HI, I’m a newbie, and I’m sorry if this is already covered. We just finished putting together the Flow Hive and have yet to get some bees, BUT my question is…it’s late February here in regional NSW and there are no flowers for the bees to forage on in my yard. If I get bees for my hive, will they be OK to go out and forage even though I have no bloomin flowers in my yard? Is this a good time to start a hive from scratch?? I don’t really want to wait until Spring, I’m sure there will be Autumn flowers around soon. Thanks for your help.
Hello and welcome to the group!
You’d have to talk to some locals or potential bee suppliers about whether there is enough for the bees to forage on during the fall and winter in your area. Also, you may find that it is hard to get nucleus colonies, splits, or packages of bees in the fall/winter.
Generally speaking, spring is the time to start a hive but is some subtropical and tropical locations it can be done year round.
It’s not so much what is in your yard as the bees forage over a very large area, up to 6 mile radius from their location but the returns are diminishing over 3.5-4 miles.
It might be better to spend the fall and winter learning, joining bee groups, finding a mentor, and even taking a beekeeping class so that you’re prepared once the season and the bees arrive.
Thank you, Alok. The advice, especially about spending the time learning, is very good. grin I guess I’m always in a hurry. haha! Like a kid at Christmas. grin
I’d suggest Gunnedah’s winter will be a challenge for a new colony to get through. They need to build up comb and store enough honey to make it to spring.
Does Gunnedah have a club? If not, join the Tamworth club and spend the time until spring learning all you can. They’ll likely have a beginning in bees class and club hives you can practice on. Local knowledge is gold, so mine all you can.
Spring will be here before you know it. Not sure where Summer got to.
Do you live in Gunnedah or in the district? My hive which is really established now from a swarm in spring is really taking off near the golf club. I lost my hives to the varorra mite death zone at Narrabri so starting again. I would not dream of starting a hive here this time of year because the winters here tend to be rough on bees. You sound like you have little/no experience so maybe it would be better to spend the autumn/winter learning about bees and kick off in spring. Generally lots of swarms around in spring so free bees.