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New Hive Installed

Hi all,

First time poster here, I’ve been reading through the forum for the last few weeks and have to say I find it fantastic! I thought I’d post up some photos and ask for some advice, if possible.

So I installed my nucleus into my 8 frame Flow hive two and a half weeks ago. The weather was cold and wet. I fed a 1 to 1 sugar syrup from day one, 500mls lasted about 4 days. I opened my hive for the first time at day 16 and have attached some photos below.

Frame 1 was untouched
Frame 2
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3
IMG_7861
4
IMG_7863
5
IMG_7866
6
IMG_7867
7
IMG_7868

I must of lost a photo.

Hive beetle turned up at day 7. I’ve filled the bottom tray with oil and have caught about 6 so far, so it looks like they will be a problem. I saw one as well when I opened the hive. I will get a trap.

There’s been very little activity at the hive entrance up until day 12, where I started seeing bees returning with full pollen sacs. Today (day 18) there is a lot more activity and returning pollen.

I’m still feeding sugar, they are going through 1 litre in 24hrs. Should I stop now?

I will open the hive again soon and get some proper photos, some of the comb didn’t look quite right, how soon after the first opening should I wait before opening it again? I’ve read conflicting ideas however I want to get a beetle trap in ASAP as the hive is young and week.

Thanks

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Impressive…looks like you are doing a great job!

It’s been my experience that the bees stop taking syrup when the natural flow starts around you…so I would keep feeding…and the bees will continue building out wax and increasing in population.

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It looks really great, Cactus. It looks like you have the FH2 which has a pest management tray meaning that you can manage SHB without opening the hive.

Every time you open a brood box you let out its heat the bees work hard to maintain, so I personally encourage keeping this to a minimum, although maintain required inspections. If you do open the hive, in the middle of a warm sunny day is best.

The comb’s looking nice and straight which is great and one of the most important things to consider in these early days of establishment.

I agree with Doug’s notes on feeding.

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I see you are on the Central Coast. I have a friend at Lake Macquarie and beetles are a constant problem but the oil trap in the base has controlled them for him.

As for feeding I have a couple of points. Keep feeding them as you want them to expand and build comb. Consider putting a drop or two of food dye in your syrup. This lets you distinguish between syrup and nectar and when nectar starts to come in seriously its time to stop feeding. It also means that you can tell honey from syrup “honey”. I think that is often how adulterated honey is created where someone is open feeding and your bees help themselves. You would have no idea so colouring is a good habit.The other time to stop feeding is when the box is fairly full and you see them restricting the brood nest by back filling with syrup but you won’t have to worry about that for a week or two.

Cheers
Rob.

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Thanks Doug, I’ll keep the feed up.
Thanks Bianca, yes it’s a FH2, I didn’t realise that the pest tray was enough to manage SHB, that’s great news! That’s obviously why all the dead ones are at the end of the tray that’s under the hive entrance. Rob I’m at Mangrove Mountain so no doubt have the same issues as your friend at the lake. I see what you mean with the dye, I’ll add it next feed.

So thanks to all your help I’ll keep feeding syrup for another two weeks and then open the hive again. The other reasons why I wanted to re-open was I couldn’t see any eggs etc in any cells, nor the queen, not that I looked that hard. The queen cage was empty and the queen is possibly on frame 7 going by the number of bees there? It’s interesting why they started building from one edge of the hive to the other, not from the centre out? Also, I’m guessing that that’s capped brood in the centre of frame 5 and 6?

Hiya Cactus and welcome! Yes that is interesting, could it be that this is the sunny side of the hive?

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Hi Eva, thanks for the welcome, the photos are facing due west, and the back of the hive is north and there’s no trees so gets sun all day of course, but they started building on the east side of the hive for some reason when west in this site gets more sun than east. I placed the queen cage dead centre on the bottom of the frames when I installed the nuc, and the bulk of the traffic at the hive entrance has always been on the eastern side, which makes sense with where they are building. We did have two weeks of unseasonably cold weather and 180mms of rain over 11 days from the exact day that they were installed, so maybe that upset them?