Creating a new bee colony

Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem as pollinators, contributing to the growth and reproduction of plants. As bee populations face various challenges, such as habitat loss and pesticide exposure, supporting bee colonies has become increasingly important. One way to contribute to bee conservation efforts is by creating a new bee colony from an existing colony at home. In this post, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you establish a thriving bee colony at home:

Step 1: Educate Yourself

Before embarking on the journey of creating a new bee colony, it’s essential to gather knowledge about bees and beekeeping practices. Understand the lifecycle of bees, their needs, and the potential challenges you may encounter. Australian sources such as the Australian Beekeeping Guide and Flow’s Online Beekeeping Course offer valuable insights for beginners.

Step 2: Obtain the Necessary Equipment

To establish a new bee colony, you will need specific beekeeping equipment. This includes a beehive (we recommend the Flow Hive +2), a queen excluder, a smoker, a beekeeping suit, gloves, and a hive tool. Ensure that your equipment is of high quality and suits the Australian climate.

Flow Hive 2+ for new bee hive cover

Step 3: Selecting the Parent Colony

Choosing a strong and healthy parent colony is vital for creating a new bee colony. Observe the parent colony’s behaviour, population size, and overall health. Look for signs of disease or infestation and avoid colonies with such issues.

Step 4: Splitting the Colony

Once you select a suitable parent colony, you can split it to create a new one. This process involves separating a portion of the parent colony into a new hive, including worker bees, brood bees, and the queen. Place the new hive near the parent colony to ensure proper orientation.

Step 5: Provide Adequate Resources

To ensure the new colony thrives, it is crucial to provide adequate resources. Ensure the new hive has sufficient frames with drawn comb, honey, and pollen stores. This will give the bees a head start in establishing their new home.

Step 6: Queen Introduction

For the new colony to survive and flourish, it needs a queen. You can introduce a new queen into the hive by purchasing a queen bee from a local, reputable supplier. To learn more about queen bees and their role, click here.

Establishing new bee colony

Step 7: Monitoring and Maintenance

Regularly monitor the new colony to ensure its progress. Check for signs of disease, pests, or queen-related issues. Be vigilant about pest control and hive management practices, such as swarm prevention, to maintain a healthy and productive colony.

Creating a new bee colony from an existing colony at home can be a rewarding and educational experience. Always prioritise the well-being of the bees, and consult local beekeeping associations or experienced beekeepers for guidance and support if you need clarification at any stage of your beekeeping journey.