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Minimum maintenance


Hiya peeps. Or is that beeps?
I’m expecting a flow hive in December and am cramming for the new hobby however I’ve not found info on the minimum maintenance required when owning a hive. We have 3 wild tree hives on our property one of which has been there for many years and generally swarms once a year. Obviously they receive no maintenance from us yet seem to comfortably survive year in year out.
Is there a link someone can provide for me or perhaps share their wealth of knowledge here regarding the minimum maintenance required when owning a hive.
Thanks in advance.


G’day @skeggley it’s Beek’s but I like Beeps as well


Hi Greg, welcome to beekeeping, I believe as beekeepers we must prepare for maximum maintenance & if it works out to be minimum maintenance, that’ll be a bonus. Be aware that the hives in your trees will eventually die out. When honeybees swarm, they say that there’s a one chance in seven of the new queen failing. When that happens, the hive will die out. The best advice I could offer is for you to get in touch with your local bee club. Get to know people who keep bees in your area, find out what challenges they face. Good luck with that, cheers


G’day back at ya Valli, yes beek is correct. Perhaps I’m the beep as I’ve no hive yet. :smile:

Thanks for the welcome JeffH and I appreciate what you are saying maintenance wise and as mentioned I do plan to join a bee club however I’m not planning to join totally green hence my joining this forum.
Bee keeping seems to be a little more in depth than I perceived when I made the pledge for a full hive and I’m fairly confident I’m not the only one…
So I guess what I’m asking is what am I in for when I hopefully have the hive and bees next year sometime.
Btw If it’s 1 in 7 that the tree hive will fail then one is a lucky hive as its over 20 yrs old now.


@skeggley, I was Beep and now Beek, I got my Bees a few weeks ago ready for my hives - first will arrive I hope in September - Too late to really do anything this year and a Flow box in December.

I have like you discovered there is more to keeping bees and have immersed myself in Bee information since February when I first decided to get a Flow.

There is loads of info here but joining a local group will give you hands on with real bees.

I take it you are in Oz? I’m an Aussie but live in UK, The difference between climates, diseases and care changes with location, so you really need to join a local group of similar Keeps and circumstances.

Good luck and have fun


If you don’t want to work too hard, I’d start here:


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Your most welcome Greg, that IS a lucky tree, are you an Ausie? SHB are a major problem in a lot of areas. I removed a large colony & nest from a wall cavity yesterday & there was plenty of beetle running around. When a hive issues a swarm & is not successful in making a new queen, or sometimes a hive can swarm, followed by a couple of secondary swarms, the remaining colony is very vulnerable to SHB damage. The result of the SHB damage is the breeding of scores to hundreds of thousands of more SHB to the area.


Mr bush thanks for your link, your site is my reference and am slowly working my way through it, great job.

Dexter, sure I’ll be opening up the hive to inspect the bees, half the fun isn’t it? I’m actually looking forward to it. My original question was more for a reference for myself and others on this forum as to how much time to plan for to maintain the colony, as in an hour a week or whatever. Obviously this will depend on the season and location among other things, I’d just like to know what to expect…

Jeff, yes I am in Western Australia, in the hills east of Perth and according to the guy selling honey at the markets this morning we have no SHB or varroa in this region. Yet. It’s a good time for bee keeping.


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No probs Dexter it’s all good. :+1:
And in a way you were correct. I did buy the flow hive thinking it was going to be hands free as I am sure a lot of others did such was the fantastic FF marketing pitch. They did a great job of selling a lot of product to regular people who have no experience with bees whatsoever such as myself.
I still think it is a great product and am proud that another Australian invention has been embraced by the world, well done Dad and Cedar. :smile:
So here I am on another forum as a newb asking questions trying to absorb as much information as I can so that when I have a bee hive I’m as confident and competent as I can be.
Giving a minimum maintenance time gives me and other inexperienced beek wannabes a baseline with which to work with.