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My new hive with entrance chimney AND water sources

Hey guys,
I’m getting into beekeeping for the 1st time and have purchased and setup my Flow Hive, just awaiting Spring (Perth, Australia) to get my NUC of bees delivered. I’ve also custom built a entrance chimney for my hive to try and manage the flight paths to/from the hive. Obviously I don’t know how well the chimney will work until I get my bees but I’m interested in peoples thoughts on my setup… Happy to take all advice, but please keep it constructive :-)!

Also… I need to setup my water source and I was hoping to use some auto-filling terracotta water trays with pebbles in them (to minimise drowning) installed to the right of the chimney, hanging off the shed wall (above the conduits you can see entering the shed). I was intending to initially seed the water source with sugar or chlorine when the bees arrive to hopefully attract and train them to use my source, however, I’m worried the water may be too close to the hive/chimney entrance. I’ve read on these forums and elsewhere that bees generally prefer a water source at least 3m away from the hive? Again, I would really appreciate peoples thoughts on installing my water source this close to the hive/chimney entrance. Note, there’s a bunch of swimming pools in the adjacent properties so I’m keen to keep my bees water source in my yard if possible.

My flow hive with custom chimney over the entrance. The main chimney is shade cloth to minimise heat build up and is approx 400mm wide X 200mm deep.

The chimney has access doors both sides and in this pic you can see the normal hive landing platform.

At the bottom of the chimney I’ve got a slide out tray to capture dead bees and to also stop the bees exiting the bottom, and to stop pests entering from the bottom.


Wowza! That is truly inventive and very nicely made, Tony. I believe the bees will eventually find their way out and orient to this configuration over time, but I’d expect to see some traffic jams at first. Hopefully that won’t be too dramatic of an adjustment. I’m interested to hear what other beeks might add about that process, and if there’s any advice on how to help it go smoother. I definitely want to see a video of ‘rush hour’ at the chimney top once your colony is established :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

About your water source, I wasn’t sure if you’re going to hang it up high near the chimney opening, or if it’s supposed to be lower. I had my first one tucked among garden plants about 6ft away from the hive, and it never got noticed. Don’t know if some flavoring would’ve helped or if they just found the neighborhood pools first :grimacing: Now I have a much larger ‘container garden’ that’s only a little further away, but in my veg garden where the bees would often stop to drink from water droplets on leaves. You should see that spot at rush hour!

Anyway, thanks for posting & keep the pics coming once your bees arrive :sunglasses:

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It is impressive work!
I wonder how well the “transparent” chimney is going to work? What may happen, bees will be trying to fly through the net as soon as they see the light exiting hive. But in this case, it will be easy to modify it.
My latest attempt to provide water close to hives (1-2 metres) was a failure. But a spot, 20 metres away behind the house where evaporative air cooler dumps water on concrete tiles was extremely popular :slight_smile:


Brilliant. I love seeing any out of the box alternative ideas.

Looks great.

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My bees arrive tomorrow (NUC) so looking forward to sharing how my new hive and chimney setup works out with the forum. Excited and a bit nervous :slight_smile: