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Author Topic: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)  (Read 436 times)

Offline KellyBeeFriendly

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Hi I?m Kelly from NE Victoria, Australia. Tiny rural spot about 2800 feet altitude, just high enough to get a dusting of snow most winters. Mostly just hard frost or rain. Aust zone 9a - like Canberra. USA equivalent 9 like Dallas Texas or SIerra Nevada foothills but not as cold as Missouri or North Dakota!

Did 14 years in the US and learned a bit of beekeeping there with other beeks, also lots of travel in Europe but only got the bee bug for real when we returned to Australia from our grand tour and bought a place in the mountains.

First year Lang?s realised quickly my strength (or lack of), bad back and height (also lack of) could not cope with oz standard of deep Lang?s, so after my grumbling my husband built me a new set of hives - labour of love for my 50th birthday. I thought I was getting a long Lang but he produced an AZ Lang frame hybrid complete with bee hut based on all the bee stuff I posted on Pinterest. I?m chuffed with the results. Will report back the learnings - I?m sure there will be many.

Covid has produced many blessings, not least I can spend more time with my family and bees 🐝

Look forward to meeting other members trying something a bit different and hearing how they fare.

Kelly

Keep calm and keep bees 🐝
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 12:03:30 pm by KellyBeeFriendly »
Keep Calm and Keep Bees

Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 01:00:38 pm »
Aloha Kelly & Welcome!

After reading your intro, you've piqued my interest and I'd love to see a photo of the hives and bee hut your husband built.  :)

Cheers!  Matthew

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 02:16:13 pm »
Welcome
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 03:25:44 pm »
Welcome to Beemaster, Kelly!  Sounds like you have a really unique setup.  :happy:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline KellyBeeFriendly

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 08:12:25 pm »
Aloha Kelly & Welcome!

After reading your intro, you've piqued my interest and I'd love to see a photo of the hives and bee hut your husband built.  :)

Cheers!  Matthew

Photos - #1 the hut (beehaus) with Landing boards in up position
#2 hives before install, 10 frame/4 boxes, upper and lower entrances, screened back, division boards. I also have cerecell top feeders which sit within frame lever division board on top. Have flow hive frames from old flow setup that will be included during flow.
#3 closed hive, has screened bottom boards with Kmart trays oil/diatomaceous earth for beetle control hygiene.

I can?t tell you much about it yet the bees were only installed over the last two weeks and I?m giving them some time to get accustomed before I go do an inspection.
Keep Calm and Keep Bees

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 12:23:48 am »
Photos - #1 the hut (beehaus) with Landing boards in up position
#2 hives before install, 10 frame/4 boxes, upper and lower entrances, screened back, division boards. I also have cerecell top feeders which sit within frame lever division board on top. Have flow hive frames from old flow setup that will be included during flow.
#3 closed hive, has screened bottom boards with Kmart trays oil/diatomaceous earth for beetle control hygiene.

I can?t tell you much about it yet the bees were only installed over the last two weeks and I?m giving them some time to get accustomed before I go do an inspection.
Okay, that is amazing and totally awesome!  I'm trying to understand how the whole thing works.  Do the boxes pull out like drawers?  And the bees come and go through the colorful landing boards on the back of the shed? 

Also, as an aside, I love your avatar picture.  I'm a huge Lego nut.  They are without a doubt the best toys ever created.  :grin:

Welcome
Phillip, I think that Kelly has you beat as far as keeping cool while working the bees goes.  This is so much better than your canopy/fan setup.   :cheesy:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline KellyBeeFriendly

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 05:20:00 am »
I'm trying to understand how the whole thing works.

I?ll try to take some working photos. It?s not a new idea it?s a really common sight in the alps and places like Slovenia where they protect the bees from bears and are really works of art. But in essence it?s a big empty cupboard inside a shed and instead of shelves are metal rods that the Lang frames sit on and you slide frames in and out like books in a bookshelf. The back is screened so you can inspect without bees going everywhere. And you can also just open one screen and inspect the brood or top up the feeder without having to pull the hive apart. Thus I only need to lift the weight of one frame at a time - not a full 10 frame deep, and many times if you have a few supers! The bees are flying from the front (north down under) wall, and I enter and exit from the doors in the south. I work full time so it also means with the hut, I don?t have to wait for a nice day on a weekend to inspect which in spring can be like Russian roulette. Even if raining, I can open the door take a peek check on stores and shut them up again without chilled brood or major disruption. Well that?s the plan, but all plans go to hell on first contact. No doubt I have a thread of pros and cons by the end of next season...

There are several places online in uk and us that import the authentic Slovenian AZ hives, the drawback of the authentic version is they have different sized frames and a pain if you have an existing extractor. In US Drebbiville make a variation locally which I think use land size frames. That?s where I got the idea. There?s actually a chap in Australia 8 frame honey who also imports and manufactures a hybrid. If it wasn?t for covid and a series of weekend of bad weather my husband probably would have eventually found them online and delegated there birthday present to a purchase. But he decided to show his love and also get some ROI out of his workshop and a decade worth of Father?s Day presents.


Keep Calm and Keep Bees

Offline Seeb

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 08:50:51 am »
Welcome Kelly and thanks for posting.  Would love to see more pics of your set up as the year progresses. Your husband does a fine job with his shop skills.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 11:52:47 am »
That's really beautiful Kelly.

I really enjoy the many different things that we get to learn here on Beemaster. Thank you for sharing all this - I'd have never known.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 12:04:32 pm »
That is so cool!  :grin: 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2020, 01:15:43 pm »
Thanks for sharing the photos, Kelly!  It maybe the norm where you are in the world, but certainly not where I am.  Very neat to see such a different setup.  I love the glass backs so you can observe before you even open up to inspect.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 01:59:47 am »
Kelly. Welcome! Most interesting set up, and great pics. I am a long lang keeper, for back issue reasons.

LEGO. I have a love/hate relationship there. Many beloved hours playing with legos on the floor with my four children. HOWEVER, there needs to be a new word invented to describe the uniquely agonizing pain of stepping barefoot on a lego in the dark.

Offline KellyBeeFriendly

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 07:10:07 am »
I feel the same way about LEGO. Pleasure and pain ;-) and despair as it goes up the vacuum!

Down under it is not common and I fear I?m an oddball to even suggest this way of beekeeping in Australia, but if it?s stupid and it works it ain?t stupid! This style of beekeeping has existed in the mountains of Europe for at least a century, and given that this type of beekeeping has evolved with carniolan bees (which I also keep) I hope it will be a good match. We?ll see.
Keep Calm and Keep Bees

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Hi from Sub-alpine Victoria, Australia (3hives in a bee hut!)
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 09:19:10 am »
Kelly. I hear you. This forum is a good bunch of beeks that want everyone to succeed, however they can. I have read posts about older, back broken beeks needing to switch to less strenuous methods. I, myself, had to take 2 personal days off work last week due to back problems. I couldn't sit up. The beeks on this forum would rather I keep bees horitontal, than not keep bees at all.