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Author Topic: inspection good or bad?  (Read 2518 times)
dprater
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« on: October 22, 2013, 06:01:50 AM »

What makes me ask this is I went to a guys house to inspect his bees yesterday. He got them last spring and has read little and know little about bees. I went in his hive last May he has not been in them again till yesterday. Needless to say everything was glued together real bad.
But the hive was perfect, good stores, saw the Q, brood, egg and lots of bees.

I have had all kinds of issues with my 6 hives this year so what the hick, should we just stop going in to inspect? I told him he was just lucky this year and needs to keep a eye on them, but I have to say his hive looked good.

dan
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 06:54:54 AM »

Inspections are necessary. If you want to learn about bees, you must open the hive that you ser what is happening there. just see
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T Beek
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 07:00:59 AM »

One must decide to become a BeeKEEPER or a BeeHAVER.  Sounds like your friend is a HAVER.

That all said;  Bees have been doing their thing without our assistance for well over 60 million years.....I think they know what they're doing. 

Unfortunately for bees they have no control over what we are capable of doing (done?) to them.
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 07:51:11 AM »

Dan I have resisted the urge to be in my colonies frequently this year. I felt like my constant intervention set them back enormously. Unless I have a specific reason, I have let them be. They seem better for it. I watch the entrance, check the bottom pan and occasionally just pop the top. You can gain a lot of information just by looking.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 09:50:20 AM »

.
Yes, I know those "do nothing guys".

.
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RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 10:14:48 AM »

.
Yes, I know those "do nothing guys".

.

Finski.. I didn't say that I do nothing. I was saying that I reduced the frequency of my brood nest inspections to about 4 times per year. Spring, pre-flow, post-flow and pre-winter. Any thing else is supering or checking stores.
Most other information can be gathered externally.
At least that works for me, so far.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 10:37:52 AM »

.
Yes, I know those "do nothing guys".

.

Finski.. I didn't say that I do nothing. I was saying that I reduced the frequency of my brood nest inspections to about 4 times per year. Spring, pre-flow, post-flow and pre-winter. Any thing else is supering or checking stores.
Most other information can be gathered externally.
At least that works for me, so far.

about 4 times per year is almost nothing


It depends on summer, what works for me. If weathers are bad, bees tend to swarm
If summer is good, take several times honey off and extract.
If you do not inspect your hives, what ever can happen

During swarming season inspection is needed every week, do they are going to swarm...

Why 10 days interwall is not enough.... because the last days may be rainy and you cannot open the hives



My inspections

- winter shelter off and shovel snow off that bees can make cleansing flight

- theft the hive, do it has food enough. If not, open the cover an do you see capped food. If not feed the hive.

- Is the queen present and does it make normal worker brood.

- Closer looking, amount of food (warm weathers)

- The colony size. Hives have met losses. Cluster are smaller than in autumn. Do they need joining?
Do they need less room, dummy board of mire frames to nuc.

- In May when brooding is going well: diseases, is the brooding normal (nosema problem) is the brooding as good as it ought be . Best hives to brood (breeding material)

- Condition of frames: too old off, moulded, mouse beaten, too much winter food, too less winter food

- When dandelion and apple trees are in bloom: need of new boxes

- Need of first supers for honey

- Swarming control every week

- More room: colony exploses and at same time first sings ow swarming

- making false swarms

- giving more super and following honey amount

- Amount of brood: how fast that colony is going to expand

-  Making hives ready to move out pastures....how to collect a productive unit

- honey coming in, need of new supers,

- swarming intentions; heavy nectar flow may start the swarming


and so on....Trouble makes need more inspections

Others
- cutting drone cells off
- change the queen
- moving honey frames to supers
- give foundations to draw
- take brood to nucs
- give a new queen and after inspect that it lays well
- take all honey off for winter feeding
- collect brood frames to lowest box.
- arrange the wintering frames so that pollen frames do not get mould

- make hives ready to collect home yard
- feed the colonies
- weigh the hives with balance
- put them ready for winter

- change the last queens
- join last mating nuc bees
- join nucs so that they are big enough for winter
.
.
Mating nucs...
- rear first gang of new queens
- put mating nucs ready
- move them to outer yards
and so on...
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:53:47 AM by Finski » Logged

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RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 12:33:26 PM »


about 4 times per year is almost nothing

It depends on summer, what works for me. If weathers are bad, bees tend to swarm
If summer is good, take several times honey off and extract.
If you do not inspect your hives, what ever can happen

During swarming season inspection is needed every week, do they are going to swarm...

Why 10 days interwall is not enough.... because the last days may be rainy and you cannot open the hives

Finski, Different terminology looks like what we have here.

My inspections

- winter shelter off and shovel snow off that bees can make cleansing flight--It doesn't snow here.

