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Winter Hive Inspection

Ok best put yr location in yr profile.
Have yr bees in a sunny location out of the wind. Provide them with a pest free hive as best you can!!

The biggest thing I see these days is someone that has nothing to do plays around creates something posts it on the net like these moisture quilts and people that have no idea take it up and spend time, effort plus money to do what bees have been doing for 1000s of yrs
I chuckle :slight_smile:

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so it’s my fault you assumed I was from the Northern hemisphere, eh? :wink:

as for the patronising musings:

Go ahead and chuckle. Pesonally I Like folks who are happy to tinker- who test new ideas- who innovate and move forward. Some things work- some don’t… That’s how progress happens. You don’t have to bother yourself with them…

I can just imagine you there, 10,000 years ago sitting on a fence, loking at the guy making the first wheel, chuckling to yourself, and telling anyone who’d listen how it wasn’t needed… … :upside_down_face:

I imagine these boxes will take me about 15 minutes apiece to make- and I TRULY believe the bees will appreciate the added insulation. They will also double as robber proof feeder boxes. We had an extreme heatwave this year where temps hit 47c- completely killing two of my hives and 100’s (if not thousnds of beehives) around South Australia: I believe these lids will help colonies suirvive by inuslating the roof from the colony when the sun is blasting th down on it. Obviously beekeeprs are going to have to rethink how they operate if such temps become more common.

Finally they will also be invaluable when moving hives as fully ventilated screened lids (just remove the wood chip insulation). So they do four things- take 15 minutes to make and can be made from scaps.

To conclude- thanks for your thoughts, but no thanks :wink:


lol yr arrogance surpasses yr ignorance.
I also love people that innovate and try new things like the flow hive that is awesome and I take my hat off to the people that have invented and marketed their product to the extent these guys have. They invented a new wheel for bee hives.:+1::+1:
These things yr promoting were around 30 years ago and were found to bee next to useless because the bees spent so much time sealing them up to stop the air flow through the hive. As for moving bees with ventilated lids lol where have you been for 50 yrs!!! all migratory beekeepers move their hives open entrance and they seem to survive without extra ventilation.
As for heat stress most of that is because you have probably done what I have read on forum reduce yr entrances to 150mm ? Um Im not very smart as you eluded to but my entrances are full box wide and we had temperatures as high as yrs for extended periods my bees bearded up to the top of their hive but they all survived and thrived but what would I know :slight_smile:

To conclude;
I have gone to 1 of my apiary to inspect hives and found all 40 hives dead from spray poisoning.
I have watched my apiary of 70 hives in a bush fire most of them burning like roman candles.
I have moved 1000s of hives on truck and trailer without a death all open entrance and all went to work as soon as they were settled.

Just for you Semaphore (the person that hides their name) thanks for yr post but never forget experience is something you will never get from a book or the internet!!

Come on Glen get a grip boy. This forum is to assist the Flow Hive users to have happy and healthy hives. The majority of people on this forum have between 1 and 4 Flow Hives hives and are more interested in the welfare of bees than they are of turning a profit compared those with 100 hives hives (not Flow) who have to make a living.

We share ideas and swap yarns but foremost in our endeavours is further the plight of the bees.

Please do not come here and denigrate members because they beg to differ from your ideas. Goodness me, I have disagreed with lots and lots of stuff on this forum but I respect the right to have fresh ideas without ridicule.

Stick around and you may learn something but don’t condemn stuff which does not comply with your practices


He actually doesn’t hide his name. If you click on his avatar, you can see that he is called Jack. Pretty good bloke, most of the time. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hi Glen, you kind of contradicted yourself. Assuming you’re talking about quilts when you stated that they were next to useless. A couple of days ago you said “they are not required unless the bees are in Victoria or Tasmania.”

As for wide entrances vs 6" entrances. I used to use all wide entrances until I joined this forum. After reading what @Michael_Bush said about small entrances, I took a look at one of my hives with a narrow entrance built into it that someone gave me. I didn’t bother changing it, through time constraints. However, that was probably my best performing hive. I don’t use any wide entrances any more. I use an entrance reducer, however I place it in the middle so as to give the bees two small entrances, one each side. That allows air in on one side & out on the other side.

I’m sorry to read of your poisoned bees & burnt hives. That is every beekeepers nightmare.

I agree with @Dawn_SD, Jack IS a nice bloke.

I also agree with @busso when he says “Come on Glen get a grip boy”.

@Semaphore, Hi Jack, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to put your location in your profile. That’s something Dawn & Peter are constantly reminding folks to do.


howdy thereGlen,
I’m not really going to bother repsonding to most of what you wrote- your first post addressed at me was rude- I responded in kind.

your second post is even ruder- well - good for you. It’s clear you’re a smart arse.

Are you saying you had temps of 47c? When? The hive that I had when the temp hit 47 c (which was a record for any Australian city- ever) and increddibly low humidity- had a full length entrance Yet it died. Thousands of other hives died on the exact same day around the state- many of them commercial beekeeprs hives- people with hundreds of hives and decades of experience. But sure I guess you know better than all of them- and understand OUR conditions here in SA better than we do.

I never move a hive with an open entrance- as I have them in my car- and it would be pretty damned stupid. But I do use screen to cover the entrance so the hive is ventilated. Many beekeepers use screened lids when transporting hives- the bees benifit from it- but I guess they are all stupid because you know better. . Other beekeepers who I repspect far more than you use quilt bxes with success- again I guess they are idiots?

so once again- thanks- but no thanks.

