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My first spring


Hi, we are very new to beekeeping. We did a cut out of a possum box in early June and have basically left them to themselves over the winter. I havent put on the supers as yet as Ive been letting them settle themselves in over the winter. I was just wondering when I should start doing this and also I have some small sugar ants in the lid. I havent opened up the hive as its been too cold to see if they are in the hive.

Can I please have a little advice on how and when to proceed. Im in the Perth Hills.

Thanks for your help.


Starting to warm up across the country Sharon, so you could probably have a good look on a warm sunny day. If this is a cut out, then you may need to do a bit of clean up work in the hive but I cannot imagine that they would be ready for a super just yet. Do an inspection take some pics and get back to us. As a rule, wait till the bees are covering 75-80% of your frames in the brood box before adding a super.


Hi Rodderick thanks for the help. Im so itching to get the supers on but know its not the best for the bees. Just have to get a nice sunny day, which up in the hills at the moment isnt too hopeful. I have fed them during the winter on the advice of a lovely lady as there isnt alot of nectar up here, plenty of pollen though. Will take pics and send in, thanks for the suggestion. :grinning:


Don’t even say or think the word super till your hive is really booming! From a cutout in early winter, just surviving is good. Do a cleanup and let them get strong. Make sure your entrance is closed down so its busy, easier for them to protect themselves.



Thanks Rob will do, just need a nice day to get in there and have a good look. The girls have been coming and going all winter with pollen on their legs. I put an empty frame in the brood box originally when we transferred them, so just waiting to see if they have drawn this down. Just need a nice day! Actually just wondering, its supposed to be around 20o next weekend and sunny, would this be ok to take a peek, or is that still too cold?


Bees seem to respond to increasing daylight and increasing pollen supplies at this time of year. Temperature is important of course, but they are in large responding to increased daylight hours and food supplies triggering all sorts of changes in them. In Tasmania, (in an urban setting - quite different to the country) all manner of garden flowers are coming on now (and in some cases finishing believe it or not). Soon after the winter solstice the bees became increasingly desperate to get out and get into it all bringing back their food despite the temperatures actually decreasing. With frosts nearly every day and snow at low levels they were still very keen to get out and about given half a chance.


HI Sharon,
Personally I am waiting till end of August (again weather permitting) to do a hive split because the weather is still pretty erratic. While I live out of Busselton, Perth weather is not that much different.

Perth won’t go above 19 degrees max for the next week at least and nights around a cool 8 deg.

When you do get a chance to look inside, if you are getting toward 90% full of brood, pollen and honey then put on the super.

Edit: Correction


Hi Wilfred - do you mean August?


Indeed I do mean August. I will edit.


Thanks Wilfred, I was also thinking of waiting until end of August or until we get a couple of fine days of 20o+. When we did the cut out we were able to fill 7 out of the 8 frames. We put lacky bands on them to hold them in and over the winter we have found the lacky bands outside of the hive. Also I have seen a couple of malformed bees outside as well.


Sorry but I have another question. Its going to be a week of 20’s in Perth, so will it be ok to open up on the weekend? I also want to move it out of my daughters play garden, I have been told that you can move it but only a metre at a time or take away and bring back in a week. Though I was told by one lady that I could cover up the entrance with sticks, bark, etc and move it, leave them in there for about 3 days and then let them out. Any thoughts on that please


Hi Sharon, a metre at a time per day works without fail, the other methods are either prone to only partially working or a major hassle. Best not to lock them up for that long just in case, even the commercial guy no longer lock their bees up on the trucks, the loss of bees due to heat or ventilation stress was too great. How far does your hive need to be moved?


Hi Rodderick, its about 80 metres I think. Basically I need to move it from one side of the property to the other and we have 2000sq block. I did wonder about heat, stress, food ect when she mentioned this. :):grinning: Oh also what is the best time to move them, at night?


Oh, that is a bit far for the ‘metre a day’ approach… Can I suggest you checkout Michael Bush’s approach it simple and according to Michael works for those moves that are needed such as yours.


Thanks Rodderick thats a greate read and helps, I was wondering how the heck I was going to move it as the bottom board comes off. We are having 22o days on the weekend so will be able to see what the girls have been up to :slight_smile:


Hi Guys,
I have just uploaded a photo, can anyone tell me please if they look ok? Im not putting supers on at all as there is till an empty frame in there.


Hi @Sharon_Olesen ,

that picture seems healthy enough. There seems to be a number of drone cells across the frame. I’ve circled one of the clusters I think are drone cells in pink. Inside the blue area is what I think might be your queen, but I can’t see enough of her to be certain.

Something to be aware of it, given that frame is from a cutout, is on a hot day you might need to becareful handling the frame so it doesn’t collapse under it’s own weight. When you change/cycle frames in the future you might want to give consideration to wired frames (you can go foundationless or wired wax foundation; if foundationless you can still put the wire in and the bees will just build it into the comb).

Another thing to be aware of is that because you are in the hills you are likely going to have to either feed your bees during the peak of summer or ensure you leave some honey in the hive for the bees during that time. I think it was @skeggley who made a comment the other month about his experience (that I took a mental note of to not forget).

Have fun!


Hi Alan,

All my frames have wire on them as it was a cut out from a possum box we put them on the wire. Ive got one frame without wire in there at the moment but they havent even looked at that yet. There are at least 3 frames that are still quite empty so Im hoping they will build up soon. Im hoping to plant some sage and lavender soon to help them :slight_smile: