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North Brisbane Suburb Start Up


Hi everyone,

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.



That wouldn’t be @JeffH, would it? :smile: If so, you are one heck of a lucky bloke - listen to him carefully, he talks great sense!



I would definitely put something up - shade cloth, fly screen or even climbing plants. The bees probably won’t bother anyone if you make the “flyover barrier” (that is what they call it in my city) 6 feet high, and long enough that they won’t cut across the court. I am trying out passion fruit vines this year on my fencing. :wink: If you can’t do that, the hive should probably be 20 to 30 feet (6 to 10 meters) away from the court.

Please let us know how it goes, I am very curious.



Thanks Dawn. Yes it is Jeff who has been most helpful. I have plans for a passionfruit vine but not on the tennis court fence as this will only attract the bees. I will go with the shade cloth which I think will be the most aesthetic.


Hi Paul,
Sounds ideal, the hive in the shade certainly won’t be an issue in your climate. The only concerns I have is the tennis court with people fast moving and the lights. Can you turn your hive so the entrance is facing away from the court and lights. After a little while your bees may become cranky, it happens to all of us and the odd tennis player may get pestered and/or stung. The lights will draw bees to them and they will mostly likely starve or get picked off by birds. The shade cloth is a good idea but may not be enough, consider putting up a screen around the hive just in case. Well done on diving with two bee hives, you won’t be disappointed but you may need an outlet to sell your honey.


By all accounts there are a lot less issues with hive beetles in full sun. In the end all locations are a compromise.



Hi @Dawn_SD thank you:) I put a cheque in the mail:)


It got lost already, but don’t worry, I will come to collect in person some day! :smile:


Thank you Dawn, that’ll be fantastic.


Got back from the Sunny Coast with my colony of bees from @JeffH. I am now officially a primary producer.

It was after 9pm when we got the hive in place and opened it up. Will check on it in the morning to make sure all is in order. I must say it was s bit nerve wracking opening the entrance and hearing all the buzzing about me but came away unscathed without any protective gear on. I will be more cautious tomorrow.


Totally jealous of you…I have my Flow hive but it is still early spring here and much too cold to open hives for a while yet. My bees are home bred and I’m waiting for the weather to improve before putting them in the Flow hive brood box. All your forage sounds very exotic!


Congratulations! Look forward to seeing some daytime pictures when you have time.


One of the many benefits of living in the penal colony HHH. I was chatting on the phone with a mate of mine who has a farm in East Sussex and he said it may take all summer to dry out over there. I am hoping we will get a honey flow all year round but that may be a little optimistic.


Well done Paul, that’s fantastic, cheers:)


So I did my first hive inspection today as I needed to get some nails and blocks of wood out that Jeff had put in to keep the frames stable during transit. It was also good to have a look in a hive for the first time and check out what was going on so I can compare to the next time I check in about a weeks time. I was surprised at how many beetles I found in the hive as I had killed about six of them the night before that had fallen into the beetle trap. There were probably another dozen or so. Not sure if this is normal or not. I certainly didn’t see any on the frames at all. I have posted a video of this for anyone who is interested and I apologise to everyone in advance for the poor editing skills. I know I made a few mistakes and there are probably a dozen I made and am not aware of yet. One mistake I made was not raising the corflute to the upper level. When I rested a frame against the back of the hive a lot of bees snuck in under the hive and I had a devil of a time getting them out and even lost a few sadly. Anyway I will learn from this experience. My kids are fascinated by the bees and my youngest shows no fear at all. You will also note that I discarded the gloves pretty early in the piece. Not a fan of the gloves as they are so difficult to work with. Managed to get through without being stung. My wife got some good close ups so if anyone spots something interesting that I didn’t pick up please let me know. I will be taking still photos as well at the next inspection so I can have a closer look after the inspection. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me. Cheers


Not really, depending on where you live, if its an urban environment there is a good chance of honey all year, it may slow down in winter though.

Nice video by the way, and very well behaved bees. Their temperament may change as they get older, I would reconsider wearing long pants and locking the dog up where defensive older bees can’t find him/her, just in case. Well done, great to see that the whole family is supportive.


And I’m jealous on you cause I AINT got nothing yet


Rod I am in a very leafy part of Northgate. I think the dog has worked out there is nothing but trouble to be had with these new additions so is keeping his distance for the main part. I suspect he will only be bitten once. I am particularly worried about the SHB. Are they usually always present? Can the bees actually kill them on their own?


Well, I think you did a very nice, careful, gentle first inspection.

To my mind you will be helped a lot by learning to use a hive tool more of the time. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it is actually easier to free up the frames more gently with a tool than with your fingers. At the moment your frames are very fresh, but when they get older, they can be really hard to get moving. I would never lift 2 frames at once - too much risk if they shear apart while you are moving them out of the hive. You have a lot of healthy brood on the centre frame, which is excellent. It is an error to assume the queen won’t be on a frame with very little comb - she can be anywhere, including on the hive floor, the walls and the crown board/inner cover. She can even be under your shirt, so I agree with your wife - tuck it in or wear a bee jacket. :smile:

Really good job, and very nice video too, thank you for sharing it and baring your soul to us! :wink:


my older brother and I used to play basketball in our backyard in the flight path of four beehives. We never got stung that I remember.