- theft the hive, do it has food enough. If not, open the cover an do you see capped food. If not feed the hive.--One of my external inspections I tip the back of my hives using a fish scale to estimate stores. I base my estimations on the weight measurements I record going into winter.


- Is the queen present and does it make normal worker brood.--Spring brood nest inspection.

- Closer looking, amount of food (warm weathers)--I weigh them often. Again external.

- The colony size. Hives have met losses. Cluster are smaller than in autumn. Do they need joining?
Do they need less room, dummy board of mire frames to nuc.--Part of Spring brood nest inspection.

- In May when brooding is going well: diseases, is the brooding normal (nosema problem) is the brooding as good as it ought be . Best hives to brood (breeding material)--Pre-flow brood nest inspection.

- Condition of frames: too old off, moulded, mouse beaten, too much winter food, too less winter food--Spring brood nest inspection.

- When dandelion and apple trees are in bloom: need of new boxes--I just pop the top and look between the frames. I can see if they are capped.

- Need of first supers for honey--Same as above.

- Swarming control every week- More room: colony exploses and at same time first sings ow swarming- making false swarms--I'm planning to implement Michael Bushes brood nest opening and Walter Wrights nectar management systems this spring.

- giving more super and following honey amount--Again supering. Pop the top evaluate add or not.

- Amount of brood: how fast that colony is going to expand--Spring and Pre-flow.

-  Making hives ready to move out pastures....how to collect a productive unit--I don't move my colonies unless I make splits.

- honey coming in, need of new supers,--Supering.

- swarming intentions; heavy nectar flow may start the swarming--I will tip the hives at the boxes and look for swarm cells.

and so on....Trouble makes need more inspections

Others
- cutting drone cells off
- change the queen
- moving honey frames to supers
- give foundations to draw
- take brood to nucs
- give a new queen and after inspect that it lays well
- take all honey off for winter feeding
- collect brood frames to lowest box.
- arrange the wintering frames so that pollen frames do not get mould

- make hives ready to collect home yard
- feed the colonies
- weigh the hives with balance
- put them ready for winter

- change the last queens
- join last mating nuc bees
- join nucs so that they are big enough for winter
.
.
Mating nucs...
- rear first gang of new queens
- put mating nucs ready
- move them to outer yards
and so on...

I could go on but it would be pointless. Like I said, I reduced my frame by frame brood nest inspections to 4 unless there are problems noted. I don't want to just requeen every year. I let the bees figure out if the queen needs to be superseded. I want to make fall splits.

Finski, I don't have the years of experience that you have. You have worked out a system that works for you. I plan to do the same thing. I weigh the advice of experienced beekeepers like yourself and adapt it to my location and priorities.

Again thank you for your insights.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 12:46:17 PM »

.
Actually it is a list what you should do, or not to do.
Should I keep record about those?
Or it is better to record the weather.


Guys often run to  computer and ask from internet what to do. It would reviele out if you look inside the hive what the hive needs.


30 years ago inpection was not nice. Black bees remembered 3 days who has touched it hive.
Now I can inspect the hive 3 times a day and bees do not mind.


This spring I had a hive, which had very bad nosema. I took a queen away at the end of May and let the 2 frames of bees to die.
In late September I needed a hive stand and I throw away the hive. Wow ! Bees emerged from entrance!
There was 4 frame colony inside- The queen was small and it prioves that it is emergency queen, but was it however a small swarm?


.



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dprater
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 07:10:41 PM »

I also think you can over do inspection too, but I know that had I not checked my hives last spring I would have lost more hives that I did. Three times I had to give hives a frame with eggs and they raised a Q. I was just shocked at how well his bees did by themselves.

And after all I am fascinated with the way bees live and work the hive as a hole unit. Learning about bees is the best part of beekeeping to me. I love telling people about bees and people ask questions that I can usually answer grin, if not I try to find out.


dan
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riverrat
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 09:47:31 PM »

you can bee a beekeeper and not go nto the hive all the time. You can see a lot of whats goin on in the hive by watching the front porch traffic. If you see something that isnt right by all means check it out. You can check for swarm cells without going into the hive. I limit my inpsections to 3 times a year unless somthing dont look right.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 07:21:02 AM by riverrat » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 12:21:49 AM »

I limit my inpsections to 3 times a year unless somthing dont look right.

And how much you get honey per hive with that system?


But what is wrong in looking inside the hive?  If you have 500 hives, it is work. If you have 15 hives, you do what you like.

There is no rules how often you open the inner cover. At least forget them,

.
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 04:26:10 AM »

you can bee a beekeeper and not go nto the hive all the time. Youcan ea a lot ofwhats goin on in the hive by watching te front porch traffic. If yo see something that isnt right by all means check it out. You can check for swarm cells without going into the hive. I limit my inpsections to 3 times a year unless somthing dont look right.

