Introduce yourself


Hi whjmfm i made mine from a 600x900 piece of 19mm plywood-pic is my avatar -bad pic though as phone camera is no good. It’s about 30x26cm and 45cm high. The top bars are 30mm pine from bunnings, spaced out with about 10mm wide garden stakes. So 40mm centres…I decided I was overthinking it and just needed a weatherproof box with an entrance. I just made it up as I went along and it turned out ok. It’s probably the wrong size and i screwed the floor on which i now realise was a mistake as i can’t put another box below it without some disturbance. Also I should have painted/sealed it but I was a bit rushed as the cardboard box they were in had collapsed and tipped over exposing bees and comb.
Yep I like to sit and watch them too. I got curious today and had a look in- they’re in there and mostly on the old comb, but some up on the underside of the bars which i dripped beeswax onto for a rough starter. Again, probably did it wrong but I don’t know what I’m doing-just read a bit here and there.
I figure maybe I can build a proper setup and have it ready for when they swarm.
Anyway I’m sure someone will give you some advice better than I can, but happy to help if I can. But it does sound difficult to get them out of a barrel. Cheers and good luck with it, Ian


BTW You could try bindaree bee supplies in murrumbateman for a hive. Sorry if I’m not allowed to mention commercial stuff- no connection with them I just found them when the swarm first arrived and I called to see if they wanted it as theyre fairly close…


Hi Ian, thanks for sharing your experience. In my case the bees found a good sturdy home and I do not see the need to transfer them urgently (this is all based on ignorance) In the meantime I will try to get some more suitable accommodation for them which I will put somewhere close in case they feel the need to start swarming again, At that time I hope to have acquired some basic knowledge to know what to do. Once again looking at the bees in my old wine barrel (I used to make wine on a small commercial basis in the past )gives me a good feeling. I may even try to refurbish the wine barrel in such a way it can function as a real hive,

good luck




Hi all!
Im Rachel and located in Gordon.
Ive been keen for the past yr or so to get a Flow Hive and have finally convinced hubby (who hates/scared of bees) that its a good idea.
Im trying to learn and research the best i can. Looking at doing a course to learn more before we commit to a hive.


Hi all,
I currently work in Canberra, but own a small farm near Cowra.
I have selected the spot for a couple of hives and looking at introducing bees to my land in 2018 season.


Hi I am Harjinder
Just bought my first box with bees. Trying to learn. Hoping to get support here


Started Keeping bees in December 2015

A swarm settled in an old upside down hive box that was used in my chicken coop as a egg laying box. When I moved house I decided to take the bees with me.

That hive has taken 2 years to establish it’self in the 8 frame Langstroth I purchased for their home and is now going gangbusters.

Since then I have made a Top Bar Hive and caught a swarm.

I bought a new Langstroth hive so I could catch a new swarm and extend the original hive to a 3rd box for honey storage, but the day after the delivery I cad another call to catch a swarm so now I have 3 hives

New to bee keeping and reading watching and learning all the time


Welcome to the site @Rachel, @JunctionPoint, @Harjindd and @Phap, hope you find what you are looking for! :smile:

@Rachel, @JunctionPoint if you have any questions about starting out please let us know.

@Harjindd, @Phap, if you have photos of your hives and progress be sure to post them up so others can see what you’re up to :smile:

I will be posting some more photos now the Christmas rush has come and gone :smiley:



I have heaps of photos and videos that I have taken.

Videos and photos of Hive inspections and Swarm catching and Photos of my Bee Yard :cowboy_hat_face:

Where is the best place to share them.




@Phap, start a thread in the General Beekeeping discussion section, here


Hi I am Mervyn,
I started beekeeping while at school in Sydney during the early 50’s. I was an early member of the first Amateur Beekeepers Group started by Colonel Guy Pullen on the north shore.
Apart from a short break while a Fulbright Scholar studying in America I have kept various numbers of bee hives until I left farming in 1993. My brother gave me a hive for my 80th birthday and as the lady is a bit of a swarmer I am off and running again in Hawker. I have always had a great interest in bee behaviour and in understanding the tremendous drive bees have to build a strong colony, that same drive being also capable of driving them to their own destruction. While my beehives have always been at the bottom of the garden or up bush I have now set up near the house and can watch their activity all the time which is very interesting. Have tried my hand at most things including a bit of artificial insemination. (Better to leave the lady and her gentlemen to go off and have their fun). Bit of a classical beekeeper with 8fr. Langstoths and like to allow them to get on as naturally as possible.Look forward to sharing other beekeepers thoughts and experiences.


Hi Mervyn nice to have you here; it sounds like you will be able to give plenty of advice to people like me who are new to beekeeping; I started by accident in the spring when I caught a swarm to prevent it going into my roof. No beekeepers wanted the swarm so now I have a colony in a rudimentary hive I built to no particular design.
Where was your farm? I am from a farming family- previously between Murrumbateman and Gundaroo, now at Bowning. I am on a small block just out of Hall so not too far from you and my sister lives in Hawker. If you ever want to catch up for a cuppa and talk bees I’d be keen so get in touch.


