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Author Topic: Stethoscope value  (Read 3344 times)
salvo
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« on: January 21, 2012, 03:13:12 PM »

Hi folks,

Freshman here. Two hives. They both looked good to me a couple of weeks ago. We'll see.

Sometimes I see that beekeepers refer to the use of stethoscopes to "hear" what's going on inside the hive, especially in cold weather.

I've been fascinated with watching the bees this first year. I've pressed my ear to the sides of the hive. I've heard the hummmm. But watching them is a hoot! eg; One little worker refusing to let three gallumphering drones back into the hive late in the year. One got by her. She followed him in, dragged him out by a leg, and kept her place.

Anyway, I saw some stethoscopes listed on a local "craigslist" for short money. $20 for a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff.

Could someone tell me how "interesting" listening to my bees would be? What can be learned from listening,...besides the fact that bees are alive? Do humm sounds vary?

Also, will listening to them actually lower my blood pressure. Smiley I do think that the time I spend watching them when they're out and about reduces my stress.

Thank you,

Salvo
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Salvo
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 03:20:11 PM »

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311&_nkw=stethoscope&_sacat=See-All-Categories

i have always had them around.  i think they are worth a buck or two, but mine get used for us, the horses and the bees  smiley

you can do better than 20 bucks.  you don't need a really great one to listen to bees buzz.
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hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 09:04:35 PM »

Get the scope and the BP cuff and you'll be able to tell us what your BP does after listening!

Scott
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 12:25:27 AM »

How much is your entertainment worth?

Good news will keep.  Bad news won't go away.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 12:43:44 AM »

Stethoscope doesn’t really work if you have very much insulation.  A plexiglass inner cover might give you more hours of entertainment than listening to their low hum.
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JackM
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 08:01:56 AM »

I find it interesting no one has bothered to try one of those fiber optic inspection cameras that Harbor Freight sells.  See life in action undisturbed.  I hope to get one after I have bees.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 09:10:03 AM »

I find it interesting no one has bothered to try one of those fiber optic inspection cameras that Harbor Freight sells.  See life in action undisturbed.  I hope to get one after I have bees.

I looked at this on the Harbor Freight website.  $89.99   Looks interesting.  Has a 38" cable with LED lights on the cabled head for lighting the viewing area.   And you can store jpeg images. 

I also downloaded the users manual.  What do they mean on page 4 when they say:
Do not use the tool for personal or medical use in any way.   evil
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salvo
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2012, 02:41:32 PM »

Thanks folks for the replys.

I will pick up a stethoscope when the opportunity rises. I suppose its value is in reassuring you that your bees are still alive and purring during the winter cold.

I do like the ides of a plexiglass inner cover. I may make one for the coming year.

Thanks,

Salvo
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Salvo
AliciaH
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2012, 11:04:48 PM »

I love my stethoscope!  Mr. Bush is right, you can't do much when the weather is cold, no matter what you may or may not hear.  But it sure is nice to hear them if you've been worried!  Sort of fills that gap of being "bee deficit".

I like trying to figure out where the bees are in the box.  Are they against one side or the other?  In the bottom box or between the two?  Or do they seem to be right against the top?  How long have they been there?

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villagefool
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 07:44:46 AM »

You might check out an booklet "Listen to the Bees" that describes the work of Edward Farrington Woods,
The Story of the Apiditor by Rex Boy

Sorry, it won't let me post the url but google:

Listen to the Bees - BeeData

I  have placed a microphone in a hive.  You can stream the audio live from my website.  I have not yet been able to determine if there is any information in the audio.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 05:54:45 AM »

Having had an observation hive in my living room for years, I can say SOMETIMES the sounds are helpful.  But many times they are making some strange sound for which I can find no cause.  I can tell a hive that is being robbed and one that is about to swarm and one that is queenless... but they make a lot of noises I can't really place.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
JackM
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 08:36:44 AM »

Cool, I will be able to pull my high priced stethescope out of retirement, cool, hate to waste expensive tools.  ( Littman cardiology)
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calrow99
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 02:41:38 PM »

Hello BIB forum....  I'm involved with a Bee Rescue group and bees will build hives almost anywhere and everywhere....    I use my stethoscope for locating bees in wall cutouts....  make the job so much easier.
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salvo
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 03:04:56 PM »

Hi Again Folks,

The temps were in the high 40's Tuesday. One of my hives was active, the other,... "not so much".

I put my ear to the side of the top box (not so much), the one with the sugar bricks in it.

I heard the comforting hummmmm, but I also heard a sound like that of cellophane being crumpled in your hands! Both the hummm and the soft "rustle/crackle" were constant.

Last summer I swear I heard a quiet, single, regular/periodic "tink" sound from the interior of this same hive, such as could be made by a tap of a nail on an empty soda can. There is no metal in my boxes. shocked

What are they doing in there???

I'm working on getting a stethoscope.

Salvo

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Salvo
CapnChkn
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 11:32:07 AM »

Well, here you go!

Cellophane?  What's that?   tongue  I actually thought it was like Bacon Frying when I first heard it...
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,32687.0.html

The bees are chewing on something in there.  Either they don't have any room, or they don't have egress.  They want to remove rotten wood on the interior of the tree they think they're living in, they have something they can't move and are trying to chop it up into smaller pieces, or they want to get in and out easily.
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salvo
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 09:11:50 PM »

CC, thanks for the information. I now remember reading your "bacon" post.

They've got plenty of room. The sugar blocks were up there, so they could be "chewing" those. But I've seen "licking" and "sucking" from the bees. They don't seem to have the mandible as do ants. What does the gnawing?

I'm now more concerned that my hives might be too warm, due to my wrapping them (I thought loosely) and all this HOT weather in S.E Massachusetts. I'll modify the wraps tomorrow.

Thanks again for the posts.

Salvo
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Salvo
villagefool
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 08:26:17 PM »

I recommend reading Listen to the Bees on the beedata website.  It is a short but interesting read.  He claimed you could tell if the bees were getting ready to swarm.  If you go to my website,  and click on the MU3 link at the top of the page titled Audio, you can stream live audio from a hive.  Or, if you click on the hive link and scroll down, there is a link for archived audio recordings.  There is a lot of free audio analysis software available, eg Audacity, Baudline, that will create a frequency spectrum.  Also check out Steven L. Hopp's site titled  Sound Analysis Software - Software for bioacoustics.  Sorry, still not able to post links.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 04:42:43 AM »

When they are about the swarm the usual hum becomes more of a warble...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
qa33010
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 04:34:13 PM »

     At first I used mine to replace rapping the outside if the hive, but now I use it to see generally where the cluster is.  If it is lower then I don't have to worry too much about feeding.  However if they are higher up then I worry about stores and what the weather is and what's blooming.  I do not do this exclusively, I also lift the back of the hive for weight.  We have had a very mellow and mild winter and have not used it.
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