I suspect those checking inside their hives just 3-4 times a year don't mind loosing bees to swarms and other detrimental factors that affect bees.  After all, how would such a beekeeper even know that their colony was weak, getting ready to swarm, was starving...etc....?

How does one go about checking for swarm cells without going into the hive?  I'd like to learn that technique.  Please tell us.

While I 'might' agree that much info can be determined by simply watching entrances, there is no way to know anything for sure without looking inside. 

X-RAY perhaps?
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RHBee
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 05:08:36 AM »

Hey TBeek, does separating the bodies and tipping them up on edge while looking up thru the frames suffice  for finding swarm cells? This method of inspection for swarm intention is what was recommended as a least invasive means. You have to remember that I'm more or less self taught.  It's my understanding that a frame by frame colony inspection will set back colony development by at least a couple of days. Swarm build-up time is also the time that the colony is building population for the start of the spring flow. If my methods are not satisfactory I'd rather know now.
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Ray
T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 05:28:36 AM »

Tipping boxes up will only show those cells hanging from the bottom, supercedure swarm cells are generally built in the middle of frames so.....yes and no is the answer to your question  grin.  You just have to look, no way around it.  It gets easier every time.  Don't forget to keep breathing Wink  Actually an old friend likes to tell the story of how he passed out right in front of his hives during his first inspection........forgot to breath  laugh

I am also mostly self-taught (teaching others about bees is the best method I've found for educating myself)....  I began with a Big commercial company in the mid 70's and by the time I wanted my own bees I had to forget all the bad habits those folks had taught me and I am still re-learning.  I've got a friend BEEK in Canada with well over 50 years experience that I sometimes talk to, but haven't seen in many years.  

And then there is this place which can be very helpful once you get passed all the EGOs  grin

As for setting development back due to inspections, I'm not so sure about that.  Its not something I've ever noticed.  I DO KNOW that excessive smoking can cause problems for days later.  Less is more when it comes to smoking hives, a couple short puffs at the entrance and maybe 1 or 2 inside is all I generally need to occupy my bees while I do my thing.  Only recieved one sting in anger last season.  The longer I work with bees the less stings I get....that is a bonus for sure, although my arthritis misses those stings I used to get  laugh
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 05:42:31 AM by T Beek » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 05:35:13 AM »


(riverrat)<You can check for swarm cells without going into the hive.>

I've only been at this a few months, but how can you do that?
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RHBee
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 05:51:27 AM »

It's not that I have problems performing inspections it's just that I'm striving for best methods that balance time, effectiveness and impact. In other words, my goal is to learn beekeeping methods that are the most helpful to the bees, are the most effective in meeting those needs and have the least negative impact on the colonies. All of this while limiting the time spent performing these manipulations so that I can care for the maximum number of colonies effectively.
Wow, that was a mouthful. I hope I've communicated my goals clearly. Sooner or later I'll get it figured out.
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Ray
T Beek
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2013, 06:46:07 AM »

The average hive inspection shouldn't take much more than 10-15 minutes.  If inspecting only a few times a year, expect to be inside longer as there will be MUCH more to do.

So it goes................... cool  You will find your own way of caring for your bees.

 laugh  I know some BEEKS with decades under their belts who are still trying to figure things out.  IMO that is the essence of this adventure called beekeeping.  The constant, persistent and never-ending day to day learning...............My own personal goal is that this learning NEVER stops........I'll never know enough about beekeeping or the World and will go to my grave wishing to learn even more Smiley

Unfortunately for bees and beeks alike we have some among us who have stopped learning and will tell us at every opportunity that they have nothing to learn because they already know all there is to know  rolleyes.  Watch those folks closely and take their advise with a block of salt  grin.
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2013, 07:14:19 AM »

This summer i found out that One Queen layed tio sporous brood areai sid not ser diseases and colony was busy
Then I were changing my last Queens from mating nucs and I noticed that right front leg was hook. I did not worked.
when you set the Queen, bees are able TO sting poison TO antenna or leg through the medhåll.

the is no a another way TO find out these than open brood hive.


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riverrat
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2013, 09:48:57 AM »

3 times a year I will go through the hive top to bottom. Unless I see a problem on the landing board. If you study bees and learn you will see signs of problems that may be in the hive. I do a mite check ones a year with a stickboard. AS for loosing swarms I probly loose no more than someone gong throught he hive all the time. All you have to do is tilt the bottom of the boxes to see between them to look for swarm cells. heft the hives everyonce in awhile to see if they are maintaining or gaining weight. I dont just show up 3 times a year I go out weekly and look things over watch whats going on. may even raise the inner cover up to look whats going on. The less invasive you are the better for the bees. Dont need an xray. Just knowlege of how a bee hive operates and be observative. Look at a beehive as your house. guest every once in awhile is great but someone over weekly disterbing the house gets to be a nuasance. Smiley
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
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