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Author Topic: How often to inspect the hive?  (Read 2440 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 126

Location: Santa Cruz, California USA

« on: July 14, 2004, 02:08:34 PM »

My bees are cooking prettygood now with one large brood chamber and three mediums on that. The top two mediums seem to be all honey so just the large and one med. are brood.
Any way, now that they are all settled in how often should I be looking in on them and what should I be looking for. I haven't dug into the brood area in over a month. I do outside visual inspections nearly every day since they are right in my back yard.
This was a new package in April and it's my first year at beekeeping.

Beth Kirkley
House Bee
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Location: Eastman, Georgia

« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2004, 03:47:14 PM »

I take a little look about every two weeks. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

My inspections usually have a purpose - see how the progress is on wax or honey, or see how much brood there is. So generally I only go in either the top honey super, or as deep as the top brood box. If things don't look right, I'll go deeper.


House Bee
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Location: Hopelessly Lost

« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2004, 12:39:42 AM »

Quote from: Blackbird
....Any way, now that they are all settled in how often should I be looking in on them and what should I be looking for. I haven't dug into the brood area in over a month. I do outside visual inspections nearly every day since they are right in my back yard.
This was a new package in April and it's my first year at beekeeping.


As you are a new you should look the colony every week to learn, how colony develope. Also, how honeyflow  and weather match together.  Nursing bees means that you know their habit prevently and you control them in right direction. When honey comes in you should worry about free space.

Once per month is not good a. I have nursed bees 42 years and I look hives every week now, because it is swarming season and honey is coming in a lot from turnip rape.  In August  there is no need to see inside hive because I kow what is happening there: almost nothing!
House Bee
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Location: Upstate NY

« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2004, 06:50:20 AM »

I agree with Finman. As a new beekeeper, I do a check every week. I don't disturb everything, but I try to spot eggs and see what normal brood looks like and so on. I don't expect honey this year anyway, so this is my season to learn as much as possible.

I'd say it's also my season to get comfortable with the bees, but I've been comfortable with them from the start!

New Bee
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Location: Belton, SC

« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 06:46:19 PM »

I am a newbie as well, but I check the hive weekly and go all the way to the bottom box..  The reason I do it is to check on the queen and to clear away burr comb -- they can build it fast!  Plus, I also remove and queen cells they might be making so to deter swarming.
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Galactic Bee
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Location: Manchester, NJ

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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 08:53:53 PM »

Hi Everyone:

I like (and Practice) the once a week theory ESPECIALLY the frst year of a new hive!

Lots of things can go right and wrong as they draw out comb, accept a new queen, deal with robbers and most importantly as the create wax for storage of food and brood.

Although I haven't been in the forum as much as I'd like lately, I see that you guys are getting along FINE without me - as I had ALWAYS assumed you would and there is LOTS of sound advice here.

Satuday (the better of the weekend days here) I took all three hives apart for a detailed inspection, spotting all three queens, weighing the hives and checking for infestaton of any type - all the hives looked good, but we had nearly 6 weeks with VERY LITTLE RAIN and the nectar flow was poor, so ALL THE HIVES are lacking in what should be a bumper crop of honey stores.

Then, last week we had record rain fall in the north east, primarily areas like Hampton, NJ which I imagine you all saw in the news who had a whopping 13 inches of rain in a matter of hours. Well, that area is only about 20 miles from me and we had rain at a 2.5 inch per hour rate bombarding us for nearly 3 hours ourselves, flooding my basement for the first time in over 20 years.

Some nectar is now flowing again, after a dry spell ANY moisture is appriciated in the world of beekeeping. The point being, judge your need for inspection according to changes in climate, rainfall, dry spells, spraying for pesticides in your area - anything that could have caused a change in the way your bees function,

I'm not giving up on the idea that I will have TWO viable and survivable hives here and one healthy hive to send hom with Big Rog when he gets his way up here to take C3 home with him. But weather plays a major part in the overall health and attitude of a hive.

Dry spells can cause massive evacuations of bees for short flights that resemble "Cleansing Flights" but this is just a wing stretching exercise after a laid-back period of mild to nil activity "OR" a trigger responce that can't easily be explained, but after just a few minutes ALL returns to normal around the hive.

So check your bees periodically - bi-weekly at least ESPECIALLY if the hives are new and ideally (if possible) weekly to look better understand WHAT bees "CAN ACCOMPLISH" in as few as 7 days. Either way, don't let them get away from you and glue themselves shut or even worse, NEVER give them ample room to build up natural comb, always have the proper number of frames in the supers - no matter which type hive you are using.

hope that helps.

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