I am in a pickle! I am leaving early tomorrow morning to go out of town for two weeks. The weather's been so-so all week, but was forecast to be mostly sunny and 65 today. So all week I was planning on doing a hive inspection today. I got up this morning and the forecast had changed to crappy rain all day.
I had added the second deep with foundation a couple weeks ago, along with one frame of drone foundation. I need to make sure they've got enough work left to do on that foundation to last another two weeks while I'm away. (and also freeze the drones if they're capped) I don't want them to get too crowded and swarm. Also, I need to refill the division feeder that I have in the empty super.
What's the best way to handle opening the hive when it's bad weather? It's not all-out pouring, just light misty drizzle. I don't usually use smoke or gloves and have been fine.
thanks for the wisdom!
Smoke, gloves and veil. Don't waste any time and don't mess with the brood nest. Personlly, I think I'd just put the supers on and leave it at that.
Just lift the inner cover and look between the frames. Use smoke to chase them down a little bit if you can't see well. No need for a full inspection, but I would wear full gear. I've sometimes been pleasently surprised more often than not that they were fairly calm on poor days (no full inspection of course). But I've installed new queens at 35F, pulled queen cells and placed them in nucs when spitting rain, and even pulled a frame of bees for a demonstration I was to give that day during the rain.
Obviously I avoid it when I can, but sometimes the timing is more important that the weather. Just plan ahead, have everything you need at hand, and do as little as you have to quickly and smoothly.
[This message has been edited by tarheit (edited June 12, 2003).]
Our weather here has been the pits; I installed on one of the only 5 pretty days in May, so had to do my inspections in the mist/rain. Bee's didn't seem to mind, but they were only cursory inspections, meaning lift the top up at an angle, from behind, check location and activity etc..