My name is Paul and live in Brisbane, Australia. I have one hive I purchased from Flow Hive which should be delivered this month but due to my impatience I purchased a second from an original supporter who was unable to fulfil their beekeeping dream. This second hive is now built and oiled.
I have taken the brood box up to an experienced beekeeper on the Sunshine coast who is establishing a new colony in it for me which should be ready in the next week or so.
In the meantime I am trying to work out where best to set up my hive. The pictures below show my preferred position of the hive. I have a couple of besser blocks (breeze blocks) stacked on top of each other and then a scrap piece of granite on top of that. You will see from the photos that this leaves me a good level surface at the rear of the hive which I think will be handy for working on. The front of the hive faces 40 degrees on the compass (NE). These photos were taken at 11.30am which was when the hive received its first shade for the day and it will be in shade for the rest of the day now. It is situated directly below a Lilli Pilli tree and has a Macadamia tree behind and a fig in front( I understand that figs are not pollinated by bees but that the ripened fruit does provide food for bees if needed).
The pathway you see does not get much traffic, perhaps is used once every few days so I don’t see this as a problem. My biggest concern is the proximity to the tennis court which gets used mainly in the evening one to two nights a week. I was thinking of attaching some shade cloth to the tennis fence so that the bees and humans get some protection during tennis matches. Open to ideas here. There is also the issue of the tennis lights but there is really nothing I can do about this so I think I will just need to monitor.
Between us and our neighbours (who are keen on having local pollinators) we have plenty of variety for the bees from citrus and bananas to herbs and vegetables. The street is lined with Jacaranda and Poinciana trees as well and many of the surrounding properties have an abundant supply of bottle brush, grevillea, silky oak, hibiscus and melaleuca so I am not concerned that my bees will not have sufficient to forage. I am also doing a lot of research into plants that will provide good food sources during the winter which fortunately is not too much of a problem in our climate. I have a bit of space in the garden for small shrubs and hedges. Also open to ideas in this regard.
In respect of the frames in the brood box I have decided to go with the timber guide as provided in the kit and unwired. I may decide to set the second brood box up with wired wax foundation frames and see which performs best.
Anyone who has any comment on my planned setup I am open to constructive critique. I am also happy to share with others how my start in beekeeping goes. I will post further updates when the bees arrive.