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Perth (WA, AU) Flowhives and honey flow


#664

Does anyone here live in Perth’s northern suburbs around Joondalup, Wanneroo, Gnangara, Carramar? If so, have you noticed any of the eucalypts/marri flowering over the last month? I’ve been on holiday so am curious what has been going on in the northern suburbs…


#665

We have had a late-season swam move in yesterday afternoon.

This is the second time this summer the seat at the front door has attracted a swarm.

Bees under the seat at the front door

Unfortunately, I’m off interstate early tomorrow and not back until Thursday evening, all the bee suppliers were closed by the time we realised they had moved in on Saturday afternoon.

My darling wife, and registered beekeeper in the family, will keep an eye on them during the week, her theory is she owns the hive, I own the bees :confused:

If the swarm stays I will buy a new box to set them up in for a permanent home. The last thing I want is the parcel delivery person to drop a box on the seat and have the whole hive come out to greet them. :unamused:

In the intervening time, I have installed barriers and signs stating no entry and warning of the risk.

The last swarm only stayed overnight.

I have provided gifts for the girls by placing some shaved bees wax near the entrance on the seat as an incentive to take up residence. They certainly danced up a jig when they identified my gift :slight_smile: and have through the day had a few bees moving the wax inside.

I also placed a water source nearby and added some spare empty frames into the cavity under the seat.

The cavity fits three frames shoulder to shoulder across, with a bit of luck they will set up home in the frames and make it easier for me to move them over to a new permanent home.

A question for all. Should I buy and install a Queen Excluder Entry Frame when I transfer them over?

Lots of if’s.


#666

Hiya SES, do you already have a hive? If so placing a frame of brood in the swarm hive is as good as the qeef.
Also if it’s a virgin queen in the swarm at least she can still get out to you know what. :wink:

Marri in full bloom here and plenty of other eucs beginning to flower have the bees here buzzing.


#667

Hi Alan

I’m in Ballajura. Nothing is flowering except a few odd tree, here and there. Mainly Bottlebrushes

Cheers


#668

@aaron_y THANKS! That’s good to know. I’ve since completed an inspection of my hive and found:

  1. My hive appears to have swarmed while I was away or at the very least replaced the queen. There isn’t a big drop in bee numbers (which makes me question whether they swarmed or not, as I would have expected a bigger drop in colony size) and the difference in bee numbers could just have been related to the time of the inspection. However, my marked queen certainly appears to be no more. There is still a queen in the hive as there is still good brood patterns in the brood box. Now I’ve got the pleasure of finding an unmarked queen.
  2. My hive was not honey locked as I might have anticipated based on comments from @skeggley and others regarding the marri flowering. I’ve got a few full frames and a number of half full or less frames.
  3. There was negligible progress in the half-deep box. It was practically identical to the state it was in 4 wks ago.
  4. The hive is otherwise healthy and still pretty calm, even during a long inspection

#669

Thanks skeg, there are pics above of my current hive which should be ready to harvest when I get back to WA. :slight_smile:

The flush is coming to an end in my area of Perth’s south-east hills, all the flowers are starting to fall off the gums. My bees will be back to dining on lavender and kangaroo paw very soon.

Just checked my door cam and so far so good, the swarm is still making a home near the front door. Roll on Friday…


#670

Took a walk in the local bush and paid close attention to the trees. Only saw two with any evidence of flowering on the loop I walked. All the others appeared to have either immature flower pods (@busso what would I actually call it??) or nothing obvious from ground level looking up at the tree. A tad disappointing…


#671

The Marri here (Busselton) has virtually gone. Was full on quick and full off quick.


#672

I had been admiring the Marri all around Bunbury (Busselton, Donnybrook, Manjimup, Collie, Boyanup, Capel, etc). Unfortunately for my Bees very little Marri flowered around my place. I was hoping that they were just a little late but aside from some buds yet to flower and other species I think Marri was a bit of a bust for me.

