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Author Topic: Inspection during Orientation Flights: Bad Idea?  (Read 658 times)
Bee Curious
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« on: September 14, 2013, 02:02:55 PM »

I was planning on doing an inspection today to see how the bees are set for colder weather. (I know they have enough honey, but I want to see if I need to shift some frames around.)  The weather has gotten much cooler--earlier in the week we had 95 degrees, but it was in the 50's last night and we'll barely see 70 degrees today.  I had a robbing screen on for the last few weeks, as we had a bumper crop of wasps this year and they were bothering the hive.  I took it off this morning and put my wooden entrance reducer on (wondering if that will deter mice wanting to find a nice honey-smelling home for the winter) before the girls got up this morning. 

Now, they are doing orientation flights, as their world has changed.  My question to you is: would the bees be testy if I did an inspection while they were re-orienting? bee bee bee bee bee
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 03:35:23 PM »

naw, you'll be fine. you do not really want to open the hive up if it get's sub 50 degrees for prolonged periods though, and certainly not when it is below freezing/etc. The bees are not in to much danger right now if it is above mid 40's. They will get cold, but not so much of a issue as long as it warms up later, and doesn't go colder later. IE they have the chance to rebuild the heat in the hive before it does reach dangerous levels or prolonged coldness. Also of course you do not want to do it if it raining/etc so much and so forth. You should do fall inspections and make sure things are right. right now is the time hive beetles/etc need to be dealt with if they need to be dealt with, or at least it is a good time to do it, and getting winter prep on its way, imo. although I'm in Michigan and won't be finalizing things until probably mid Nov. really, I do not like to break their 'patches' with their propolis they use to seal cracks/etc. to late in the year.
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 04:25:53 PM »

I wasn't so much concerned with the weather, as the bees are in a big orientation flight cloud all day since their door changed and are making quite a buzz.  As a first year beek, I don't think I'm comfortable working in a cloud of bees like that.  I'll do it in a couple of days when they've settled down to their normal, sweet and quiet selves.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 05:15:52 PM »

ah. ya now I understand what you were getting at. sorry mistook that one. you and them would still be fine, but go ahead and wait until they are not flying out and about. when you smoke them they'll go back in the hive anyways and feed, but it'll surely be more comfortable for you.
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 02:30:57 AM »

I did that!  ONCE!  I won't do it again!  The orienting bees weren't the issue, it was the workers that came home to discover WAY too much chaos!!!  It was ugly.   shocked  Your bees should orient about the same time every day (though yours was compounded due to the changes).  If my bees are orienting, I let them do so, and adjust my schedule to theirs! 
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 05:38:46 AM »

IMO; its a perfect time to get used to lots of bees busy around you as they are very non-aggressive during orientation. 

GO FOR IT!!
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »

Most orientation flights happen in mid afternoon. You did change the entrance when they were done flying for the day, right?
I would get in there before noon. Pick the warmest day and get to it.
You want them set up before it gets colder!
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 04:39:20 PM »

Most orientation flights happen in mid afternoon. You did change the entrance when they were done flying for the day, right?
I would get in there before noon. Pick the warmest day and get to it.
You want them set up before it gets colder!

I've observed the 'new bees' orienting in the afternoons.  This was all the foragers, because while they were still sleeping, I changed their front door.  So it was a BIG cloud of buzzing bees, not the sweet little cloud of new bees.  It looks like we'll have some nice weather this week to open the hive.
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 04:42:53 PM »

IMO; its a perfect time to get used to lots of bees busy around you as they are very non-aggressive during orientation. 

GO FOR IT!!

Too late.  I opted not to bother them yesterday and it's raining today.  They settled down around 3 pm or so.  I'm trying to keep my record of no stings (yet.)
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 05:26:04 AM »

 laugh  Good Luck!  My only stings this year were on my feet and came from having loose flip-flops during the clover flow  shocked.  

Had only ONE sting last year.  Either my bees are less aggressive than most or I'm doing something right  huh.  

I know that just the 'acceptance of receiving stings' reduced the amount I get, ironically with stings being ONE of the things that intrigued me about keeping bees as they are alleged to help with arthritic conditions.  

The longer I have bees, the more I work with them, the less I am stung  cool  Not sure if that's normal or not, but I do know a few Beeks who receive more than 100 stings per season and they have no more or even less colonies than I do.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 06:55:06 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 09:30:34 AM »

Just because there are bees in the air does not mean they are angry.  You may have a lot of orienting bees, but that's just bees in the air.  I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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