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Author Topic: Checking the Girls  (Read 997 times)
Flwr
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« on: May 13, 2009, 09:45:29 AM »

Hello everyone.   Glad you experienced beekeepers are here for us New Bees!    Here's my question...    when checking the girls, I totally understand the process involved and reasons for it.   But once I get to where "the gang is"...   how am I to see what they are doing with all of them on the frame?   It was a beautiful moment when I lifted the frame and saw them all there working...but I couldn't see the comb cells beneath them.  How do you actually monitor the cells beneath the little ladies?   Or don't you?  Do you monitor other places?    I'm three weeks into this and I must stay every time I do something to them, change their syrup, check the frames, I've convinced myself I've killed them!  But my top question is....how do I check the frames with them on it?   Do I smack the frame down to get them off?   Another New Bee suggested to use a brush to get them off?   Do I really want to be that disruptive?
Thanks
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vermmy35
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 10:05:56 AM »

I am also very new to bees, I put my first package in on the 1st of May.  What I do is try to move them gently with my finger and if that don't work I just look on an empty area of that frame.  You never, ever want to shake them off the frame try treating the frame like you would if you found the queen on it.
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 10:40:26 AM »

Im still wearing gloves......I know I know.............But when I push on them a little bit they will move for a second or two and I can peak to see how everything is going. 
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 11:01:45 AM »

There should be more cells than bees. Just look at the cells that aren't covered. Watch for 2 or 3 minutes and they will uncover more. If all cells are covered with bees, add a box. They are too crowded.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 03:49:38 PM »

A new hive, when it is first building comb, has bees stacked on top of each other 2-3 deep.  There are three easy ways of moving the bees in order to examine the combs being built and for eggs in said comb: finger (as suggested), blowing gently, or a puff of smoke.

I would suggest progressing in that order, you are right, seeing into the frames is the major part of ascertaining the condition of the hive and making decissions concerning the hive.
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Doby45
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 07:46:54 PM »

I found the gently breathing/blowing on them works great.
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Koala John
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009, 07:26:44 AM »

I found the breathing/blowing works well too, and it has the benefit of being a simple check of how the girls are feeling:

If they are angry, they will tend to fly at me or head butt me - "get your ugly mug and foul breath the hell out of our home will ya?!!!".

If they are in a happy mood they'll just gently move out of the way. "Well excuse me a moment, I'll just be over here if you need me!"
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 10:18:11 AM »

Flr.  By the way, welcome to our forum, why don't you officially introduce yourself in the greetings/tellus about yourself forum.

You have received some good advice about how to move bees to look at the work they are doing beneath that pile up of bees.  My preference is to gently blow on them -- they move willingly, carbon dioxide means predator.

Another method, and there are many times when you will require the frame to be reasonably free of bees is to gently take that frame and give it a firm but very gentle "one shake".  THis is true, esepcially for brood frames that have larvae in any stage in it, even with capped brood.  It is very easy to dislodge larvae in uncapped cells and damage brood that is capped.  Hard to describe the exact manoveur , but I will try.  Hold the frames with one hand, jerk it downwards gently, once.  That is all.  The bees that remain on the frame, you will have to deal with.  Sometimes I will hold the frame in one hand and with my other hand bang my wrist gently with my other hand, that will dislodge bees too.

When you have lots of bees on yourself, a fast way to get them off is to jump up and then down, hard, most of the bees will fall of quickly. Sometimes this will be done twice.  Just some tips, hope they may help.  Have that wonderful, most awesome life, day and health. Cindi
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SlickMick
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 04:50:42 AM »

Welcome Flr from the land down under

Mick
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He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
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