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Author Topic: checking the hive  (Read 524 times)
lisbethanne
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« on: September 11, 2013, 07:56:17 AM »

Since I installed the bees this spring, I have been checking on them once a week. With the fake queen cell scare I have checked them twice a week. I will not be getting into my hive until Saturday but I was wondering what the average/best amount of checking for a first year hive or just any hive for that matter. I live in Texas and we are in a serious drought right now so I am opening the top to feed a ton.  My bees are very healthy and overflowing when I open so the whole hive is thriving.  All books say so many different things and I get confused. Thanks!
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OldMech
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 08:59:38 AM »

beekeeping for dummies specifically says first year beeks should check once a week for experience/practice...

   after that... well, it depends on the time of year..   spring early summer.. STILL once a week to check for swarming indications, after swarming season  once every three to four weeks is plenty
   
   I tend to open my hives once every two to three weeks. I dont always check for queen/brood by breaking the hive down, but I do check their progress in filling the supers.  I know a couple beeks who INSIST on breaking the hives down at the same time every week, they scrape and clean and clean and scrape and somehow, the bees are coping..
  I clean the top bars, but dont often break down the brood chamber unless I think there may be a problem. that allows me to leave the bur comb between the brood chambers.  Once i know the queen is laying and has a good pattern I try to leave her to do her job once swarm season is past.   
   Some ppl say that it disturbs the bees and it takes them another day to recover. In that context, if you disturb them every week they have a five day work week..  I havent noticed much, if any difference between a hive I have had to check every week compared to one I only checked once a month..
   So its just my opinion, that you do what YOU need to do.
   Newbeeks are driven insane if they cant DO something with their new bees, and the ladies and gents that have 300 hives probably dont get as excited and check once a month. Everyone is different!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
lisbethanne
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 11:03:04 AM »

Thanks for the insight!
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OldMech
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 11:12:55 AM »

lisbethanne...   Your not my X wife are you? still got your name on my arm. faded and dull from age, but still readable  shocked
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
lisbethanne
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 11:25:41 AM »

No I am not....Happily married to the same guy for 21 years.... Never heard of another lisbeth anne though! Cool I'm on your arm!   Wink
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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 11:32:24 PM »

Not quite the same but my grand daughter is Elizabeth Ann.   On checking your bees, check them as often as you thing they may need checking, and maybe sometimes when you don't.  I don't have a bunch of hives so I can check fairly often.  Sometimes I think I still miss some things.  Good luck to you and your bees.




Joe
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Moots
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2013, 02:38:03 AM »

Since I installed the bees this spring, I have been checking on them once a week. With the fake queen cell scare I have checked them twice a week. I will not be getting into my hive until Saturday but I was wondering what the average/best amount of checking for a first year hive or just any hive for that matter. I live in Texas and we are in a serious drought right now so I am opening the top to feed a ton.  My bees are very healthy and overflowing when I open so the whole hive is thriving.  All books say so many different things and I get confused. Thanks!

"All books say so many different things and I get confused"..... laugh

Well lisbeth, Welcome to the world of being a BEEK!  One of the truest things I read early on in my research to start beekeeping was that if you ask 3 Beeks what's the best way to do something, you get 4 different answers.  laugh

Another great piece of advice was, You have to find what works best for you.  I've adopted the approach of asking anyone and everyone their opinion, taking it all in, weighing my options, and going in whatever direction that I fell most comfortable with....and not giving it much of a second thought.  If you allow yourself to, you'll go crazy second guessing every decision.

All that being said, I'm going to disagree with my friend Joe D.  There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Since starting with my bees in January, as tempting as it's been at times, I've adopted a role of not allowing myself to go into any given hive more than once a week and in several cases I've not disturbed them for several weeks running.  I think it's commonly accepted that opening a hive sets back their progress anywhere from 1 to several days, it's important to give them time to do what bees need to do undisturbed.

Realize, there's also varying degrees of "going into a hive"...It depends what you mean by "checking a hive".  You mention feeding...Do you use inner covers?  I don't consider removing an outer cover to replace a jar of syrup on top an inner cover as "going into a hive", but I guess it qualifies as "checking a hive".

Best of luck with your bees!  Smiley

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Joe D
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2013, 10:02:55 AM »

No problem Moots, I sometimes forget that lots of beeks aren't in their 60's.  I would agree with you, to much of anything is not good.  Hope to see you at Bud's, if not before.



Joe
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