Welcome to the site @Mervyn, great introduction! :smiley:

Keen to hear how your beekeeping has evolved/developed over your years as a beekeeper and always interested in any tips/tricks people have collected.

I am currently researching Penders in Maitland (when they were still manufacturing), did you buy any products (or bees?) from Penders during your time beekeeping on the North Shore?


Hi there. Conrad, from Gundaroo. Been thinking of becoming a beekeeper for a few years - took the plunge this year and am now the proud owner of a langstroth 8 frame hive in the backyard. I have done the Bindaree bee course, but I still have much to learn, and this seems like a good place to continue that.


Thought I better finally join and post something, I have been lurking about the site for 12 months. Im about 100km from the CBD in a straight line but the other side of the hills at Batlow
I purchased a nuc at the start of Dec 16 picked up 2 8 frames hives a few weeks later. Did a cutout on a rotten tree stump the start of Jan 17 and then split a couple of hives at the end of Feb 17.
Went from no hives to 6 in 2 months,
Lost a queen in Autumn so combined and went into winter with 5 hives. Seemed to be a fair bit of conflicting advice on what is needed to get through winter in Aus so I experimented. Went into winter with a 5 frame nuc, double deep 5 frame nuc, single 8 frame, 8 frame with ideal, and a double deep 8.
I new something was wrong with the double nuc but put off opening it until a good day mid Aug, starved them no stores to be seen and lots of dead bees in cells. Emergency feed the other hives, when I did my first inspection in spring only the double deep and single nuc had capped honey left.
Given my winter experience I have decided to run double deep broad chambers, so have let them all build up before putting any supers on. First super went on 15th Dec as foundation, drawn and filled in 10 days, gave them a ideal and it was drawn and filled in 7 days. Only 3 frames capped in the original deep so threw another deep at them. I expect it will be drawn and fairly well filled when I look tomorrow. Similar story with a set of flow frames that went on boxing day, bees were sealing cells the next day and storing honey a few days later. Even the 3 way walk away split i did on a hive earlier this month is bringing in more honey than I expected. When I checked for queen cells they had lot of nectar stored and when I popped the lid a few days later they were building comb on the inner cover. Put another box on them as well.
Built a few swarm traps over winter and have manged to trap one swarm, not from one of my hives so that a bonus.
I still dont know how may hives I want to run but you could say when I decided to start beekeeping I jumped in boots and all.


As I replied in the email I have always purchased from Penders and still do although the business is now one of supply rather than manufacturing. I still have a smoker, hive tool and steam uncapping knife made by them. They have a good historical run down in “about us” on the current Penders website. Have a few bits left over from previous days including my bible the Department of Agriculture New South Waled publication written by W.A Goodacre the Special Livestock Officer (Apiculture) cost me 2s/6d.


The two full depth brood boxes is to my mind a good strong foundation. When you cut back for winter this should leave you about 8 frames of honey and pollen which will get you through winter. Sounds as though you might be in the middle of a honey flow.Your later additions seem to be a bit unplanned. I would recommend Robert Owens book "Australian Beekeeping Manual " as a good guidance.


Your correct Mervyn my addition of supers has been a bit unplanned, Im still reacting to what is happening not anticipating what will happen. No doubt the anticipation will come with experience. Last season they were continually bringing in pollen and nectar but nothing like the volume this season, Probably a combination of a much better season this year and stronger hives but 10-20kg a week has caught me off guard.
Thankfully I built quite a few boxes over winter and a wired and waxed a few hundred frames, I dont have any drawn frames to give them but at least have enough boxes and foundation. I hadnt planned for 3 supers per hive but it looks like I will have to in future simply because they are packing it away far quicker than they can ripen and cap.


If the honey isn’t being capped off my suggestion is to reduce the rate of increase in supers. The bees will fill then cap the honey efficiently if there is less space to move into. A common trap I see is too many supers/frames being added too quickly which provides too much space, resulting in the collected nectar/honey being spread over too much area and never being capped. This becomes an issue for extraction as there will be a large amount of unripe honey in the hive which the bees may not manage to cap before the season’s end.

Also, welcome to the site :slight_smile:


They are still ripening and capping just not as quickly as they are packing it away.
This is a outside frame from the first super to go on taken a week ago and a few days after I put the third super on. When I put the 3rd super on virtually none of the outside face was capped and the inside was less capped than the outside is in the pic.

Edit: can only post 1 pic at a time so outside will do but inside is 99.9% capped.

outside face

I plan on pulling this box today.

Edit: I Have been surprised in how methodical they have been in capping, starting with the centre frames and working down and out. When the centre frames were 100% capped on the adjacent faces the reverse sides were about 75% the adjacent faces on frames 3/6 were 75% and about 50% on the reverse, the pattern continued to the outside of the box.