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Standard hive without an excluder


howdy snapper,

I know a lot of the KI beeks use leaf blowers to blow the bees out of a super before they take it away to spin. I use escape boards when I can- I find they only get out about 80% of the bees- which is good but not a total solution. Other times I remove one frame at a time, shake it- then brush off the stragglers. Sometimes I will put those frames into another box and replace them straight away- or Ill leave the space empty, rob that day and put them back in later.

and yes- that’s one superb looking frame of brood. Havn’t seen many like that here since early spring. Bees seem to be building up again just now.


Thanks Jack,
That’s by far my best hive,it was a swarm from a friends apiary and he gave it to me for free…funny that…all the colony’s I paid for have wonky frames, dirty comb and are full of chalk brood


Normally what I do is take the frames I’m going to extract & stand them end on, on the ground & lean them up against the hive stand. I don’t shake any bees until after I put the lid on. If I’m going to be more than a day, I’ll put a frame with foundation or a foundationless frame next to the frames I leave behind to give the bees something to work on. If I take all of the honey frames, I’ll put 3 frames in the middle. I always leave the honey super on the hive, as I have enough empty boxes for honey robbing. I always leave the hive mat sticking out, so I know which hives need stickies when I return.

By the time I’m ready to load the frames onto my truck, most of the bees have left the frames & gone back home. I’ll just shake any remaining bees onto the ground, in front of, or behind the hive. They always go back to their respective hives.

I agree with Jack, that IS a beautiful frame of brood. You will get a lot more of those frames if you start letting your colonies make their own queens through natural selection.


I guess you’re quite limited on KI- not being able to bring anything in. it’s local Nucs- or nothing. Ate least now you have a few hives- you should be able to make splits and create your own new colonies.


What I have done the last 2 days since I am able to be back in my apiary with an off-sider is to work on taking all the frames for extraction as they are all capped and sealed, I am playing catch-up from what I was dong when the accident happened nearly 4 weeks ago. I take the full frames off and set to the side, replace them with stickies from the previous days robbing and with the lid off shake and broom the bees off the full frames I will take away for extracting.
It doesn’t take long once you get into a routine and rhythm. From smoking the hive I have the lid back on in about an hour unless I see something out of the normal. A bit slower now with my burnt fingers :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
It is great to get back into my apiary and was amazed I didn’t loose a single hive from the heat and toxic smoke from my burning car that was within 5 metres on the hives.
The weather here is hot and humid with plenty of pollen and nectar being foraged.
A great frame of brood in you pic, I would use that queen for future frames of brood to produce a new virgin queen, she is a beauty.:grinning:


There is a commercial beekeeper one hour north of me (this is in northern Alberta, Canada) that runs 2000 double queen hives…and progressing up to the final honey pull, all…I mean all…of his 2000 colonies are 7 supers high. He…and his wife who rears all their own queens… are exquisite beekeepers…and far from lazy beekeepers…it’s a Hurculean task. The area that they live in has extractable honeyflows that are spread over only 10 weeks…but the flows are intense and those large field forces need a lot of surface area within the hive to spread a thin layer of nectar for curing. After the crop is in, they focus on winter preparation. Here is a photo of one of their trucks bringing back spring hives from their wintering grounds 1100 kms away to the west. They have to cross the Rocky Mountain range and several other ranges to get to a more moderate maritime wintering area…in the background is Mount Robson…the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

This area (referred to as the Peace River Country) produced so much honey at it’s peak that Billy Bee…Canada’s largest honey packer…built a warehouse along a railway siding in the area to solely rail the high quality honey back to eastern Canada…3000 kms away. Empty drums were brought back into the area in the returning empty boxcars. There were many top notch beekeepers in the area that stacked up those hives…and the hives were not only filled to the top with honey several times a summer, they were filled to the top with bees also.

So I think there should be a distinction made here between the space requirements of nectar storage and accompanying bees…and the location on the earth that the beekeeper has his operation. But your comments may be “right on” for your area…I’m not one to say.

Here is a photo that accurately reflects the equipment situation…the standard Flowhive (8 frame Langstroth) that appears to be suitable for you in your area versus a traditional 2 queen hive setup with the wider 10 frame full depth Langstroths used in my area.

I was always curious as to why Flowhive designed their equipment the way they did…but it must be because of numerous small flows throughout the year that justify less equipment. Are there Australian beekeepers out there that get larger flows that would at least justify going to a 10 frame Langstroth configuration with Flowhive frames? Or is the flow potential of areas very similar?


