Introduce yourself

Welcome to the forum!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up in this corner of the Internet.

Are you a new beekeeper, old beekeeper or looking to start?

Are you Langstroth, Warre, Flow or Top Bar? or something else entirely?

Are you south side, north side or outside of Canberra?

Well it’s a little quiet in here so i’ll try and start it off :smile:

I’m RBK, a 1st generation beekeeper in Canberra . I originally kept hives in QLD and re-established over the last few years in Canberra and am quickly getting up to speed on the local climate/conditions and beekeeping.

I currently have 10 hives across Canberra and deal entirely in Langstroth (varying depths) and have also purchased a Flow super this season to compare methods and develop tutorials (eg. and first hand experience to share with Flow users in the the local area.

I am often digging through old beekeeping texts and experimenting with hive designs which will probably be reflected in my posts here.

I have met a lot of local beekeepers in Canberra through open days, club meetings and training courses and I am always keen to hear about beekeeping experiences from other beekeepers in the region.

Hi there. Allow us to introduce ourselves.

Livi and Jennifer Krevatin.

We live at Michelago, at the foot of the Tinderry Mountains (6ks off Monaro Highway). We have owned a 40 acre bush block since 2003, and permanently moved there in January 2009.

We have an established vegetable garden and orchard and have been thinking of working a beehive for some time. It was last year when we saw ‘The Flow On Effect’ on Australian Story, the follow up from the 2015 story of the Andersons. On visiting a friend at Abels Landscaping Pialliog and noticed he had a ‘Flow Hive’. This fed our interest further and decided to purchase a ‘Flow Hive’ ourselves, purely to pollinate our garden.

We had Eric(Better Beehives) set up the nucleus for us in September/October last year. As we are new to beekeeping, we just let the hive work away, without checking as to what was going on. Basically, we didn’t know how to check our hive. However, we did observe bees were not working in the top ‘Flow’ frames and just thought ‘they would eventually get there’.

We just recently attended a three day beekeeping workshop with Eric and learnt an enormous amount of hands-on stuff. Eric suggested we rub the face of the ‘Flow’ frame to encourage the bees to explore that top frame. We were blown away as to how quick they discovered that frame (matter of minutes)! On learning more about beekeeping, over the last two weekends we have explored our hive and were astonished as to the amount of honey we have in the bottom boxes.

Out of two and half frames, we have harvested just over 6kgs of honey. See pics.

Following on from our workshop with Eric and talking with his ‘guest’ beekeepers, we took the step in moving three frames up to the ‘Flow’ box. By the way, these frames were the ones we extracted the honey on Sunday and returned them to the hive on Monday. We will keep you posted on how these frames have developed over the past week.

Cheers for now
L & J

Welcome to the site Livi / Jennifer!

Very keen to see the pics, especially of your harvest!, but unfortunately I can’t access them (permissions?). You can attach photos/images to a post directly in the forum by pressing the ‘up arrow’ icon when making a post.



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.



Welcome to the site Roland!

For those interested in the Colarado Top Bar hive mentioned above, I took the following photos when I was extracting honey (pressing with a fruit/apple press) with Roland.

It’s pretty impressive what can be created using CNC and a single sheet of plywood.

More details on the Colorado Top Bar hive can be found here

Hi I am a relatively new beekeeper with one Flowhive started with a 3 frame nucleus last october following a beekeeping course through Bindaree Bee Keeping at Murrumbateman. The hive, which I bought privately from a guy who discovered his wife was allergic to bees, is at our sons place at Carwoola(5 acres with a spread of trees and shrubs mostly original native but several introduced including fruit trees). We live in Belconnen. We did not get any honey last year as the hive was building up and I did not want them to starve during the winter, also they were reluctant to go into the “Flow” box so I will try Eric’s tip with the wax later when things warm up a bit.
I have also ordered a second flow hive and will get another nucleus from Eric in this instance. He has agreed to take the assembled box and install the nuc in October so I can then transfer it to Carwoola and it will suffer less “dis
comfort” than introducing the nuc direct. Hopefully a more productive year this spring. I am also a member of ACT Beekeepers Association and regularly attend the monthly meetings which I find very useful both for information and contacts.

Welcome to the site Chris, great to see another local Flow Hive owner.

I run a Flow super (7 frame Flow) on a dual queen hive (2 x 5 frames). I had a similar experience to you last season, but my Flow frames are about 50% full. I have them in a freezer over winter and will put them back on when it starts to warm up a bit.

I wrote a tutorial on encouraging bees up into the Flow super here

We have got a lot of Flow owners started in Canberra and I have posted a lot of content on the Flow forums… so if you have any Flow specific questions let us know!

Here is a shot of my Flow super adapted to fit on a Technoset plastic hive:

I’m new to this group (1st post).
I was a young bee keeper at 15 after watching my grandfather keep his bees in Campbell. It was a European set up where he accessed the hives from a door in the back from within a closed room. I kept 4 of my own traditional hives at the time around 1984.
Last week I stumbled across a Kenyan Top Bar hive at the Burra Field day. Fell in love immediately. Bought one and am awaiting delivery. Can’t wait.
I live in Little Burra.

