I’m Roland and I ended up in this corner of the Internet because the Canberra bee discussions are interesting and informative.
I live in the VA of the Canberra Confederacy, that means Weston Creek, on the dodgy end of Doyle Terrace. I am a relatively new keeper, just 3 or 4 lean years keeping bees. I did 12 years in Virginia and took the kids out to Bull Run, at the end of that time, to show them where ‘we’ beat those Yankees twice.
I have mostly food grade 10 frame jumbo hives. I started in wood, but got sick of the stuff pretty quick. The exception is the Colorado Top Bar hive that I bought from ANU. It started off as a sheet of plywood and thanks to EXCELLENT advice from Eric, caught a swarm in it. It was baited with a lure and had some foundation attached to a couple of bars to draw them in.
I had it too close to other hives the prior year. Once moved to the other side of the house, it caught a swarm within a week! How cool was that. I am entertaining the fantasy that I might get some honey from it in October.
Of the 4 hives in the yard the Colorado seems to be doing best in the Winter.
I am too busy to bother with feeding my hives. At the same time there has to be a LOT of honey in the hive before I will think about robbing. This means the bees really do struggle through Winter, but with been nervous about robbing, they make it through (fingers crossed).
My preferred honey box is the ideal. It’s half the standard height and half the weight. The beekeeping community seems infested with bad backs, and I am keen to opt out on one of those. Plus the stickies are much easier freeze in the kitchen chest freezer.
Future plans are to build an ICF Castle somewhere and have about 40 or so hives to fund overseas trips, a (white BF)Fairlane and various girlfriends.
I use Apithor SHB killing cassettes, because they work and are super easy to use.
I do go swarm collecting and don’t mind giving them away to people who tag along or are merely polite.
So, here in Canberra my main focus is paying attention and writing stuff down.