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Author Topic: Hive Inspections when and how often?  (Read 565 times)
RHBee
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« on: February 01, 2013, 07:09:49 AM »

Just finished my first year. I was in my colonies all the time learning and I know I set back their progress quite a bit. This year I want to minimize these disturbances and allow them to progress to their maximum potential without sacrificing good management practices. I would be grateful if the more experienced beekeepers would throw some wisdom my way.
Through the information provided by the members of this forum I was able to turn two nucs and one package into 5 very strong colonies and 1 healthy nuc going into winter. Your input was invaluable to me as I have no mentor mainly due to my weird work schedule. Once again thanks.
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Ray
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 12:08:47 PM »

I usually do not go into a hive other than to see how full the supers are or I am trying to do something like make queens. I watch the entrances, the oil pans and look in the top, I use Screen Top Boards, to see what is going on. I will check on swarms to make sure the q is in there. If one hive is not bringing in pollen when all others are I will go through it and usually there is a problem. Sometimes find Q cells only. I mark it and don't check it again for 3 weeks. Spend some time watching your bees and they will teach you what is normal and then you will know when you have a problem. If they are constantly pulling out young bees with defective wing problems, then you probably have a mite problem. If the bees are coming and going in large numbers and you have lots of drones, then the hive is probably in good shame. You can open the lid with out bothering the bees, just open it away from you.
Good luck.
Jim
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RHBee
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 09:04:34 AM »

Thanks Jim,
That's the kind of response I was looking for. This spring, when I see plenty of drones, I will do walk away splits on all of my colonies except my nuc. You are right, I can tell tell from external observations how healthy a colony is and how they are progressing. I even learned the sound difference when they go queenless. I'm thinking one full inspection in spring and fall. All other intrusions will be top lid checks for things like needed space for honey or brood.
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Ray
Rurification
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 03:32:50 PM »

Thanks for asking this question.  And thanks for the answer.   It's something I've been thinking about this year.   It'd sure save time if I didn't do the deep inspections as often.   
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RHBee
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Gender: Male
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Location: Pinopolis, SC

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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 12:18:30 AM »

Thanks for asking this question.  And thanks for the answer.   It's something I've been thinking about this year.   It'd sure save time if I didn't do the deep inspections as often.   
Time is the other factor in the equation of beekeeping.  I never seen to have enough. Frame by frame inspections consume tons of it. I just want to strike a balance. Proper management, less disturbance and, time usage efficiency.
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Ray
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