flow Hive. It is very expensive for Slovak bee keepers. Which one is good for me - a lady-beginner. Could you recommend Flow Hive type for me?
Which traditional hive should I start with to be sure it will be compatible with Flow Hive once I order it. I need a mentor in Slovakia. Do you know anybody who could help me? Would you forward my message to anybody who could help.
Kind regards,
Anna Antalova[date=2020-02-05 timezone=“Europe/Prague”]

Hi Antalova,

Welcome to the forum, I’m sure you are going to enjoy the FlowHive

There is a lot to learn so do plenty of ready up before you get your FloHive.

I’m from Perth, Australia.

Let me know how you progress



Thank you for contacting me Anna. There is a thread on the forum where you can introduce yourself to all the members on the forum so I would do that and ask for anyone in your region to make contact with you.
I would also look for a local bee group in your area and they would be a great way to get advice. Even someone with one or two hives that has had them for a year will provide you with lots of advice.
I’m happy to give you advice but it would take a lot of questions and answers to be of much help to you. But feel free to pm me if you like.