top of page
Honeycomb grey_edited.jpg

Tips from Beekeepers


2 is the minimum number of hives

Never have less than two hives. Two gives more management options - transfer pollen, honey and/or brood from a strong to a weak colony. Provide eggs to a queenless colony.

Convenient Apiary

If your hives are not convenient, you may be tempted to skip inspections and feeds and provide lower quality care for your bees.

Use a stand

Whether purpose-built from metal or wood or stacked concrete blocks, raising the hive off the ground makes working with the hive easier on the back and helps with ventilation.

DIY Equipment

Learn to make your own hives, stands or DIY honey extractors and solar wax melter - see the Hive section in the Knowledgebase for plans and instructions. 

Thirsty in your beesuit?

In the middle of inspections and do not want to walk away and open your beesuit to drink some water - drink through your veil.

Hive tool magnet

Use a tool belt with a magnet for your hive tool instead of putting it down and losing track of it between manipulations.

Hive location

Near forage, a clean, bee accessible water source and a with a wind-break in a south or south-east facing position. Do not site hives in a frost pocket

Do not disrupt needlessly

Inspect/open your hives only when necessary - opening too often can lead to chilling of brood and cause stress-related diseases - smoked bees need to re-pack the honey gorged.

Use Movable Frames

Better for ease of inspection where frames can be fully lifted out to examine both sides and can be swapped between hives. Also easier to extract super frames for honey extraction.

Spare equipment

Have a built frame-with-wax stock on hand, as well as spare brood and super boxes, roofs, crownboards and floors and several Nuc hives well ahead of spring build-up/swarm time.

Nitrile over bee gloves

Keep your gauntlets clean by using nitrile gloves over the top. These can be disposed of after inspecting a hive with disease or a captured swarm.

Taking Photos

Find out how to use your smartphones shortcut camera button or voice activated camera, instead of using the app with sticky gloves.

Quick sterilise

Plunge hive tool into your smoker between inspections to prevent transfer of any disease or pests between colonies.

Equal size boxes

For convenience and for larger honey supers. Can also use double-brood method to create larger colonies.

Inspect every 7-10 days in mid to late summer

A strong hive can run out of space, make queen cells and swarm in under 14 days. Examine each frame for queen cups and cells. Look for a healthy brood pattern with eggs and larvae.

Learn about bees

Study up on biology and behaviour of bees before learning about beekeeping, in order to understand what bees are trying to do and to spot poor advice more easily.

Bait hives

Put out a couple of bait hives, in an elevated position to attract swarms absconding from other apiaries.


Use a jeweler's loupe between your smartphone camera and bees to get a great close-up shot - the camera will focus through the loupe.

Hive Records

Use the voice-recorder/note-taking feature or app on your phone instead of scribbling down notes during inspections.

Join a club

Get invaluable help and advice from more experienced club members and gain access to shared equipment. Benefit from a mentor and become a mentor yourself, in time.


Put a used match-stick under the corner of your crownboard to improve ventilation and reduce the chance of condensation build up in the brood chamber.

Honeycomb grey_edited.jpg

Submit a tip or hack that works for you as a beekeeper

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page