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Author Topic: 2nd Hive Inspection Checklist--need some help and suggestions  (Read 736 times)
eddieobees
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« on: April 07, 2012, 10:20:09 AM »

Still bumping along: eddieobees.blogspot.com

I can't wait to get back home after spring break (even selfishly suggested we might leave a day early! . .  the vote was swift and NO). So now that I have been on a little break (and given the bees a little break) . . . I am gathering my thoughts about my second inspection which will be +16 days after install (Sunday)
 

I know there are a lot of different techniqes/styles, but what would you add? Delete? Focus?

2nd Inspection: What the bees are supposed to be doing . . .
 1. Queen laying eggs
 2. Feeding young larva
 3. Collecting pollen & nectar
 4. Building comb
 5. Capping honey?
 6. Strength of hives? need to add brood to weak one?
 7. Problems?
 

Here is what the Dummies book says: Getting ready

 1.  Open the hive between 10:00 am - 5:00 pm: Sunny day to look for eggs/larvae
 2.  Get geared up and light smoker, no scents (put away your Old Spice)
 3.  Puff some smoke at entrance/top wait a few minutes
 4.  Remove top and inner cover (pray no comb in the top feeder area)
 5.  Use hive tool to move the #2 or #9 frame (10 frame box) to break it loose
 6.  lift straight up. Avoid killing bees.
 7.  Using #2 or #9 allows to place the final frame back into it place without squishing bees against the hard side of the box, doing this way is bees against bees
 8.  Lay next to hive in vertical position
 
Manipulating the frame: (again here is what Dummies book says:)

 1.  Hold frame by the tabs, Get a good grip. (retaliation for a mixup here is swift)
 2.  Turn the frame vertically (one hand head high, other at about waist)
 3.  Then turn the frame like a page on a book.
 4.  Then return back to horizontal position to view other side of frame
 
Part 2:  Goals for my second hive inspection: Checking for Queen

 1.  Finding the actual queen not essential, but evidence of good queen essential
 2.  Use sunlight to help to check for eggs/larvae
 3.  If you see eggs (one per)  . .  you at the very least know if queen was here within last 2-3 days
 5.  Since I am +16 days, I should hopefully see eggs, larva and capped cells?
 
Part 3: Checking Brood Pattern & Foodstuffs

 1.  A tight brood pattern at this point is good, spotty is bad and indicates something wrong with queen
 2.  The brood will be in a football shape when looking at the frame. In 3D I guess it would look like a large oval looking rock with a flattened top?
 3.  Food stuffs and pollen around the outsides
 

Part4:  Ready for another super?

 1.  When 80% all but outside frames are fully drawn, we will add super.
 2.  My inventory: only 1 add'l deep and one add'l medium, the rest are shallows (someone's uncle passed away and found them via Craigslist--all unused/old equip)
 

I'm excited to see what happens. I'm still worried that the little buggers will be adding comb to the ziploc feeder area. I will bring rubber bands to add this comb to the super I plan on adding.
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Bumping along in my first year . . . http://eddieobees.blogspot.com/
organicfarmer
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 06:09:12 PM »

I checked your blog. You may since have added the missing frame where your queen cage probably was hanging. One hive had started a comb in that space. Also the reasons they build combs from the cover down in the space provided by the rim are proximity of feed, and the fact that plastic foundation is not always very attractive to bees. i'd place the inner cover right above the frames, then rim with feed bag  (aside of the hole so bees can access and air circulate) or better inverted jar, then outer cover.

If queen was laying last visit, she should still; she is brand new after all. Check eggs; capped brood gives you a quick, easy, good idea of laying pattern.
You are right for #1-4.
A little early for capped honey.
Little early to see big differences between hives that justify manipulations that could be more disruptive than enhancing. Also if too much brood given to a 'weaker' hive and bees may not be able to care for it. Wait later for this; the 'weak' one may also catch up. After 2 weeks, there is not enough difference.
You should not have problem (yet) at this stage. One problem could stem from too many visits and risks that come with it (disturbance and bees may all of sudden blame the queen and supercede her; one mistake and she may get crushed)
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