No queens available in West Australia!?

Not sure if I’m paranoid but I can’t get a queen for spring here in WA.
The local beekeeper has become cold towards me. Even though I purchased 3 nuts from him in Feb. One has since died and the other 2 are OK.
After telling a dealer in Perth I have a flow hive doesn’t answer any emails to order hive parts.

My bees still haven’t moved into the super either.

A Apiarist in Albany can’t get queens till Mar17’.

So you have two hives with flow supers on them already? Queens are the least of your worries. I would concentrate on getting the bees to fill a couple of boxes before putting the super on, afterall its still winter. As for supplies, boxes are easy to make and frames can be ordered online so just bypass the suppliers who don’t like you.



Make your own queens. Easy enough to split one hive when it’s ready. If you do it the right way you’ll still get honey from it.


Hiya onrbikes, you need to be more specific about where you are, WA’s a big place…
I’m getting 2 nucs in October here in Perth and I’m fairly confident queens will also be available around this time if not sooner.
I have found that originally suppliers were hesitant to support Flowhives however I think that they now see it as a benefit for themselves with all the extra sales and are actually embracing it. I saw the waiting list for nucs. There are going to be a lot of bees buzzing around soon and I hope all the new beeks register with the ag dept to keep our wonderful state relitively pest free.


I’ve had the bees since Feb and neither one has made any honey.
Both brood boxes are full and sometimes they venture to the new super.
Have tried spraying sugar syrup which gets them in.

One of my hives was week and died so am wanting to get another.
May try to get a swarm in if I can.
Sadly can’t get a mentor so sadly will have to wing it.

I know they were a bit late getting in but am hopeful.

I dare say the locals are a bit hesitant but that s the bush for you

There are a few queen breeders around in WA so worth calling around the different shops. If you are worried the flow hive is undermining you, don’t mention it (I’m yet to come across any negative responses but might have talked to different people).

I imagine there is low supply/high demand atm for queens (supply should presumably take off in the next month) and you’ll need to get on a wait list. I suspect if you were after a nuc, you wouldn’t get one till the summer now but you stand a better chance with just a queen. I don’t know if the Perth suppliers post them but I imagine you know friends travelling to Perth that could pick it up for you. There are a few beekeepers who sell nucs on gumtree as well but I doubt these would just do queens (I think they split the nuc’s from their hives and introduce bred queens).

I had massive trouble getting a queen in the Autumn when I accidentally squashed mine. Had to get a very experienced beek friend to ask around for me, as I was getting nowhere.

I imagine it’ll be a month before your bees start moving up into the super. Perth bees are getting active now but still not storing much nectar - I think they are working hard on expanding their colonies. I would assume Albany bees would be slower to get going than in Perth. I think this weeks wet weather will have set them back a bit as well.

1 Like

Rob is suggesting that it’s too early to have supers on your hives, that they should be removed. It’s much easier for the bees to keep the hive clean & to temps. they need.

1 Like

That’s sad to hear. I know a few people on the forum who have just not told the other beekeepers that they have Flow Hives, but just have bee hives.
You have to do everything the same except for the harvesting, so a mentor should be able to help you establish the brood box, etc., and then let you know when it’s time to add your super (which will just be full of Flow Frames instead of standard frames.)

You could try calling/emailing from a different phone number, or email address, or get a friend to order for you?

Hi Dee,

Could you please explain the right way to split and still produce honey? I’ve been studying they various methods and would love to hear yours.

Or point me in the right direction for previous thread…

Cheers, Paul

I like to try to get as even a split as possible and this is the way I do it.
I always wait till I see swarm cells but you can do this beforehand as a sort of pre-emptive swarm control.
I move the parent box at least 3 metres away. In the place of the original colony I put a brood box of drawn comb (you can have half drawn half foundation if you are short). I take out a frame with open brood and shake the bees off it; make sure there are NO QUEEN CELLS. I put this into the middle of the new brood box and put the supers back on top. This box has all the flying bees but no queen so they will make emergency queen cells. It will become the artificial swarm.
Back at the parent box on a new site I put the one spare frame at the edge. This box has the queen, all the queen cells and NO flying bees. They will tear down all their queen cells.
If they have few stores you can feed a little but foragers are made every day and will soon be out and about.

9/10 days later (but absolutely no later than 12) I go back to the parent colony, find the queen and just pop her back onto the top bars of the Artificial Swarm. There is no need to cage her. She is the bees’ old queen and they will accept her straight away. You must break down ALL the emergency queen cells they have made. The queen has lots of foragers and all the young bees in the supers so she will romp away.
Back at the parent box having removed the queen they will make emergency cells. They have lots of nurse bees and the ability to make a good queen. There is no need to thin these cells down. The bees have no intention of swarming and will do the job themselves. They will build up quickly too and you should get a good crop of both splits if the weather is good


Really nice account @Dee, thank you for taking the time to share this. :heart_eyes:


Hi Dee, thanks so much for this excellent and clear description. I’d just like to clarify a few points so I get it right when the time comes:

How important is this measurement? ie. can I get away with more or less. AND later on you say that the parent box is on a new site - are you implying that I have taken the parent box to another apiary or am I reading too much into it?!!

With the parent colony moved 3mt away I am expecting all flying/foraging bees to return to the new box in their old site. Is that correct? So, the new box (artificial swarm) will have only foraging bees?

I take it that I have already supered up for the flow before I make this split. So, in theory I have my Flow Super sitting on top of the artificial swarm - correct?

Finally: Where I am in Christchurch, NZ, we use double FD brood boxes, do you think I should be shifting both of them 3mt away and only taking one frame with open brood to the new box? I expect YES because I want the artificial swarm to be small (in one box) because there is only one frame of brood… but… ?..

Thanks again, especially for your patience! Paul

The WA Apiarists Assoc is represented by a beekeeper in Albany, he should be able to help point you in the right direction. The only place making queens for the next couple of months is Queensland, have you enquired with some queen breeders to see if they’ll post you a queen? You will need to go on a waiting list though. Start ringing around or emailing.

WA Beekeepers Assn
Mr. Afon Edwards,126,Lancaster Rd.,Albany, WA 6330. Ph/FAX 08 9841 4318, Mobile 0418 958 891

For clarity.
The parent box is the one you started with which is moved
The Artificial swarm is the new box on the old site where your queen ends up. Remember she ENDS up there. to start with she is in the parent box for 9 days

New site means 3 metres. More is fine. You don’t want flying bees drifting back to where the queen is so must be more than 1 metre, but within the apiary. The flying bees have to go home.


Yes. Your flow box and any other supers end up on the new box. If you have a regular super on I might be tempted to put that on the parent hive till you move the queen 9 days later by which time the parent box will have sufficient foragers to maintain itself.

On two boxes you can take two frames out. Move the two boxes and start your artificial swarm in just the one box. Let them fill that with new brood, once the queen is back before you add the second.

Paul. I have an excellent publication covering this and other methods of splitting. It’s a pdf so I can’t post it here. You could PM me your email address and I’ll be happy to forward it


Thanks Rodderick

Is the beekeeper association in Albany pretty active?
Do they have class or outings I could join or help out.


Thanks Dee. PM coming your way!

Hiya Dee thanks for sharing. Any chance I could get a copy of that publication too?

Is it from the WBKA? Like one of these two? :blush:


First one …


Wow, these are great!

Thanks @Dee and @Dawn_SD

Cheers, Paul (so looking forward to spring)

1 Like