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.