Adam


#673

The Marri is in full bloom up our hill and the girls filled their flow hives in 4 weeks. 2 weeks on and we are just about ready to harvest again :slightly_smiling_face:

Interestingly the first section we cracked leaked a wee bit, and after freaking out we realised that this was because we didn’t Crack it fully. For the rest of the frames we made sure we turned the key at each side of the hole to make sure the frame was fully cracked & no more leakage.

I must say though that the girls are not too happy about us - they have a 5-10m perimeter around their hive & if we go closer they buzz a lot at us. No one has been stung, but the poor delivery guy today was rather comical running around and flapping his hands around :slight_smile: As we have been confirming that the frames are full by inspection prior to harvest i’m not sure if the bees would be quite so grumpy if we just harvested, but we want to ensure that they are capped to make sure the honey is ripe & to reduce leaks.

30kg honey so far & we will be harvesting again this week, so i’m Hoping we’ll double the yield by the time the flowers stop blooming - happy days!

Cheers,

Julia


#674

We made our first harvest today, 14Kg out of five frames.
The bucket wasn’t big enough to fit all 6 frames in so we are saving one frame in case we get a second harvest this year. The gums are just about finished.

Fully Capped Honey - Side
Six Full and capped frames
The extraction in progress
The results :slight_smile:
All jared up and ready for distribution :):yum:

The picture of the results was taken after my lovely wife had started bottling, she couldn’t wait to start passing bottles out to the neighbours. A small encouragement to plant bee-friendly gardens.

The swarm I thought that I had at the front door, under the seat, turned out to be a bunch of queenless ferals hiding out :frowning: I suited up, applied smoke, lifted the lid expecting to see some comb and a queen and there were a couple of bees floating around and that was it. There were almost as many ants as bees. I pulled the frames I had placed in there and… nothing, nada, zip :frowning: oh well, at least I have a spare box in case a real swarm turns up :slight_smile:


#675

Never give up you may get a late flush


#676

the photo of through the end window is excellent in that the frames look beautifully filled.


#677

That’s a cool looking harvest photo, almost looks like a love heart :heart: :green_heart: in the trees :slight_smile:
p.s. feel free to share your harvest here:
https://forum.honeyflow.com/c/flow-hive/flow-harvest-success-stories
(I can put the photos in for you if you like)


#678

Thanks @Dan2 ,
My only mistake was not allowing the frames to drain long enough, the honey is very thick and the girls are still outside bearding while the repair crew clean up the mess.
I think they have a lot of work :frowning:

Next time I’ll get a bigger bucket and flow all six frames at once, letting them drain all day which will eliminate the amount of leaking back into the hive.


#679

All done @Faroe and posted in the success pages :slight_smile:

The placement of the hive was for convenience and any framing is accidental :slight_smile:


#680

Depends on where the frame is leaking from mate. I believe that keeping the air gap at the top of the extracting tube greatly reduces the chance of leakage from the cells and to do this the frames need to be opened incrementally.
With this warm weather the honey flows really fast which is great.


#681

Totally 100% agree. :wink:


#682

Thanks @skeggley and @Dawn_SD.

The honey was flowing very slowly and I didn’t realise the amount of honey that I left behind until I returned to change over frames and noticed that the collection run at the bottom had filled up after I replaced the cap. A newbie mistake and lesson learnt.

Please explain further what you mean by an air gap at the top of the extraction tube?


#683

@southeastscarp, the air gap @skeggley and @Dawn_SD are referring to can be seen in this picture:

(This air gap is a bit extreme as it was towards the end of an extraction. Basically, as the honey fills the extraction tube you should still be left with a small air gap at the top)

The key to avoid flooding your hive is to open the flow frame in segments (I usually open mine in 3 or 4 stages, but it does depend on how full the frame is). If you open your frames in a single shot you are almost guaranteed to flood the brood chamber.

Also, don’t forget that once you close the frame it is likely that you will have honey in the collection chamber at the bottom of the frame, so leaving the extraction tubes in place for a short while after the frame is closed will also help minimise spillage inside the hive.