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Author Topic: Inspection Routine - Questions  (Read 1598 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 57

Location: Hocking County, Ohio

« on: June 19, 2005, 08:54:32 AM »

My hives are doing well, but I have some questions about the routine people go through when inspecting their hives. If people would care to briefly comment on what they do and what they are expecting when they inspect their hives, it would be helpful!

 smiley  How often do you inspect your hives?
 smiley  If you have two deeps for brood, do you inspect the top and the bottom box? (seems like a lot of work!)
 smiley  What time of day is best for inspecting?
 smiley  Plenty more questions but won't ask them now!  Cheesy

I am sure this is largely a matter of opinion and experience... but I am learning and the comments help! Thanks for the input.

Charles Fry, Amatuer Farmer & Entremanure
Frog Pond Acres   - - come by for a visit!
House Bee
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Posts: 458

Location: Eastern Massachusetts

« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005, 10:05:01 AM »

Since there' s 700 some members you can expect 800 answers. . but here is what I'm doing, and it's because I'm new.

1. Wait for a sunny windless day - less bees inside. Inspect between 10AM and 2PM if possible, this is when the most bees are outside. Fewer bees inside means fewer bees to get crabby with you.  
2. Every 7-10 days I do a full inspection. Yes I know this sets my bees back a little, but I'm new at this, so I like to see what's going on.
3. Yes, if you're going to inspect, inspect both brood boxes.  
4. As long as I see eggs, larvae and capped brood, I'm happy.  If I can find the queen, bonus. (I'm getting better at spotting the queen)
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 461

Location: Leominster, MA

« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2005, 11:23:29 AM »

Great Summary Amy!

House Bee
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Posts: 241

Location: Wis/IL

« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2005, 05:23:34 PM »

Charley, I would also add that I can strongly recommend you keeping a log for the hives.  I'm guessing you probably will, 'cause you have that nice blog going.  My best intentions were to keep faithful records last summer (my first summer), and I did for a short time, but then got busier and busier and let it sort of slide.  Now here we are back in June again and I wish I had those notes from last year.
House Bee
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Posts: 420

Location: Upstate NY

« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2005, 06:35:27 AM »

How often do you inspect your hives?
Question If you have two deeps for brood, do you inspect the top and the bottom box? (seems like a lot of work!)
Question What time of day is best for inspecting?
Question Plenty more questions but won't ask them now! Very Happy

My first year, nearly every week. Last year was my learning year, and my "getting comfy with bees" year. I also watched the hives every sunny day for at least a few minutes. Just put a chair out there and took my after-work adult bevvy out, sat, watched, and tossed a ball for my dog. I learned a lot just watching the entrance, and my dog lost weight. Smiley

This year, I open them up twice a month, and no, I don't pull apart the brood boxes. If I see normal activity, I'm assuming all is well. This past weekend, I supered, and didn't pull them all apart. I scraped some badly drawn comb, saw that numbers were increasing, the hives smelled good (no kidding--I can smell the honey, I don't smell anything funky, so I assume that all's well in brood land).

In a year like this, when I have bees drawing foundation, I am checking for badly drawn comb, so that's a little more intrusive, but I'd rather not pull apart the brood nest every time. If I do, sooner or later I'll probably roll the queen or something, so I figure I'll let them do their thing.

I inspect on a sunny day between 10 am and warm sunny evening. I want max bees out foraging when I inspect, so everyone is happy and busy.

It really is fun for me to do inspections, but I think less disturbance is better for the bees, so a total break down of the brood nest isn't something I want to do, unless I suspect there's a problem. Checking activity at the front and peeking under the hood now and then to make sure numbers are increasing tells me that comb is being drawn, and bees are hatching.

Since these are packages, there isn't much chance they'll swarm. Next spring, that will be more of a worry, and I'll have to adjust the inspections to check for queen cells, decide if they need to be split, and so on.

Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 2791

Location: Finland

« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2005, 07:33:13 AM »

During swarming time in June I look every weekend the uppermost brood box. If everything seems normal, I di not lokke anothers.

I use 3 broodbox.

Honey I feel, how weight boxes are.  I look a bit them.

In July I take capped honey away as soon as it is capped and I give exctracted boxes. If honey does not come in, I do not look hives without special reasons.

I inspect new queen, that they start to lay eggs.
Drone cells one should clip away from hives because they are Varroa traps.

It takes time if hive is full of honey and at once I must take 3-4 capped box away. It is quite a mesh.  Then there is in lowers parts too honey and I take filled frames uppwards.
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