The key to proper flow hive management is reliable information.
The increased popularity in beekeeping has resulted in some terrific new Australian beekeeping books being published.
In New South Wales the Amateur Beekeepers Association has twenty clubs throughout the state. ABA members are an excellent source of knowledge and support. Many of them have working flow hives. Here is a list of Australian beekeeping clubs.
Mt. Coramba Apiculture can deliver beekeeping courses and workshops for all levels of beekeepers. Our classes are flexible and competitively priced.
Ensure that you obtain your bees from a reputable beekeeper who will supply you with a robust and disease-free nucleus hive. Your bees should be docile and easy to work with.
When you purchase your flow hive buy an extra super and eight frames so that you can build your bees up to a robust double hive. Spring management and swarm control through brood manipulation are much easier when you have two standard supers as well as your flow super.
Place the flow frames on the hive when the bees have drawn all of the frames in the brood box and the honey super. You can encourage the bees to use the flow frames by placing them between the brood box and the drawn honey super. (See the featured image) Ensure that the queen is below the queen excluder in the brood box. No amount of rubbing wax or spraying of sugar syrup on the frames will encourage the bees to use the flow frames if your hive is weak or there is no nectar flow. Be patient.
Always leave a super of honey (8 frames) for your bees. This ensures that they have enough resources to get them through a cold winter or prolonged spells of wet weather and poor nectar flows.
Honeybee diseases such as American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood and chalkbrood are endemic throughout the eastern states of Australia. Small Hive Beetle infestations can wipe out a hive in days. Take the time to familiarise yourself with honeybee diseases and monitor your colonies regularly.
Have a look at our blog about responsible backyard beekeeping.
All states in Australia require beekeepers to register their hives. Responsible beekeepers comply with the Australian Honeybee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice.
The owner of Mt. Coramba Apiculture, Glenn Locke can assist you with advice or hands-on mentoring in your apiary.
Contact us for more information and friendly advice.