New Hive/when to inspect/transfer

Hi Everyone! I have been lucky enough to be gifted a old hive full of lovely docile bees from a older gentleman who wanted to give up his bee keeping days.

It has been recommended for me not to transfer them into my flow hive at this stage of the year.

My question is… is there anything i should/ shouldn’t be doing. The hive is settling in really nicely, its def full from peeking under the lid but i haven’t inspected the frames ect.

This is new to me so any tips welcomed!

Welcome to the forum Ashleigh, some great folks here, lots of reading and a place to get good advice.
It is a world wide forum so maybe update your profile adding your sate and country. But I will guess your in Adelaide SA and if I’m right then I would leave the bees in the present hive till the Spring and warmer weather. Then move the present hive a metre away and put the Flow Hive in the presents hive position and orientation then transfer the frames over keeping them in the same order as they come out of the hive.

Hi @Peter48,

then transfer the frames over keeping them in the same order as they come out of the hive

What is the significance of keeping in the same order, i.e. what would happen if they were mixed up ?
This may be a dumb question but I am also a newbee. Cheers, G


It isn’t a dumb question George. If you transfer the frames as they come out of the hive, especially the brood box then the bees will be calmer so settle down quicker. Bees can be stressed easily and the more the hive seems the same the better the end result. A stressed hive is a major cause of chalk brood according to a DPI inspector mate of mine. I had 3 hives come down with it after moving them from a distant location. The guy in the DPI asked if I had moved the hives when I was chatting to him and told him about the chalk brood.
Look at it this way George, you go out shopping and come home and your bed is in the lounge room, the TV in the bedroom and cooking gear is in the laundry. So your stressed and have to spend time sorting things out again. That especially applies to the brood box, if your adding new frames they go to the outside and when the comb is built out then move in one position so the queen will lay in it, so you can cycle out old comb that way. I cycle out comb that is two years old, then it can be used for another two years in a conventional honey super,
Hope that explains your question,

Dunno about you George but I wouldn’t like my bedroom in the pantry.

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Speaking of pantries, does this also apply to honey supers?

When you empty one frame, do you move it to the side?

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I don’t usually move drained frames, but it is true that the bees might prefer it to be on the outside. The way I look at it is that moving a frame means opening the hive. That is probably more disturbing to the bees than having empty shelves in the wrong place in the pantry! :blush:

They can always move the honey around if they don’t like it where it is. :wink:

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With my Flow Super frames I leave them in the same position when I extract them, the bees will remove the capping and lick clean the cells taking that honey to a frame they are filling.
With conventional super frames I take stickies back to the hives from the previous nights extracting. My hives are 8 frames. I always leave two frames of honey in the super for the bees if they need it because of a weather change, but that is a throw back to my days in a much colder climate. The stickies I place anywhere in the super. Location, or moving of frames isn’t as important as in the brood box.

Thanks so much Peter. Yes im in Belair, Adelaide. Thats great advice. My second question is… how do i get the bees into my new brood box? do i have to transfer the old fames? or will i brush the bees in?

When I’m transferring a colony I do it with the minimum disturbance and stress, so I would transfer using the old frames and if they are over two years old I begin to cycle them out one frame at a time, add another frame of foundation when the last frame is being used by the bees. I remove dirty old frames after Winter and first move them to the outer most position so that when the bees emerge there will only be some honey in the frame. The older a brood comb is the smaller the cell gets so the emerging bees become smaller with age of the comb, less risk of a disease in new comb too, I had a hive with chalk brood which was only in old frames and no mummies in newer frames.

Ok interesting. Thank you so much for your response!

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