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Yes yr correct Im a smart ass but very experienced at it. High temps when? the summer just passed we also got the heat waves, SA is not the only State in Australia lol.
I stopped an entire job for days and sent the crews home after the temp hit 45c according to the Land cruiser temp gauge. But some out west would have recorded higher in their respective areas but not in a city and not official.
And just for yr benefit Semaphore/Jack Ill tell you a story from 20 + yrs ago. A friend of mine and still a good friend. Picked up 2 hives from a man that started up doing under road boring an innovator and very smart man, he had 2 hives and didn’t have time to look after them. He asked us to take them so Jeff said he would, Jeff loaded them into the back of his land cruiser troop carrier after carefully making sure they were all locked in and well ventilated. Some time up the road the bees started to walk. He abandoned the car after he couldn’t take anymore stings. Im not sure how far he walked to get home there were no mobile phones back then so he couldn’t call for help. the next day he opened the doors of his troop carrier and let the bees out un blocked the entrances and let them fly for the day that evening he moved them open entrance and never got a sting. 1 thing we laugh about is the inside of the troopy was covered in bee sht.
Now as for all those hives that died did the beekeeper supply his bees with clean drinking water or did they just let them drink shitty water from the dams that cows have been slopping through for months stirring it up, it would be hot full of algie and cow sht! Ask yr family to drink it!! In a heat wave many commercial bee keepers don’t have the money to provide truck loads of clean water to their bees, you tell me what do they do.

No Ill tell you what they do, they let them die and blame it on the weather instead of admitting its cheaper and easier to let them die. Then split hives next spring and keep surviving!!

Hi Glen, you wouldn’t be advocating moving hives with open entrances in cars would you? I sell a lot of colonies. The last thing I’d do is suggest someone move a hive open entrance in a car. The thing I do is make sure the bees can’t get out & that the hive is well ventilated. I caution the owners to DO NOT have a traffic accident. They always wholeheartedly agree.

Dirty water: @Michael_Bush again, speaks about bees collecting dirty water. I’ve also observed bees drinking dirty, putrid in fact water, while at the same time clean water was only a few meters away.


Jeff I would never advocate moving a hive inside a car no matter what, that’s why I said my friend Jeff had them all locked in and secure. (obviously he didn’t)!! And suffered a massive amount of stings because of his lack of due diligence, that was the point I was trying to make.

Bees will drink water from the source that best suits the hive but if there is only 1 they will use it good or bad

I agree about not advocating moving bees inside a car, no matter what.

Is that bloke still keeping bees? A first time honey customer yesterday told us that he bought 2 hives a lot of years ago. He dropped a brood frame & got about a hundred stings. That ended his beekeeping career. He didn’t say what he did with the hives.

I think every beekeeper has stories like that to tell.

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hey Glen, I have noticed your haste to generalize, for example the cold climate of the NSW New England and the granite belt out to Toowoomaba has such cold winters that a bee hive will survive so much stronger with a mat or some other type of insulation. Years ago we hoped for mild winters for the colonies to survive, and I lost my fair share at Mudgee NSW but I think your a bit unfair to those that want to do a little extra to help their bees, after all, it won’t harm them.Cheers


I think we (well most of us) have all been guilty of that.
Only did it the once.:fearful: Didn’t get a 100 stings but enough to make me a little smarter by always wearing a suit when moving frames for what ever reason.:wink::wink:


Hi Glen,

I assume you think that everywhere in Qld is 'beautiful one day & perfect the next" lol

Here in Warwick we have just had a spate of bitter weather, with minimum temps between zero & minus 5. Just down the road at Stanthorpe it snowed again at 9am. Just to give you an idea, here is a pic taken just outside town.

I am glad I spent the $2 on a bit of 4x2 and added a 50cm quilt to the hive, as it certainly would have helped retain some heat that would have been lost otherwise.

As for them covering it with propolus, that’s not a bad thing as research show this is how bees keep hives healthy, so why not encourage it?

Cheers, Ian


The cold blast didn’t come over to the Sunshine coast as hard as it has hit you. And this is only the first week of winter so I figure we will have more to come. Funny that some might travel through Warwick in a summer heatwave and think that is a normal climate for the other 365 days of the year.
Keep warm mate, as best you can.
Cheers Peter

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When I have had hives away from the coast in cold damp areas some do ok without mats and some thrive. Placement and orientation is the key with or without mats. I am not and will never be an advocate of reduced entrances. When I first started bee keeping it was normal to reduce entrances!!! But it was also normal to have 20 to 30 yr old combs in the brood nest. Reduced entrances allow debris to buildup and is a haven for pests and diseases BUT what would I know.

Thanks Peter

“And this is only the first week of winter”

You took the word right out of my mouth! I was wishing I was back on the coast myself. We went to Brisbane one day and found it quite a bit more tolerable, so would be quite nice up your way.

Stay well,
Cheers, Ian

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I don’t understand why you sent a reply to me. It seems to be off subject as so far you have been against hive mats or hive protection from the cold of winters.
Enjoy your bee keeping, but accept others do things to improve their hive comfort.

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We have dipped to 14/16c at night and mid 20s during the days this past week. A sudden average drop of 5/7C day and night over the previous week over here. It has slowed the bees in their normal early starts but with the autumn rain at least the flowers have nectar in them.
Cheers Ian, Peter