Thanks for your reply Doug. It is different as to how we do things in Australia. I was semi commercial some 40 years ago and in a cold winter climate(to 25F) but my hives had hot summers(100+F) constantly for several months.
What I did then was to ‘fume’ the bees out of 10 frame super boxes and then most of the frames were ready for extracting 150 miles away back home. I ran double brood boxes then and up to three supers per hive.

Where I live now is a sub-tropical climate with single brood boxes in my apiary three miles from home with two flow hives as an experiment and the rest are 8 frame Langstroth’s. A 8 frame Langstroth is the same external measurements as a 6 frame Flow Hive so it can be set up with a Langstroth brood box and a Flow Hive super as I have done. A 7 frame Flow hive is available to fit onto a 10 frame brood box as well. For me , as I say, I ran 10 frame when I was younger and it worked for me then but now at over 70 years young I can’t lift the extra weight so opted for an 8 frame setup.

My comment about having 7 boxes high is that you could make more hives with extra base boards, QX’s and lids and probably for a higher overall yield of honey. Do you run top entrances?? On the negative side is the need for more regular robbing and extracting of each hive, one or two boxes at a time. At 5’6" I simply couldn’t work a tall hive.:thinking:
I don’t know anyone who runs double queen in Aussie, maybe we just haven’t gone that way or tend to be more basic in our beekeeping.
Cheers Doug :grin:


I think it is clearly very much related to local conditions. It seems that in those parts of the world that have a limited honey season- they are often blessed with gigantic honey flows- so can utilize multiple boxes. Here is a video I really enjoyed from Ireland- these are MONSTER hives. The only reason he doesn’t go higher is he cant reach more than 7 boxes high:

@Doug1thats very interesting about those Canadian operators - and gells with what I was thinking. As to Australia- it seems that in many places one or two supers suffice- but having said that- according to google some of the biggest honey producing hives ever came from the giant Karri forests in Western Australia, back in the 1950’s:

“Mr. Rob Smith of Australia surely holds the world’s most astounding result for an apiary. According to Bill Winner, Beekeeper Services Manager, Capilano Honey Company, “We can confirm the average production of 346 kilograms (762 lbs) per hive from 460 hives. (This is almost twice the Aebi claim to fame, and it is an average from hundreds of colonies, not just one hive’s unique production.) The beekeeper’s name was Bob Smith from Manjimup, Western Australia. The honey was Karri.”


Yes I do…but I honestly can’t say if that fact results in more honey…haven’t done a good comparison. But the bees seem to use the extra entrance if they have the option. Keep in mind that my bees are kept inside year round. In my area I would question the requirement of a second entrance if the hive was only 2 or 3 boxes of bees. The commercial beekeeper I have referred to above (hives outside) uses just the single landing board entrance and at one point in the summer has three queen excluders on each hive…likely hard to imagine for most beekeepers. But in this climate, the total focus is to maximize the workforce for just that 10 week honeyflow…and contrary to intuition, both he and I believe that these populous double queen hives don’t ever swarm when operated in this specific manor. So its a one time honeyflow event during the year…not recurring throughout the year perhaps like many areas.


That’s a nice yield/hive…762 lbs/hive based on 460 production hives…would love to see a Karri tree loaded with bees in action…love those things. When Rob Smith had that average, there were big hives probably producing over 1000 lbs/hive…but when averaged over 460 hives…it helped out the stragglers below average production that were only say 300 lbs.

Nature has such a randomness about it…and when it comes to beekeeping, watch out if the stars line up. It, more times than not, is a once in a lifetime experience…but it can happen. I knew an experienced beekeeper, that I had a lot of respect for, describe to me how one year after a 3 inch rain followed by 3 consecutive days of 30C, the red clover (which normally doesn’t secrete nectar available to honeybees because the floret’s nectaries are out of the reach of the bee’s probiscus) started to secrete elevated amounts to fill those nectaries. He claims that when he walked out in the clover field, his lower pants got soaked with nectar, and said you could put 100 hives on a 25 hectare field and they couldn’t keep up. So in essence it was like inverting a 5 gallon pail of sugar syrup on each hive at it’s population peak and them taking it down in in a 24 hour period…and this going on day after day…until the weather conditions changed.

What I notice now…and I suspect it is due to our changing weather patterns…species of native flowering plants like wild roses, goldenrod, and snow berry are secreting abnormal amounts of nectar. In the past, bees never worked those plants…and plants like the dandelion which you could expect 30-40 kgs of honey from, don’t produce a drop. It’s so site specific and random…and intoxicating for the beekeeper.