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Video: Week 2 after package install on my rooftop in Sydney, Australia


Hi all,

I made a video of my week 2 inspection… I think everything is going to plan… a few questions come up through the video, I’d appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks.


Hi Adam, you’re doing a great job there. In my old age, I’m inclined to pick a much cooler part of the day to do any inspections. Like you, I have to suit up.

Needless to say, you’ll need to watch out for cross combing.

To answer a couple of your questions, I’d leave the core flute in the top slot as well as see how hot it gets near the entrance. You might need something cooler beneath the hive if it gets too hot.

If I still had the crown board in my flow hive, I’d leave the hole open.

Flow hivers are finding that they need to put bricks on top of their roofs, or ratchet strap them down. They DO blow off. I opted to modify mine so that I can use it in conjunction with a vinyl mat with bee space all round so that the bees will propolize my roof down. The same as they do with migratory lids. That being the case I wont need any weights or ratchet straps to hold my roof down after the first couple of weeks.

I sealed all of the gaps in my roof to remove hiding places for SHBs.


I notice you said the comb was on ‘a little bit of an angle’. be very sure that the hive is perfectly level (especially side to side)- if it is off by even a few degrees every comb will be off too. This becomes more apparent when the bees attach the comb fully to the lower bar. You will see them attaching it to one side off center. This is very important when using foundation-less combs. Seeing how your frames are not fully built out- even if you adjusted the level now it would improve the end result.

otherwise looks great! I wonder how hot it might get there in the middle of a summer heatwave- do you think it might be possible to install some kind of shade cloth over the hive at those times? Last year we put cloth over our hives at the height of summer- just draping it over the roof and weighting it at the two sides.



Sydney is a city that can get very strong winds (in the damaging range of over 125k). I have a modification in mind in relation to the roof which I am yet to do, but I agree with Jeff, that in such an exposed site, there is a reasonable chance your roof will leave the hive. If you do put a square of wood over the feeder hole in the inner cover, the bees will propolise that in place, so if your roof takes off, the bees should not get directly exposed to the weather, as the inner cover should also be propolised down. A word of warning though, if you inspect one day, and the next day or so is windy, the inner cover may not be sufficiently propolised to hold it.

My understanding is that “The urban beehive” people in Sydney use 10 frame hives to give more stability against the wind in that climate.


Only a couple of things. Try to get the habit of pulling frames with two hands, the one handed lift you used had the end of the frame up against the box which will roll/kill bees. Also, when your hive gets going the frames will be too heavy for a one handed lift. Try metal fly wire over the hole in the inner cover, gives ventillation but if the bees don’t want so much ventillation they will propolise it up. Tying down in windy weather will be important as others have already said. Think about feeding them a bit so they get a boost early in the season. That hive is healthy but there are not too many bees there. Is your entrance half closed? With that small population they can only guard a small entrance.

Look forward to your next episode :sunglasses:



Thanks for your note Rob. I will try and do the two hand lift next time - good advice. I was also thinking I might go the flywire on the top to give them some options.

At the moment, the entrance is fully open. Do I just jam something in it to close it off half way?

Also - In terms of feeding - what would you recommend? 1:1 sugar water, what do you use as a feeder?

Thanks again.



Thanks, I think I will tie a ratchet strap around it. Should this be anchored to the rooftop somehow to prevent the entire thing tipping when it gets higher?



when I put the hive up there I checked that it was levelled correctly, the comb is more wavering over the comb guide. Vertically it looks spot on.



Thanks for the comments Jeff. Think I’ll try the flywire suggestion on top and a strap around the whole thing. I’m still tossing up if I should correct the comb now or just leave it for a while until things are more established.

I’m sticking with the suit at the moment :-), until I start getting complacent (watch this space!)

I’ll leave the core flute at the top as suggested… thanks.

Great Hobby!


G’day Adam, you are most welcome.

I think a strap around the whole thing would be sufficient. It would have the same effect as the roof being propolized down.

I think I would correct the comb while it’s easy to do. It will only get harder as the colony gets more established.

I’ve been suiting up for 30 years. When I got a bit gung ho in the early days, I got stung. No shorts & t-shirt for this bloke. I’ll leave that for blokes on youtube.

It IS a great hobby, for sure. Good luck with your bees, cheers


I can’t see properly, but is that stand anchored to the roof? That would be good as you can then tie things down onto the hive stand and sleep ok at night when the gales come in.

Congratulations by the way on keeping the smoker going nicely.


i agree it should be anchored to the roof- if not just for peace of mind. It’s easy to forget how extreme storms can be… Last year we had a huge storm in Adelaide in December and at 3 am I found myself running around the yard putting bricks onto beehives in soaking rain, thunder and lightning. That night large potted tree with very heavy bases were tipped over and tree branches came down all along my street…


Jack, you were lucky you didn’t get struck by lightning. In nearly 30 years, I’ve never anchored any hives down, I’ve never had any hive roofs blown off. I’ve never had any hives blown over. We get our fair share of severe gale force to near cyclonic winds up here. Once a lid is anchored to a hive, it’s not going anywhere. The only things that have shifted any of my hives is the odd cow.



I just use a bit of wood the right thickness and push it into the entrance. All my hives only have half entrances in summer and go down to quarter entrances in winter. You want yor entrance busy but not crowded.

As for feeding, I think packages need a bit of help to get going. I use baggie feeders but it does not matter which type you use so long as its NOT an entrance feeder, they start robbing. This time of year I would be giving them 1:1 to kick them off. When feeding its a balancing act, you want them to build some stores but not backfill the brood nest. A trick I use is a bit of food colouring in the syrup so you can identify sugar honey later and leave that for the bees. Of course you don’t feed with a super on the hive.


P.S. I would be tying it down up there. When a big wind comes you can relax if its tied down otherwise you will just worry about it.


Hi there, standard entrance reducers don’t work with Flow kits. I used three paint stir sticks available for free at hardware and paint stores. I used a serrated kitchen knife to score each one & snap 2" or 3" off the ends. Stacked up they should wedge right into your Flow brood box entrance & leave a more easily guarded smaller opening at one end.


but do you have any hives on a roof jeff? I imagine at this stage especially- when the hive hasn’t built up and isn’t weighted down by honey- I’d be concerned it would just blow away if it wasn’t anchored? I felt fine about all my hives until that storm hit and I saw huge trees bending in the wind… as I said- I’d anchor it just for peace of mind alone.


I agree Jack, anything for peace of mind. I recently met a bloke who had a hive on his roof. He took me up & showed me. It wasn’t anchored down.

I put 10 frame nuc boxes on the roofs of other hives. They have hardly any weight in them at all. They only sit on the two bottom board cleats. They never shift.

It’s all about perception. If one thinks it’s going to shift, why not anchor it down? However when you measure the area that the wind is going to push on vs the down force of the total weight, there’s not much to worry about. The only hives that I see anchored down is the odd one or two hives owned by hobby beekeepers.

If a two story beehive was converted into a pot plant & it had a large, tall shrub growing out of it, then I’d be concerned if it wasn’t tied down.


PS Jack, I just walked in from fiddling around outside. I tell you what, those flow supers full of empty frames are rather heavy, this one’s wrc. My roof’s a bit heavier now after using the best part of a whole tube of silicone under it.


Interesting tie down method here.


Thanks fot sharing, question, isnt it not to hot for the bees on that rooftop?