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Author Topic: Hi from Western Australia  (Read 639 times)
megs_westaus
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Location: Perth, Western Australia


« on: December 10, 2012, 06:48:35 PM »

Hello beekeepers,

I'm a newbie hobbyist beekeeper. I "started" three years ago when I randomly decided it would make an interesting hobby so scouted out a local supplier and wandered down to ask for some advice on how to get started. Walked out with all the parts for a 10 frame WSP hive - I'd be back later for the other equipment I'd need once my hive was built.

The afternoon after I'd put together a base, lid, and single box including frames, I was walking a dog and just happened to see a swarm on the side of the road (I swear I'd never seen, or at least noticed, a swarm until that one!) so came back with my box and no protective gear and collected those girls up.

My first swarm seemed to be doing well but eventually it became clear I had a worker layer rather than a queen. After that false start I collected SO many swarms and new nests that season and the following one and all of them failed. I almost had a good one last season but it was a small swarm with a good queen, but the weather after I collected them was horrible and wet for weeks and they didn't manage to establish properly.

Fast forward to this year and still I had a couple of false starts - one case of dark comedy where the bees found a hole in the box in the car and started filling up my hatchback until I put the box in a plastic storage container to try and keep them in, which unfortunately smothered them, and another where the bees were so nasty and unworkable I intentionally got rid of them (though I don't think they even had a queen anyway!)

Then all of a sudden I FINALLY got two functioning healthy colonies in a row - the first one I almost turned away from after a resident blatantly lied to me about what the colony looked like to make me think it was a swarm, when it was actually a fairly well established nest inside a cupboard - luckily I decided the practice would be worth it even though I didn't expect I would transfer the queen successfully, but I did! And the second was an easy-as-pie large swarm sitting 1.5m off the ground in a small ornamental tree.

Both hives are doing great guns - one in my suburban backyard near the swan river and the other on my parent's 20 acres to the south of Perth. We did have a bit of a setback by the local supplier being out of stock of hive boxes (both hives had 2 10-frame WSP boxes) and continually giving me incorrect dates for when they'd be in, so I'd wait and then be disappointed and told I had to keep waiting, so both hives were getting dangerously overcrowded. Eventually I gave up and ordered boxes from the eastern states and in the meantime nailed together some bits of wood to make do while I wait for the others to arrive.

And while putting the new boxes on I finally did a mini-harvest from the comb the poor crowded bees had built onto the lid, and got my first batch of honey. I only had to wait three years! YUM!
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 07:30:08 PM »

Can you make the bee boxes yourself even as a temporary keep the bees from getting crowded box?   And welcome to the forum.
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megs_westaus
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »

Yep that's what I've done. They're not particularly sturdy but they're giving the bees space and should last til they're full of honey and then I will hopefully have some 'real' boxes to swap them with Smiley
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 10:44:33 PM »

Sounds like your plan is finally working out for you. Welcome to the forum megs.
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 12:51:00 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Megs.  That first honey from your bees is really good, may you get lots more.  Good luck to you and yur bees.  If you have any questions, just ask, someone can usually come up with an answer.




Joe
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Jeanette
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 02:15:55 AM »

Welcome, Megs. Congratulations on persevering!  Smiley
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Jeanette
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