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When a New Beekeeper Loses Interest


Are you saying I am ignoring established beekeepers? I ask for help constantly and seek out advice form established beekeepers all the time. I’m telling you that my local scene was not supportive. I had to look further. I found the answers I needed BECAUSE I went on the web. I would not be where I am today if I had relied on the people in my area. (Until I very recently found a reliable, trusted source not too far away.)

How can you predict this future?

Who would spend about $1000 on a hive set up and gear and leave it in the yard expecting it to just be a honey factory? So many “experienced” beekeepers who shot down the flow hive for this very reason are really underestimating the people buying flow hives. I’m one of them. I hear this all the time. Please watch any one of my bee videos and you will see that I am 100% invested in doing this right.

And I’m trying really hard to be a positive example. I may not do every single thing correctly, but I am learning, improving and completely open about all of my decisions and thought processes. If something doesn’t work, I ask for advice and refine my approach. If I do something stupid, I hear it and correct it next time. In the end, I have finished the season with a double deep brood nest, totally full for winter. There were hiccups along the season, but I’m ready for the winter. My bees are totally fine.

I keep hearing this lecture and I really don’t think I’m part of this problem. I’m doing my best to be a good beginner.


Because history repeats itself and I am getting exposure to these people at the ‘coal face’ when they are looking to buy bees.

We’ve collected 70+ swarms this year, I’d say 40+ of them were due to beekeepers not maintaining hives, and then when interacting with these beekeepers they are either completely ignorant to the fact they need to open the hives regularly or are adamant that the swarm has nothing to do with them (again due to either ignorance or arrogance).

So how can I predict the future? I don’t have to, I’m living it in the present.

I’m not sure why you take everything as a personal attack, my comments are about the flow hivers that are leading to the perceptions. If you want to lump yourself in with these beekeepers it’s your choice.

I am giving realistic responses to your ongoing rhetoric around other beekeepers and their attitudes towards Flow. There are more sides to the story than the Flow community echo chamber.


By my experience, approximately 25% of people who own Flow.


I guess because every comment you’ve made in this thread was aimed directly to me? And then you quoted and replied to my comment? Pardon me for not realizing that you were not referring to me.


I think you’re misinterpreting difference of opinion.

Yes I have commented in response to you, and made some direct comments to you, but it’s far from ‘every comment you’ve made in this thread is directed at me’. You’ve attacked everyone that has responded to you, not just me.


I think you are incredibly brave. I watched your youtube video, and I will be very interested to follow your education and evolution as a beekeeper. We all have to start somewhere, and sharing your experience gives others a chance to learn too. In my opinion, you care about your bees, and you have the approach needed to become a very good beekeeper with time and experience. Please keep posting. :wink:


Hi Jim, I agree with @Dawn_SD, you ARE incredibly brave. It is clear that you have a passion for your bees.

I also agree with @RBK, a lot of flow hives will sit in yards & remain unopened. I believe a lot of flow hives will finish up on shelves in sheds etc. This also happens with traditional bee hives. History will certainly repeat itself in that area. The only difference is the amount of money the new beekeepers have paid out.

People have raised concerns about all these new beekeepers with flow hives spreading pests & disease. Those concerns are absolutely valid. If a beehive (traditional OR flow) is left unchecked & the colony weakens because of AFB or EFB, that hive will get robbed out by neighboring healthy hives, thus taking the disease back to those healthy hives. In a SHB area, once a colony is left unchecked & the colony weakens, the SHB will multiply hundreds of thousands more beetles into the area.

These facts can’t be ignored. However the same thing happens with new beekeepers that take on traditional hives & then let them sit unchecked.

I believe that the % of new beekeepers that finish up being long term beekeepers would certainly be less than half. I feel confident that you’ll be one of the new beekeepers that ends up being a long term beekeeper.


@JeffH Things like this happen with every new thing. I am sure the videos will bring in people that think it will be that simple. It obviously wont take long for them to realize its a fair amount of work. This will be good for those of us that know what it takes to maintain a hive. We should be able to get the equipment from them at a discounted price!


Actually, yes. Every comment in the thread that you made prior to the one in question was directly to me. I was talking to Kristen and you jumped in. Then I started talking to you. Am I missing something?

Attacked? Seriously? The only people I’m talking to are you and Kristen. There’s no ‘everyone’ here.

I came across this thread, which was a discussion about a video that I produced, and I decided to log in and address some of the criticism aimed at me. I’m trying to clarify the point of my videos. That’s it. If you feel that I ‘attacked’ you in some way, I do not understand. You have completely misinterpreted me.


I guess this happens more than I imagined it would. I’ve only been at this one season now. The thought of investing the amount of money a Flow Hive and gear costs and then letting the hive just sit there sounds crazy to me. On the other side of the coin, though, there are plenty of people (myself included) trying to do everything right and still get infested with disease and pests. I’m glad I caught my mite infestation and treated (despite dozens of people telling me NOT to treat).

Thanks to you and @Dawn_SD for the encouragement. I’m trying to set a good example. Doing my best. The videos will continue. Thanks.


G’day Jim, you’re most welcome:) thank YOU, yes & keep those videos coming.


