New Journey into Bee keeping

Greetings everyone,

My name is Ryan and I have finally decided to take the plunge and enter into the world of Bee keeping.

I chose to purchase the Flow Hive2+ (7 frames) through the Scratch & Dent sale. Its going to be a waiting game because delivery is estimated to be late June. So the opportunity is there for me to get plenty of information exposure. Chat to people in the know and share my journey as it transpires.

I reside in the Adelaide hills and do wonder if the Italian bee variation is the best choice? Research tells me that they are hard workers, good at honey production and hesitant to swarming, on the other hand because they tend to have larger colonies than others, they tend to be quite hungry, especially in cooler months. I realize that all variations have thier pros and cons.

As time goes on i will naturally come forward with my journeys progress and more questions.

I am excited for what is to come.


Hi Ryan, welcome to the forum. There’s a passionate beekeeper in Semaphore (Jack). We haven’t seen him for a while, however he may reply if I do this: @Semaphore.


Thanks Jeff, I appreciate the warm welcome, I am looking for Mentorship / assistance where ever i can find it. Just aim to be well informed so i can do the best for my colony, especially once the hive arrives and is established.

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Hi & you’re welcome Ryan. There’s a few of us here that are willing to put our thinking caps on, in order to answer any questions you might have. We love photos & questions.

You may hear the term “ask 10 beekeepers a question & receive 11 different answers”. In reality, the person asking the question is a winner, especially is he/she takes on board every answer, & asks why it works for the individual. There’s a lot of knowledge to be gained by digesting every answer.

PS. Wish me “happy forum birthday”. Eight years young.


Happy Forum Birthday, Jeff :yellow_heart::sunflower::honeybee::beers:


I wish you a fabulous forum Birthday Jeff :wink:

Thank you Ryan & @Eva If the birthday cake didn’t show up, I wouldn’t have been any more the wiser.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since the Flow started. It appears they’re still going strong. A bloke picked up a colony for one the other day


Happy forum birthday Jeff!
Thank you for your many contributions to the forum and for sharing your extensive beekeeping knowledge. It is seen and appreciated.


Wow, thank you Free. It’s my pleasure to share my experiences with everyone, or anyone that will listen.


Hi Everyone,

Currently as the situation stands im in the process of building my Flowhive 2+. Its mostly assembled and currently applying tung oil. Quite time consuming with drying times.

Im also organising to find a colony of Italian Bees. So on the onset of spring they will have favourable conditions to establish. Still exploring my options so if anyone has advice in the adelaide hills region it would be greatly appreciated.

Hoping to gain experience where i can before i adopt my own colony. Kind of feel the human error factor could make a difference if I tried adopting the colony sooner without mentorship.

For now thats all from me, until the next post and progress update I wish everyone the best.

(Photos will be included once the hive is completed).


Try finding a local beekeeper and see if they will let you hang around in their apiary. Its actually a good time of year to get used to being near bees, it can be confronting sometimes. You don’t have to do anything with them, just get used to them flying around you. Over the years I have been given several hives where people have spent a bucketload of money then decided the bees were too much for them.



One of the guys that goes to the same church that I do is a Beekeeper and ive asked to hang around and get some exposure. He said that i could and he also uses Italians so ill be able to get my nucleus from him.

Very much early days but i can see the pathway ahead which is positive.

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Have completed the assembly of the flow hive 2+ and now its stored away, currently exploring my options on where to source my first colony.

The reality of the current season means that ill need to wait for winter to pass before practicing beekeeping. Beside this the time in front of me allows me to best prepare.

Alot of sources of information recommend starting the beekeeping interest with two colonies. So im tossing up the idea of purchasing a langstrof in addition to my flow hive. (Possible 2nd flow hive later down the line)

On this consideration - if i purchased a 10 frame hive, would it be sensible for me to split this instead of buying two nucleus?

All of this is just my thoughts at this stage. Please let me know if im sensible or not.

Kind regards to all,


Definitely best to have two, and you will not regret having the extra equipment as you go.

You sure could do that, but keep in mind you will have one queenless split, at least at first.

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This coming weekend I will recieve a nucleus for my flow hive and also a full langstrof hive. Im excited for the new interest and being able to explore the pursuit that is beekeeping. Naturally ive not had alot to post with the waiting up until this point in time.