Hi and welcome to the site!

I saw the Burra field day in the calendar at the last minute, but unfortunately didn’t make it out there to grab some photos.

There are a couple of KTB owners on here, but they are probably still in hibernation! Do you have any photos of the KTB you purchased? was it made locally?

Hi all,

My name is Ben and I am just getting into beekeeping. I live in Cook in Belconnen.

I have built a top bar hive with a friend and am getting it set up now. Initially we got some bees from a possum box and cut them into the top bar hive, which went well until I did a proper inspection and noticed how much dead, smelly brood there was. The hive is off to Steritech this morning, so hopefully I will be up and running again soon. That is how I came across the site actually, by searching Steritech and Top Bar Hive and finding the very useful Q and A. I may be able to add to it soon, depending on how my top bar goes through!

I am also interested in getting a langstroth hive, but have just had a baby so my time is a little stretched at the moment. I am keen to learn from those more experienced on the forum.

That is awesome! I have always wanted to fiddle with CNC. I wonder if local kitchen companies could make these for a reasonable price?


Not the best introduction to the site re: Steritech, but definitely let us know how you get on (didn’t think to ask about Top Bar hives in the Steritech Q&A).

That is definitely a risk of cutting our an established wild colony, the exact issue was raised about possum boxes at the last ACT Beekeepers meeting.

Did you confirm if it was AFB / EFB? or sent off as a precaution?

Also interested to know which resources you are using for your top bar plans? Do you have any photos of the build? if so, start a thread!

Hi, I’m Hannah, living on a bush block down the Captains Flat end of Carwoola. I’m still a very new beekeeper, and currently with no bees due to losing my hives in a bushfire in February. I’m hoping to get new hives up and running next year when things grow back in again, but in the meantime I’m determined to keep learning as much as I can and get any hands-on experience whenever possible.

So far I’ve only used langstroth hives but I’d really like to try running several hive types eventually, to understand the nuances of each. For no real reason except interest I suppose.

So glad to have made my way to this forum - it’s brilliant.


My names Chris, I live on 200 acres in Gunning (70km NE) but grew up and still work in Canberra. I’ve just installed my first package this spring into a 7 frame FlowHive and then by chance caught a swarm in a donated 8-frame langstroth 4 weeks later. Hives have therefore expanded faster than expected so I’ve scrambled together another shipment of frames and foundation and bought some pine for building a honey super for the swarm hive this weekend.

Although not in Canberra, the climate is very similar so I figured this would be a good place to lurk in to get an idea of what sort of configuration/strategy people are using going into winters and what pests/disease there is in the region to look out for.


Hi Guys, I am WHJMFM< living in the Monaro on a small property some 4 km south of Cooma. Two weeks ago, after visiting some beekeeper friends in Bodalla , I decided to start beekeeping myself and started looking for suitable courses. However fate put me on an accelerated course. One week ago a swarm of bees decided to settle in a wine barrel on our veranda, I consider this a good omen but am at loss what to do now. Would love to transfer the cosy animals to a more suitable accommodation. I have read a number of back yard bee keeping books and have an idea what is involved. However I would love to get some advise how to proceed from here.


Hi whjmfm,

Welcome to the site.

You really need to get a hive together with some frames and transfer the bees ASAP before they start building established comb in their current location (as established comb makes the transfer process more complex).

My guess would be that they are already starting to build comb if a week has passed?

Hi I’m Ian I live just north of the a.c.t. I always liked bees and wanted to have a hive but was a bit daunted by the whole thing. Then a swarm landed in a melaleuca in the garden. I didn’t want it to end up in the roof of our house -which has a few gaps in the eaves- so I popped the swarm in a cardboard box with an entrance hole, and called a few beekeepers to see if they wanted it. None did and of course the bees settled in. Then the rain started and the box began to collapse so i made a hive type arrangement modelled loosely on a top bar. I bravely -but calmly i like to think- transferred the combs into the box and brushed as many bees as possible in too. The bees were calm and didn’t give me any grief at all. Popped the bars on, then the roof and sat back and watched the bees do the bum in the air fanning madly thing ( the this is home dance?). That was yesterday and they’re still there today but I think I shouldn’t have just put the combs on the floor as I can see them still down near the entrance.
Can anyone advise what i should do? Leave them for a while the try to remove the comb on the floor? Thanks, Ian (accidental beekeeper )

Hi Ian, I think I am in about the same situation. The bees have happily adopted the wine barrel as their home and I assume are building their honey combs.If I can find alternative housing I will make an effort to relocate the combs plus bees. However I have no idea where to get a simple two chambered hive. , I live in Cooma and can easily travel to Canberra area. In the meantime I enjoy watching the bee activities around the bung hole in the barrel

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