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Poll
Question: How Often to Inspect?
More Than Once Weekly - 1 (3.6%)
Once Weekly - 4 (14.3%)
Twice Monthly - 14 (50%)
Once Monthly - 9 (32.1%)
Total Voters: 27


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Author Topic: How Often To Inspect?  (Read 3226 times)
Summerbee
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« on: January 19, 2006, 03:46:14 PM »

I am confused! {again:)}
 OK, here in Florida it doesn't really get cold in the winter, at least not where I'm at.  Maybe 35-40 at night and 70 in the day (Fahrenheit).  So during the day it is warm enough to open the hive, but there are no flowers (honeyflow) b/c it is too cold at night for plants.  Will the bees still be going out if there are no flowers, besides for cleansing flights? They look like they are going in and out like crazy; normally, that is.  So is it ok to open up the hive now?  I am feeding them sugar water (1/2 sugar and 1/2 water).
  Also how often should you inspect the hive?  One bkpr said as little as possible, another said once a week, somebody else said twice a month!  Of course it depends on the time of year, but,say, during a honeyflow, how often do you folks open up the hive and pull out frames and actually inspect the whole deal?
  Sorry; didn't mean to write a book!
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006, 04:54:19 PM »

If they are flying, you can get into them.  While your learning, more frequent look sees are beneficial to your learning curve.  I get into them about twice a month.  A little more often during swarm season, less once they are making a crop.  Specific tasks like requeening, making splits or combining weak colonys alter the schedule.  I make a full inspection in early spring, and again in the fall.  Otherwise, a quick look for eggs or larvae, crowding, general health of the colony, and I'm out of there.  Of course, if something appeared wrong, that would cause a more thorough investigation.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006, 05:06:24 PM »

I open like 2 times a month but every time you open them it sets them back like 3-4 days so dont open them way to much. Smiley
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Ryan Horn
Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 07:18:41 PM »

I guess I'm not sure what an "Inspection" is.  I probably go through a hive thoroughly three times a year or so.  I peek inside sometimes every coupel of weeks and sometimes not.  When I'm queen rearing I'm always in some hive every day, and of course in the winter I tend to leave them alone unless it's warm enough for them to fly.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 01:12:23 AM »

It can't go that way. There must be something situation or need why you open the hive.
It is not schedule question. And what are you looking for.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 08:32:14 AM »

Quote from: Horns Pure Honey
I open like 2 times a month but every time you open them it sets them back like 3-4 days so dont open them way to much. Smiley


 smiley   What makes you believe that bees are set back 3-4 days when you open a hive box?

I have read that in some books but keeping that in mind I have to say that I have not noticed any real change after opening and closing a box just for an inspection.  The bees seem to just resume their activities after the inspection even down to the bottom brood box.  Splitting a box would probably create some short term confusion I suppose but bees seem to just get right back to business except for when a feral colony is hived which is a major disruption.

I suppose one could keep an observation hive to check out the setback theory but a closed hive box does not provide much insight into bee activity before, or, after an inspection IMO.

I will stay tuned, no conclusive conlcusions here Tongue
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2006, 08:44:46 AM »

Quote from: Jack Parr

I have read that in some books but keeping that in mind I have to say that I have not noticed any real change after opening and closing a box just for an inspection.  The bees seem to just resume their activities after the inspection even down to the bottom brood box.


In old days when those "facts" have wroten, bees were quite furious and they were next day very uppset if you went to open hives.  Nowadays bees are very different like Jack says.
.
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latebee
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2006, 10:02:58 PM »

In my humble opinion,a lot of this disruption has to do with the amount of smoke used during the inspection. No data to back this up but I did notice that drawing comb is really affected when too much smoke is applied. Hopefully in 20 years or so I can state this as a fact.
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 10:54:24 PM »

Quote from: latebee
In my humble opinion,a lot of this disruption has to do with the amount of smoke used during the inspection. No data to back this up but I did notice that drawing comb is really affected when too much smoke is applied. Hopefully in 20 years or so I can state this as a fact.


It surely is so like you say. I have noticed that many give smoke even if bees are 100% calm. Furthermore  taste of smoke goes into honey. Smoke is tar and it fasten onto frame surfaces

I never give smoke into entrance. It makes bees terrified.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2006, 06:49:23 AM »

Two common mistakes in logic:

If a little is good, a lot is better.

If a lot is bad, none is better.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 07:40:03 AM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
none is better.


The basic with smoke is that you have calm bees which do not attch. That is better. - And you change the queen if hive is not nice.
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Apis629
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2006, 02:21:01 PM »

Quote
I never give smoke into entrance. It makes bees terrified.


But wouldn't the guard bees then be aggressive towards you if they are not in immidiate contact with the smoke?
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Finsky
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 02:31:42 PM »

Quote from: Apis629
Quote
I never give smoke into entrance. It makes bees terrified.


But wouldn't the guard bees then be aggressive towards you if they are not in immidiate contact with the smoke?


I have very calm bees. Nowadays they do not attach from entrance like 20 years ago. There is no need to give smoke to them.

And you should be on lower side of wind that you scent does not go towards bees.
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Colorado Beekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 03:31:43 PM »

what kind of bee's do you keep finsky?
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Kenneth Lowry
Finsky
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 03:51:19 PM »

Quote from: Colorado Beekeeper
what kind of bee's do you keep finsky?


I have Italians.  They are different origin. At least they are yellow. They are easy to nurse.

I had 10 years Carniolans but they swarmed too much.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2006, 10:36:24 PM »

Beginners (1st season) - once a week
Everyone else - twice a month tops unless there's a reason to
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Apis629
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2006, 10:49:19 PM »

Is that it's an enjoyable experience a "reason" to inspect weekly?
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Finsky
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2006, 12:34:03 AM »

Quote from: bassman1977
Beginners (1st season) - once a week


That is important that beginner learn to understand what happens in the hive and why. He should also see connection to weather and nature calendar. Connection to human calendar is not as important as many thinks.

Inspect and look are different issue I suppose.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2006, 06:38:22 AM »

I agree.  A beginner needs to see what's going on.  Once a week sounds good.  An experienced beekeeper may not need to actually dig into it if you pretty much know what's going on from looking at the outside and listening.  I suppose if I had the time I'd go through them more often than I do.  But the main things are to make sure they're doing well in the early spring, make sure they don't swarm in the middle spring and make sure they're set for winter in the fall.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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bassman1977
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2006, 03:55:59 PM »

Quote
Is that it's an enjoyable experience a "reason" to inspect weekly?


I hear ya Apis.   Cheesy   I'd be digging in as much as possible myself, but doing so will slow up the hive's progress.


 Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy I CAN'T WAIT TO START WORKING THE BEES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy
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Finsky
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2006, 04:09:15 PM »

When I started my beekeeping I "inspected" my hive every day.
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