Hey Tina, I think you can use what ever you like for your benches, some of the hives here have ventilated bottom boards thats why I used fencing slats but the old bench in the background is recycled from old fences and the leftovers from some raised veggie beds. One tip I would recommend is not to put your hives too far off the ground, it becomes a major deal to lift off those boxes when needing to inspect (they are heavy!) I do plant a lot of bee friendly herbs and flowers so I can keep some bees in the garden, have found the best for me are rosemary, basil, lavender, budleija (butterfly bush), sunflowers, wisteria, passionfruit, and lots of citrus just to name a few. Its amazing how bees completely transform the way you garden.
Try echiums & borage too, bees love them
I did end up having to tell them as we had to put my national Nuc (which I got from them and have kept at their apiary for now) in a converter box to make it fit. The only person with any experience with langstroth was about 356 years old and only Used a 10-frame langstroth, so it was very complicated to get them from National frames into my flow box. There was much huffing and sucking in of air!! I tried to get away with not telling them for ages… I was expecting resistance though!!
356 years old & lots of experience? what a great resource/support starting out
Lol yes absolutely - and i couldn’t have done it without him tbh, so i just ignore the sucking in of breath and give him a big hug for helping! The group have been super supportive and helpful from a bee-keeping point of view but one did openly laugh in my face…
It is a shame that we couldn’t point you at this link before you went:
omg! do you know how much i wish i had come on the forum first!! I just didn’t have time! what a genius idea…
Yes. That sounds good as a project. Top bar hivers are always saying that their bees are happier than in a Langstroth. So a Flow frame in one might work extra well. I had a similar idea and am planning to build a top bar hive and will build it big enough to install one or two FLOW frames.Lengthwise?
I’m an Australian bee keeper on the far South Coast of NSW. I only keep bees for my own consumption. I eat honey every day and I am truly in awe of the bee world. They are amazing creatures. I’ve kept bees for about 40 years and still find them fascinating.
I’m so thrilled with having successfully installed one conventional hive into my first Flow Hive. What I’m excited about is how the bees are moving the small hive beetles out already. Up to 16 have been removed this morning and I will keep emptying the tray while I’m at home to do so.
Has anyone used the cloth suggested in one of the videos and if so what type?
Hello everyone. Just got our Flow. Haven’t even put it together yet but we are really exited. We’ve had two bee hives on our property pretty much all the time we have been here (20 years) way up in a parking stucture. Hope to encourage them into our new home.
Welcome, I am curious about what you saying with regards to hive beetles being pushed out. I would love for the beetles in my hives to be pushed out, I opened a couple of my hives to do some spring management in the brood box on the weekend and was completely taken aback by the number of beetles in there. I use a combination of slotted bottom boards, apithor, silver bullets and cloth. I use a small square of vinyl with a felt backing on top of the super, it seems to catch a few beetles but not as many as I would like.
That is a lot of stuff I have not even heard of to protect from beetles. I need to study these bugs.
Hey all, I’m in the early research stage of beekeping… Just got the Australian Beekeeping Manual and 50 tonnes of compost soil. We have planted about 20 fruit trees and hope to have the garden full in readiness for our new bee friends in about 12 months. Also looking at planting a callistemon hedge. In the meantime I will lurk here in the forums and learn. Located in Flynn Canberra Australia.
Dave great you’re really thinking about preparing for arrival of your bees. Can I suggest that rather than plant a single species, you plant groups/multiples of a variety of species, flowering different times? You may have a local Native plant Community nursery to advise you on best species? And they usually have locally sourced/grown plants at good price (ours are $2 per tube, tubestock will grow much quicker generally than larger sized plants) Local species are much better at surviving/thriving the unpredictable & more extreme weather we are generally experiencing. They also benefit native bees & other pollinators. RIRDC website has heaps of information, well researched & put together.
This is worth a look (plant species list at bottom)
Hi Kirsten. So is this about having perpetual pollen/nectar? No down times.
Impossible to do that. But you can maximize it, and @Kirsten_Redlich’s advice will help with that. Nectar flow is partly determined by flowers, but also depends on rainfall. If it is dry weather, plants still flower, but they cut nectar production way back. This stuff is complicated and fascinating.
I don’t know if that’s possible in Canberra, because it get’s quite cold. However through Spring/Summer/Autumn it should be possible to have/contribute to an extended period of available nectar & pollen. So yes, it’s about trying to minimise periods without a flow, & contributing to the qualities of the flow. If you speak to some local Beekeepers they will be able to tell you when there are times of year that you experience a dearth of nectar/pollen. I live in the Dandenongs in Melbourne & have been told that a week or two either side of Melbourne Cup weekend we usually experience a dearth, during which time a lot of beekeepers feed their bees. I’ve tried to plant for this period of time so that I won’t have to feed. Plants have differing qualities & quantities of nectar & pollen also.
Water won’t be a problem. Gotta keep the bees happy.
This si a link to RIRDC "Planting for a Bee friendly Garden’, it has a pollen & nectar value guide for each plant. They are not all natives, it’s for fruit trees/ornamentals too.
PDF is free to download
Agreed, this is a very good free resource!