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How exciting! I started with 1 hive and it’s quickly expanded to 2 after it swarmed. I was lucky enough to catch the swarm. Lesson learnt - must check brood box every week - 10 days in spring & practice splits if they look congested. Other than swarm prevention, I still reckon less is more. Although I’m super new to beekeeping (only 1 season). Good luck with your journey, looking forwarding to hearing more!


It certianly is exciting to say the least. Upon my start ill have two hives which enables comparison and l will be able to share resources if the need arises.

The beekeeper who is supplying my bees tried to explain the merits of a dual brood orientation. So I have a second brood box waiting for when the flow hive is ready for additional space.

I have read information from numerous sources, watched videos online. Talked to people around me who have Bees and for me i know all the info is warrented. But building personal experience can only be done through actually doing it. One can look at me and discern im jumping in the deep end. But im looking at the merits of having the hive beyond just honey, if I can do what it takes to maintain two strong hives then the journey and challenges along that I feel will be rewarding.

Tomorrow is going to be packed with activity for myself and my family. Ill do my best to record what I can and provide an update in due course. Until then i wish everyone a fabulous rest of thier weekend.

Regards, Ryan.


Yesterday was quite a busy day with the Bees arrival coming at around 12:30pm. I now have a full traditional Langstrof Hive that encompsses italians while the flow hive is now home to Carniolans.

This outcome was by accident on my part because I initially requested for just Italians, upon a lengthy discussion we settled on the additional nuc to expidite the interest of the two hives. This of which i did not specifically request for one specie over the other. So i believe the Beekeeper (Matt Thomas) was doing me a favor by giving me both. To see the different progression of both hives as time passes on.

The transfer went quite smoothly. Matt gave me frames heavily favouring capped brood over stores and honey. He explained to me the population of the hive would explode as a consequence. I purchased internal feeders utilising a second brood box and they started off with 2 litres of sugar water. this of which Matt explained would tyically last
approx 3 days.

I questioned him about starting with a second box and he pointed out that the bees would quickly utilise the space in a single brood arrangment.

I feel largely like im out of my depth in many respects, but with the interest at hand i feel that the rewards will be so much more than just honey. Time will tell how everything progresses, this of which ill update here as I walk this journey with my Bees.

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Hi Everyone,

Today I performed my first inspection on both hives. Naturally with my level of experience I was blown away by how quickly they have accepted and drawn the amount of comb they have. Numerous frames have been worked and already encompass uncapped honey stores. (Suspected sugar water honey with how close the feeder is).

I saw a wide range of brood of all stages. Bee bread as well as a combination of honey capped and uncapped. Both queens I did not focus on finding today. So in my view both hives are progressing on incredibly nicely.

My goal is to do what i can to establish the bottom brood box in both hives. Once the brood on the flow hive is matured to 8/10 frames, my beekeeper suggested replacing my second brood with my flow super. The bees have already built up a desire of going beyond the confines of thier bottom brood box. May need to entice the bees with some burcomb scraped over the flow frames.

Question 1 - Is it okay for me to switch frames of honey from the flow hive to the langstrof so that the colonies can still utilise the resource? Just have concerns regarding hygiene.

Question 2 - when is the best time to withdraw the feeders? Im seeing that they are utilising the sugar water. But i do feel not to the extent that I was advised (2 litres per 3 days) I feel that the natural resources are indeed ample for them at this time.

Im enjoying the interest with Beekeeping immensly. Just something as simple as watching them, collecting water at our pond or collecting from our gardens flowers is indeed interesting, let alone seeing thier progress is a profound feeling of satisfaction for me. I know im learning alot and everything feels new. Im just lucky i have hives that are incredibly docile and quiet for me in my learning stages.

Below is some photos of todays inspection. I wish everyone the best for the weekend and beyond.

Kind Regards,


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Hive progress upon weekend three I have seen the natural accumulation of brood, pollen and honey stores. Its been evident to me that with the current nectar flow, the accomodation in the available frames will most likely be taken up with honey. So I have been confident enough to withdraw both feeders and slot in the final two frames in the upper brood box. I found it difficult spotting the queen, even with a painted thorax. Its a weekly wheres wally moment.

Temprement wise the Carnolians are the more accomodating of the two hives. With how antsy the Italians have been its placed pressure upon me to get through the inspection quicker. I guess on this count i wish i could be more thourough. Maybe find the Italian Queen. But overall im happy with the experience with what I saw and the condition of both Hives.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend :wink:

(Progress of natural comb in the Italian Hive).