Keeping Your Bees Healthy

There’s a ton of information on beekeeping in books and online. It’s often said that if you ask two beekeepers one question, you’ll get three answers! No one person has all the answers, so it’s best to read widely. However, you might find that our Pests & Diseases fact sheets offer a good starting point. Most beekeepers will face problems with pests and diseases at some point. Which ones you’ll be struck with and how badly very much depends on where you are. Accordingly, the best education on how to manage pests and diseases will come from beekeepers near you. We can’t stress enough how important it is to connect with local beekeepers who will be well-versed on the issues you’ll be likely to contend with in your local area. Local primary industry authorities, beekeeping associations and beekeeping suppliers will also be helpful. However, there are a few import important things all beekeepers should consider to minimise the spread and incidence of pests and diseases, wherever they are.

  1. Maintaining a healthy hive
    Bees have been around for millions of years and they have developed their own ways of ridding their hives of nasties. So the best way to make sure your colonies aren’t blighted is to make your colonies as robust and healthy as possible.
  2. Location, location, location
    When you’re getting started, it’s important to be aware that where you situate your hive is important. A lot of the more common pests including hive beetle thrive in dark, dank conditions, so see that your hives are off the ground and receive full sun for at least part of the day. Ideally, your hive should face south if you’re in the northern hemisphere and north if you’re below the equator, so the bees have a long day of collecting pollen and nectar to make honey.
  3. Avoid moving hives and sharing equipment
    Beekeepers themselves are responsible for much of the spread of pests and diseases affecting European honey bee. Moving hives around and sharing equipment can be fraught, both of which are common during the honey harvesting process. Perhaps the fact that it’s a completely self-contained system will mean that Flow Hive beekeepers are less susceptible to the spread of pests and diseases. Only time will tell, but we sure hope so! Keeping everything clean is really important and, of course, if you know a beekeeper has had problems with their hives, don’t share gear at all.

Regular inspections
Flow Hive technology was invented to make the honey harvesting process easier and gentler and ultimately make beekeeping more accessible to new beekeepers by eliminating the hard work and expensive extraction equipment associated with conventional methods. Getting to know your bees and regularly checking in on the brood box (that’s the bottom storey of the hive where the bees live) is still as important as ever. Again, how often you need to do these checks depends on individual circumstances such as location, incidence of pests and diseases, and the time of year. Check with local beekeepers for the best information on how often to inspect your hive.