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Perth (WA, AU) Flowhives and honey flow


I doesn’t matter than much. Just remember that bees use energy to keep brood warm. They have to keep it at a constant 34C (approx), so you will save them a lot of work if all of the brood is together on adjacent frames. In a healthy hive, the brood tends to make a kind of rugby ball shape (elliptical pattern) across the frames. This is energy-efficient for the bees to keep warm and fed. If you break the brood up, they will take a lot more energy to care for it, and you risk getting chalkbrood from chilled brood.

I agree with @JeffH, by the way, if the queen is doing a good job, you don’t need BIAS. Emerging capped brood would be more helpful. They don’t have to feed it, so that helps the colony.

I might do that, unless they are pulling foundation on one side for a reason. Like it is warmer because that side of the hive gets more sun. In that case, I might just put one empty frame next to the “warm wall”, because the warmth might be helping them to keep the brood warm too. In a very active hive, I hate having empty frames next to the wall - my bees routinely use that as an excuse to get creative with their comb.

Yes, and yes. Excellent idea if you have a hive which is healthy and can spare it, especially if this weak colony doesn’t have much food.

Sounds like you have a really good plan! :wink:


Thanks guys… You are invaluable


New question… 2weeks ago we had 10frames for harvest. Yesterday only 2frames were available. We waited 2weeks because if time restraints… The honey seemed to have been used despite lots of things still flowering. What’s happening?


Hiya Bec, the colonies are still building. Just because there are flowers it doesn’t mean there’s nectar. Or. Your colony is about to swarm or has swarmed.
I regularly see our honey supplies wax and wane, I only ever harvest 1/2 a super at a time. I was caught during a summer dearth last year and am determined to see it through this year. The colonies up here rely more on native flora so flows tend to be intermittent.


OK. Could it have something to do with us taking a brood frame and a honey frame to supplement a weak hive. The strange thing is that it seems the honey is now spread between the two supers in arched banded of caps over 18/20 of the frames. Most of the uncapped cells have homey in them… How long will it take to cap that honey?


Suplimentting the weak hive with a bias frame and some honey worked wonders… Thank you guys. Hive is now at 7 frames and quickly drawing the last frames. Fingers crossed for the summer.


It depends on how much the hive perceived that you disrupted their existing home. If you put empty frames in the middle of a hive, it may treat the empties as a wall, feel constrained in the remaining half and swarm. If you scattered the empty frames thoughout the hive, they may feel that their home has changed from what they wanted, and so they rebuild. Whenever you do something active to a healthy hive, there can be consequences. What those consequences will be, only the colony knows, and they don’t know how to tell us. :blush:

I think you did fine, they are just bees being bees, and they are teaching you that you can never know everything about what they will do. :wink:


Snowflake, just wondering why your entrance is not facing north. Cheers


Brought home our 2nd nuc (2nd attempt) mid November, and they have been going berserk. I swear they have increased in size considerably from the ones originally in the nuc (is that even possible), and they are really calm too. This time we were not given the Italian honey bee, but these girls are doing just great. They are working flat out on the flow frames, so it will be sometime yet until there is capped honey ready for harvest - can’t wait for the Marri to flower here in Pemberton, although they have been hauling in huge quantities of pollen since they arrived home. We may be fortunate to get a small harvest at the end of summer, along with our bumper egg, fruit and vegie harvest. I am so grateful for all the advice and comments given over the past year and look forward to posting our first harvest so that you can see that we have triumphed at last. Happy New Bee Year to all :sunflower::honeybee::chicken::strawberry::apple::peach:


It’s not possible to align my hive in that manner. You’ll also see from my other posts that my hive doesn’t get early morning sun either.

It doesn’t seem to affect the productivity of my hive…but then I’ve not known anything different with the hive (for reference, last season I got about 43L honey and 8kg honeycomb; this year, so far, I’ve got 25L honey and 2kg honeycomb. By the end of this season I reckon I’ll have an additional 16-22L honey and 8kg honeycomb)


Wow - that would be a dream come true for me. I love to read your posts and look forward to having harvests like that.


Thanks. That’s nice to know (that you like reading my posts. Hopefully they are useful).

I’m lucky for two reasons:

  1. I actually planted my garden to help ensure some kind of nectar all year around

  2. I live in suburbia but the bushland near me has an abundance of Marri and Banksia.


How has everyone’s harvests been going this year? Mine so far is good; slightly better than last year. Mind you, some (not many) of the plants in my garden and around the area are flowering slightly out of sync with the seasons it seems (i.e. some of winter flowering bottle brushes had a few flowers appear the other week…)


Hiya Snowy, late spring was good up here and saw some honey being stored in the FH which has now been drained. I think there’s a bit of a dearth going on now here which is fairly standard this time of year so the stores aren’t expanding. Our colonys are still growing and have just started seeing some drones around so I’m keeping an eye out for qc’s.
Seeing some gums budding up but still a way to go. Quite different up here from down in the flatlands.


What do qc’s stand for???


Queen Cells (most likely)


Hi skeggley

It is also a dearth period in my area of Ballajura. Guess it is not hot enough for the gum buds to burst out! LOL


I’m getting the odd gum go into flower around me (Wanneroo/Joondalup); mainly red flowering gums (including the one in my front garden) and hibiscus. I’ve also got Banksia’s still flowering and, like I said up above, the odd winter flowering bottlebrush?!

I wouldn’t say I’m in a dearth, but it definitely isn’t Spring-time flowering!


This morning I saw some Marri in flower on the way to Busselton. Not much and I think it may be a light year after last years bumper Marri flowering. Last year it was mid Feb when flowering commenced.


Fellow Perthites, it was this same weather last year that nearly led to the demise of one of my smaller colonys.
I’ve found that with a couple of forageless days the bees can burn through their stores when their numbers are up like now and stores are lean.
Oh and make sure your gutters are clean…