Note to other beekeepers: The close-up macro photos in this site are done by a cheap instamatic camera (Nikon A300) that appears to be the only brand (Nikon) capable of that level of close-up macro in an instamatic camera. There is however, a clause in the efficiency of capturing a macro using an instamatic camera. 1. There must be direct sunlight on the subject or the shutter speed will be too slow and blurs the picture. 2. (machine brand specific) there is a green line and triangle for "zoom level" when the Nikon A300 camera is in "macro mode", keep the green line a little less than the green triangle zoom max. marker because past it or near it is too unreliably difficult to hold the camera in perfect focus with hands or on moving subject such as a few bees to gain an extreme close-up (they are chance only at that level).
The most recognisable sub species of European honeybee in these bees is "Dark bee" (Apis Mellifera Mellifera).
This site is a small blog about "European Honeybee beekeeping" and my little apiary (although there are solitary burrowing Australian native bees wild nearby). It doesn't have all the information or knowledge.
If you want to learn about bees (European or Australian native) "two of the best sites on the internet" quite and very oddly happen to be "Australian"!
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has many PDF documents listed purely for the public to manage , learn and understand European honeybee, management, care, pest control and requirements and regulations. These are both basic english and scientific as required.
If a N.S.W. council or county accepts use of something alike a waste land for an apiary then you can come to an agreement with them.
NSW DPI public lands usage
For the curious about Killer bees (AHB) this is a good PDF document link.
Africanized bees ("Killer bees') - AHB "Africanized Hybrid Bee" (not "African bees")
However t it requires some time before the swarm colony is "properly started and stable of growth" (at least 2 1/2 months),
AND an up-front pre-paid non-refundable deposit must be taken first! for each swarm (and "box") required
There is no set time of year for when bees can be constructed in a nucleus hive (Although winter is not easy and dangerously intensive work). Usually, in the seasonal action it is early "October" in Sydney bees swarm.
Effectively it is possible to take some brood frames and bees and place them in a nucleus to cause a split swarm that constructs its queen from a young larvae, of this last action it is critical to get the correct group of larvae in a frame and a frame with sufficient food for the consolidation.
The process takes 5 weeks from start to have a fully laying queen, and 9 weeks that has been checked that she lays well.
It takes around 4 months to build a nucleus hive bee swarm from scratch (without strengthening), and usually this is done quicker during the "nine weeks system" by an action called "strengthening" to the new colony. 'Strengthening' is choosing frames of bees and brood to add to the nucleus after causing these chosen frames of bees to feel queenless (see Pic1.).
In Pic2. the larvae are much too old and near ready to be capped. There must be mainly almost microscopic larvae that must be around 1/4 the diameter of the cell maximum curled inside to use for the splitting brood frame to make a queen. Pic2. has at least one larvae suitable in a cell in the bottom right corner that is maximum size/age for this job.
This is only because keeping the "swarm size" small allows better protection from starvation when forage is low seasonally, and also to prevent and inhibit attack from the swarm if they are disturbed!
A "rule of thumb" is, the fewer bees in a swarm, the less likely attack and the less severe!
BEE ATTACK (SAFETY):
Most people think "fatal European honeybee attacks" in Australia are anomaly or they occur in some other country and belong to the "African or killer bee".
UNFORTUNATELY, that is "simply not true", even in recent years it has been found more and more that the AHB "Africanized Hybrid Bee" (Africanized Killer bee - Apis Mellifera Scutellata Lepeletier) mostly only attacks horrifically when provoked severely
(EXAMPLEs: throwing parts of their nest into skip bins from wood piles, driving motor lawn mowers over their nest entrance killing bees in the grass below and blasting exhaust into the shed wall too , ripping into their underground nest during landscape gardening , ploughing through their underground pipe nest on farmland...(the list goes on)!
What people do not realise is Australia has many poorly documented "ordinary" European honeybee fatal attacks, such as mother and daughter(baby) harvesting a backyard hive, the mother was killed by around 300 stings , the baby survived with around fifty stings.
A child in Lidcombe NSW Australia was killed by a hive of bees in a backyard while she played with a ball. A child bushwalking in Queensland was attacked and survived the 150 stings.
None of these attacks were AHB or African bees. Again in the USA there have been many mass attacks and fatalities from ordinary European strain honeybees also!
Bees have a "behavior" (isms - warning signs) when someone opens their hive, the same as wild bees do when a person gets near their nest at a close range.
When they get familiar with their beekeeper after 3 months they settle down and are much less risk. One main piece of help to them is to sit 5 meters away from their nest each day for 15-20 minutes out of the way of their main takeoff landing path for three months (as much anyone else that lives at the location, but always keep a woolen blanket for each person near the hive).
This next picture shows statically how the bees should be behaving "after opening the brood chamber box", facing in various directions with some only peering at the keeper over the frame top bar edges as shown in the next picture.
It is estimated by medical sources that around 300 stings is enough venom to be fatal in essence. Some people are stronger others weaker and some alergic.
Many allergic people can now be treated by specialist allergy clinics to help their body liver and immune system to cope with envenomation of bees to the level a few stings mean little rather than possible death!
Of beekeeping dangers, Always wear protective clothing until you know all your hives behavior and temperament well and for at least 3 months with a new hive!
Always keep some easy throw over cover (e.g. blanket) handy to prevent or lower attack severity if present near the bees with no protective clothing!