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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Today is the 3rd straight day of overcast since I loaded my packages. I hung around the hives yesterday afternoon for a bit and saw one or two coming out of one hive, but still nothing from the other. Everything seems to say wait at least 4 days before inspection, but the weather has been horrible; I started feeding using the bag method outlined on this site and am wondering how they are doing on food.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be overcast as well; my question is how have others faired doing inspections on overcast days? I would say there is at least a 100% chance they are ALL home, hopefully in a tight ball for warmth. But I'd like to be sure.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    It's a nice idea to only open the hive on a sunny day, but sometimes you just want to see if they're all right or even there.

    I never do much manipulation, unless its something time critical like rasing queens, but you could open a hive breifly on a misty or overcast day to see what's going on. If you have an inner cover, you can often see the top of the cluster through the slot at the top. Just don't open up in bad without a reason or too ofen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Belmont, NC, USA
    Posts
    38

    Post

    Every book i've read and everyone i've ever talked with says wait a week on inspection and 3~4 days on checking on the queen/removing the queen cage. I would rather them be in there for a while before i start shifting frames around on them. I don't see any harm in just cracking the lid to see if they are still there, course if you had a screened bottom board and your hive(s) were on a stand, you could just put your head under there and take a peak. This is my personal preference when im just looking to check on the crowd.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    I built several deep boxes with plexiglass on one side so I can peek without opening.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I don't have any qualms about opening bees in overcast or drizzly weather; I wouldn't do it to a small nuc but anything larger should be able to produce sufficient warmth not to suffer. Just be ready for bad temper, since most or all of the flying bees will be home, and those are the ones that sting. There will be more bees in the hive than in the middle of a sunny day as well.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    I went ahead and opend my boxes Friday AM. One is doing well and I spotted the queen immediately, they had also eaten all their syrup. The other box is acting a bit strange; I had a challenge getting the queen cage out, I think I mounted it wrong and inside of 3 days they built comb around it, attaching it to a frame.

    I haven't looked for the queen in this box yet, I'm going to wait until later on in the week to do a complete inspection, but it looks like they are working hard. They are eating a lunch baggie of syrup per hive, looks like every other day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    Anytime you leave the queen cage in for more than three or four days they will start building comb on it. It's not something you did wrong other than it might have bee helpful to remove it sooner.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    I have changed to just putting the queen cage on the bottom board. If there is a virgin queen in the package, they seem to just ignore it. In releasing queen, they do just as good as when I hang it. Of course this way there is no building of comb to mess with. Never had a problem as long as the cage is laid opposite as how the frames sit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Dahlonega, Ga
    Posts
    41

    Post

    Hopefully these pics will help ya on your situation on your hive'n. I had the same deal with the weather and had to wait it out after 1 week.
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000439.html

    pass'n on some experience to ya.

    Regards,
    Greysmoke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Things seem ok. I fed them again this AM and it looks like they are concentrating on 3 frames at the moment. I haven't pulled them yet, but I can see where two of them are almost fully drawn, so with us now at the 8th day, I'm going to start looking for eggs today or tomorrow if I get the time.

    Weather is still holding at terrible. I've decided to keep feeding until they loose interest, which is what the books are saying will happen once they find nectar they are more interested in. My primary goal is to get them established; They are sitting right on the edge of an acre of pumpkins that will be in full bloom around early July.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    If its above 55-60 degrees, don't hesitate to open the hive up. As long as its not pouring buckets, it does not have to be sunny. It would be hard to do damage at this point of the season. Enjoy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    If you want the pumpkins pollenated, then stop feeding when they bloom. They may lose interest in the syrup or they may not. But it will help give them a jump start.

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