New to the Group, Hi

Hi, just new to this forum. Have had a Flow Hive 2 now for 12 months. Started with just one brood box for about 4 months then added another brood box. Fed them sugar syrup prior to winter then left them alone to enjoy their winter break. About 2 weeks ago I put the Honey Super on, the next day the bees were all over it, with honey being deposited in the cells about a week later.

Thought best to get a mentor in yesterday and he said he has never seen such a healthy hive. With no SHB, Ants with an occasional cockroach that duct tape laid sticky side up on the inner lid resolves without it I would not even know they have visited. He said what ever I am doing keep it up. I just told him I research a lot and just really leave them alone to do what they do best. The hive was so healthy he took 3 frames in liu of payment.

At the rate the bees are going I will be harvesting honey in about 2 weeks a total of about 4 weeks from putting on the Honey Super.

I am enjoying this bee hobby it started out only to give the bees that are abundant in my backyard a home. Now it is full on watching them. They look so content and busy living their happy little lives. To which is why I don’t really disturb them. Guess that’s my secret to success.

Anyhow bye for now,
Cheers Wayne


Hi Wayne,

Welcome to the forum. I’m slightly surprised to see you using two brood boxes but if that’s the usual approach in your local area stay with it i guess.

Are you harvesting in-situ? If so, make sure the frames are mostly/all capped and crack in increments to avoid honey flooding issues.


Thanks for the reply SnowflakeHoney,

Not sure if 2 brood boxes are the norm. As I have not found anybody to help me in this area in the beginning. It was more about common sense and just watching the bees made me decide to place a second brood box. And as it has turned out it was a correct decision.

Yes I will be harvesting in-situ and was going to crack in increments. Only to make it easier to turn. Had not thought of or even heard of flooding. But that does sound a logical problem to encounter. And I will be ensuring the cells are capped I will probably wait a bit longer and not let temptation to harvest interfere with decision making. It has taken this long what is another couple of weeks. From what I have read 2 frames could be about 6Kgs of honey my grandkids are the ones that cannot wait they love their porridge with honey.

Cheers Wayne


Welcome to the forum and it sounds like you are going well with the bees. I’m not sure you would need a double brood hive in Narre Warren as it is not a harsh Winter there, or is it?
I ran double brood hives at the foot of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney where -6c was night temps in Winter, but I’m now in Queensland with single brood hives and it is so much easier to do inspections.
I advise removing the Flow frames to do a visual that the frame is at least 80% capped so that it is ripe to extract. Once you have checked you can extract it with it back in the hive but only crack 20% at a time. Make sure the hive has at least 3 degree of lay back and take your time in extracting as flooding is a very real issue especially if you try to rush it. I drain thru a plastic tube into an air tight honey pail and leave it hooked up over night so that there is no residual honey in the frame. That way I get all the honey and there is nothing for the bees to clean up.


Welcome to the forum Wayne - pleased to hear your colony is coming along so nicely!

Hello Peter, thank you for your comments and I will take on board.
Narre is typical Melbourne weather so winter can be anybody’s guess. So it can get very cold nights and days.

During my first winter which was pretty cold. I placed a thick about 6cm of styrofoam under the lid, closed up the entrance and closed of the ventilation at the multi tray. Plus I fed them a couple of times leading into winter.

When we opened it up it was a very healthy hive abundant with bees getting into the super. So this has worked for me. Just wish there was some other bee keeper nearby to evaluate the methods between us.

So I guess I will go again with this winter regime. My next challenge is over the spring summer period. Which will likely be like when I first got them leave them alone with no signs of problems. The harvesting I cannot see much problem, turn the tap and enjoy the fruits of the harvest.

Cheers from Narre,

What you are doing sound right to me and you might think of a ‘booster’ at the beginning of Spring by feeding internally with 50/50 white sugar and water that will trigger the queen into laying more brood.
I’m thinking you climate might be similar to what I had at Richmond west of Sydney and a milder winter than at another of my sites at Mudgee over Winter waiting on the Cape Weed and Salvation Jane (Patterson’s Curse) to come on in the Spring.
I’m surprised there isn’t a bee group around Narre but bee keepers seem to be a bit secretive and fly below the radar.
Cheers Wayne

Hi Wayne,

If you put an @ in front of our profile names we get an alert email that says we’ve mentioned in a post. That helps ensure you get a response/read from the person your targeting.

You’ll get a notification this time because I’m responding to your message and not just to this thread in general.


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Hi Alan, found your name,

Not sure what you mean!
Looked and found a spot but wouldn’t let me save the change. If you could elaborate on how and why that would be good.

While I’m here worked out how to put photo of my hive and here it is. Proud of it, reckon it looks good. Slowly working this forum out.
Cheers Wayne


Hi @wed1
This is what @SnowflakeHoney meant if you type the @ a dropdown list of thread participants appears just select whom you wish to get a notification.

Great looking garden set up you have, your bees should do well in that location.


Hi, Peter can you tell me your thoughts on a Refractometer worth having/using?

My thoughts are any tool in learning is a good thing. Also there is a company nearly around the corner from me dealing with measuring instruments for industry, so I can get a really good one with all the goodies with excellent backup service. For not much more than the Ebay Chinese type.

I have not placed this question on the open forum as sometimes a single experienced answer is better because it is not always a good outcome and confuses the original question with multiple answers.

Look forward to your reply,
Cheers Wayne

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Uh oh!!! My lips are sealed and my fingers are wrapped tightly… :zipper_mouth_face::rofl:

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Uh oh!!! @wed1 @Dawn_SD


Seriously, this Forum is full of people who are just too much fun. Thank you for being here! :blush:


Thanks for asking and a good question. Let me explain it this way, If a frame is at least 80% capped then it will be ripe, bees don’t cap wet honey. But if you need to be convinced with proof that the honey is ripe then a refractometer is the only instrument to give you the answer.
So do I have one, yes I do, but it is a long long time since I used it to confirm what I already knew.:blush:
There is at least two types of refractometer but only one will work on honey after it has been calibrated, and doing that is a must do. Mine is made in China, the other sold in Australia that I have seen is made in Germany, considerably dearer but I am sure it will give the same results.
But do you need one - no you don’t, providing you only extract frames that are at least 80% capped.
Cheers Wayne

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I guess you now realize you actually did post your question on the open forum Wayne. :smiley:
If you want to send a private message then click on the persons icon and you then get a window where you can select “message” and that is a PM, type your message and click send.