Like many others I purchased a FH thinking all I needed to do was turn a lever and get honey from a tap. I didn’t really have the $ spare but thought what a great investment no more buying honey…
Wrong of course.
I’ve done many things wrong since buying my first nuc, buying my first nuc being one of them, and, will no doubt, make more, it’s inevitable.
The loss of my first colony was gutting. The loss of my second colony was a little less gutting but upsetting never the less. Hindsight is a wonderful thing provided something is learned.
IF we, as beginners, get shot down when we share our experiences we won’t share and that is a mistake as others won’t learn from our mistakes which is as important as learning from our own.
I’ve seen a few malicious posts on this forum but none on this thread.
Good work with the sharing @VinoFarm we are all learning with you.
Thanks for speaking your mind @Kirsten_Redlich, constructive criticism is always a bitter pill to swallow. :wink:
By the way this new beekeeper hasn’t lost interest but I still have to buy honey…
We are all here to share.


This longer time beekeeper still has to buy honey too, but that is for several reasons… :blush: First, my passion is lavender honey, and I can’t grow enough lavender to harvest that in southern California! Second, SoCal is in a long term drought, and our nectar flow is pitiful. Other local beekeepers succeed, and one of our hives does better than the other. Obviously the microclimate and local irrigation has a big role to play. Plus many of the really successful beekeepers in my local club move bees around to pollinate orchards. I am not willing or able to do that.

So I plod on, trying to keep my bees healthy, and remembering many years in the UK when we harvested 75lb or more per hive. The joy is really in keeping the bees, and having pollinators for our local community gardens. If we get excess honey, that is a bonus, but I never went into this to sell honey. Some do, and I respect that. I didn’t. To each their own, and peace to all. :wink:


Yes, I’m reviving this topic.

I have a dilemma. I split a bloke’s flow hive 8 weeks ago because his hive was bearding & he wants a second hive in his yard. I moved his split to my bee site, far enough away so that no bees return to his hive. Despite 2 phone calls, he hasn’t returned my calls.

My dilemma is: do I keep phoning him or just use his split as a type of feeder/donor hive?

A long time ago (over 20 years) a bloke paid me $20 to transfer his bees from a dilapidated single box into a good box he owned. He wanted to shift the hive a few hundred meters. I told him I’d take it away for a couple of weeks while he got the stand ready & so that no bees return to the old site. I never had his phone no. I told him to phone me when the stand was ready… I never got that phone call.

I always new his box because it had a distinguishing feature. Since doing box repairs, that feature was removed. Now I haven’t a clue which box was his.


Just go to that bloke’s house with his bees and drop them off. Check out his other hive while there and make sure they are being cared for properly.


Hi Ed, I did 2 hours work that he owes me for. I’m not going to beg for it. Plus I don’t have time to go checking on every ones hives to make sure the bees are cared for properly.

The brood box & frames etc are his & all new. I guess he’ll want them back.

I dare say I’ll eventually hear from him. Not like the bloke over 20 yrs. ago. His bees sat in the deteriorating hive for 20 years, unattended before he called me. I remember thinking how incredibly docile the bees were, considering how many times they must have swarmed & requeened over that time.


I guess treat it like last time- wait as long as you can- then if you never hear back - the split is your payment.

Maybe he has just left town unexpectedly- or something has come up. I agree that if he went to the effort of getting a new box with frames he will probably get back to you.


I agree Jack, in the mean time, I’ll milk his split as much as I can. His new queen is a real egg laying machine.


fair enough Jeff- that’s just ‘collecting the interest’… :wink:


here’s a story you would like Jeff, the other day i caught that swarm I mentioned on the forum. When I spoke to the lady on the phone I didn’t mention any payment. When I got there the first thing she asked me was ‘do I expect any payment’ I explained that most people charge $50 for an easy capture like this- to cover their expenses in time, petrol and equipment. I then said that as I hadn’t mentioned it- and as I’d like the bees- I would be more than happy with just $20 for my time and expenses.

she explained how she just wants to ‘help the bees’ and provide someone with ‘free bees’. I explained that free bees are actually not worth a great deal on their own- it is only after investment in collection, a hive, and maintenance that they can be built up into something of modest value.

She then said, ‘Ok well this time no payment, ok, and then next time i will remember what you said?’. I looked around at the expansive yard, the manicured cottage gardens, the fine big house… and I couldn’t be bothered pushing the point so I just said ‘OK well- do you have any fruits you can give me?’. Turns out she had some great grapefruit so I got a few kilos of them and half a dozen good mandarins :wink:

I really should have mentioned payment when I took the call- but it was a nice fat swarm that I have a use for so iI took what i could get and cut my losses. But I made sure when I went back a few days later to collect the Nuc that I got another big bag of grapefruit. :slight_smile:

Afterwards I thought about the whole scenario and recalled I had heard the same line last year from people: that a swarm catcher should ‘be happy’ just to get ‘free bees’. It occurred to me that in reality a swarm of bees alone really does not have a huge value. Until it is housed and built up- it is worth maybe $30 to $50 at most. If it takes 4 hours out of a day to catch- that’s not a very good hourly rate considering the cost of living these days…
After all you can buy an established Nuc with 5 wired foundation frames, a good laying queen, etc- for maybe $120 (or less if it’s from jeff?).

Last year i dodn’t charge for catching swarms- but from here on in I will. The irony of charging is that those people who do not want to pay- ar the ones I most want to pay- and those that are happy to pay- are the ones I am most inclined to do it for free for. Last year I had people say that if they have to pay they would rather just kill the bees. That really pisses me off. I had other folks who offered me payment when I hadn’t even asked.