Aussies Living Simply

Bees please

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  • #256088
    just trying

    Good morning all; 6AM I’ve been up for an hour because I can’t sleep.

    I have a question for all you bee keepers out there. I want to set up a hive and have been advised by the local bee keeper to get two hives in case the queen dies in one. I think he was suggesting I could get a replacement from the second hive. I know each hive has only one queen so I suppose he was referring to getting larvae or something. My problem is the setup costs. He wants $240 per hive, either brand new with no bees or second hand with a swarm. I don’t think I need that much honey, I suppose I could sell some but that brings it’s own problems. $240 isn’t too bad, but double that is a bit much, then I need the tools and clothing.

    Any advice out there?


    G’day just trying (and welcome to ALS) :wave:

    Are you a bit of a handy-person? If there’s no urgency to your desires to get a hive, perhaps you could consider making one for yourself?

    I’m not to sure on the doings of bees, but if the unfortunate situation arose where your queen bee did die … is getting another queen/swarm cheaper than a spare hive?

    Also, I believe, having more than one hive requires a registration/licence with your council …



    We paid $150 per hive fully set up last year. I’m sure a new hive in a flat pack from a beekeeping supply place will be a lot less than $240.

    Unless your experienced in breeding queens I don’t think you’d be able to get a new queen from an existing hive.

    Best way to get a hive started is picking up a swarm in spring – depending on where you live might be worth while doing a workshop on beekeeping before committing.

    We have four hives – we figured if we were going to get all the gear dirty when harvesting honey, we might as well get a good amount of honey to sell.

    There are beekeeping workshops around the place here in South East Qld (don’t know where you live).






    I am not sure as we initially purchased two hives many years ago but I am pretty sure you can purchase a queen or a queen and nucleus from suppliers if that should happen to you. If a queen dies the bees replace within the hive anyway and there are usually a few “queens in waiting” so I can’t quite work out his thinking. We are not experts in bees but have kept bees for quite a long time. We do not replace our queens, never have, and still have hives operating well for over 10 years. There is a commercial practice of replacing queens, but my thought on that is that it weakens the hive. There are all sorts of theorys out there that the hives get vicious if you leave the queen, but we have never found that to be the case. There is also a thought out there that the practice of replacing queens is causing the hives to be weak (easier to handle for the operators so they say) but because they are weak, they do not defend their hive and my thought is that it is also attached to disease. Going back to the beginning though, as I digress :D, I can’t see a problem at all in having one hive.

    just trying

    Thanks people.

    Seems there are lots of ways I could go. Another bee keeper concurs with the advice given by the first with the exception being to buy two new hives. I like the idea of making my own so will give that some serious thought, thanks Andre . I don’t know if I want to go so far as to sell honey hence the hesitation to have more than one hive.

    Bit far from Tassie Sonya…pity.


    hi just trying,

    We are in Tassie also and the going price is about $250.00 here per hive, a lot more than in Sonya’s territory but we also paid about the same per hive in NSW, so I think Sonya is just lucky. Good luck.


    Definately no need to be getting a second hive (if your not wanting to sell the honey), the hive will make a new queen if the old one croaks it. We bought some established hives for $120 each, 3 boxes high (we got a bargain as seller desperate) most hives are double that pice atleast. We have a hive that is currently Queenless and are waiting for a new Queen to be sent via post. We are re-queening 7 hives mostly to replace older Queens who dont lay as well as a young one and some of our hives are aggressive. Flat packed boxes arent to expensive, but then you have all the extra gear to get, then it becomes more pricey. Maybe do a coarse first and see if you like to work with the bees and all the extra stuff that goes along with beekeeping.

    Also in Vic having just 1 hive means you have to be registered with the DPI, guessing same in other states.


    There is a fellow in Brissy (Mansfield) selling hives on Gumtree for $110. Getting two this evening 😉

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