Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default First Hive Check

    Package is little over a week old. Best time to check sunny warm, no wind ideal. Ok, so I'm going in. What I'm concerned about is it's about 60, sunny, look at all this activity in front of the hive. Bees coming and going (lots). Not aggressive, but definitely lots of bees coming and going.

    So smoke and go slowly, pull off the outer cover, check and remove the top feeder...then check below for the first time.

    So the question....I can most likely calm the bees inside. But what about the hundreds of foragers coming and going?

    Thanks. Hope you liked the picture.



    Chris,
    Tricities, Wa.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    They'll just keep coming and going. I always smoke the entrance a little and then under the inner cover. Take your time going in...let the smoke do its work. As you check the frames, the entrance will get busier but they'll pretty much leave you alone. Nice pic!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default

    >So smoke

    Lightly.

    > and go slowly

    Definitely

    >So the question....I can most likely calm the bees inside. But what about the hundreds of foragers coming and going?

    The foragers are busy. They are not interested in you.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,454

    Default

    Don't stand in front of the entrance and move slowly. Those bees that are coming and going are what you want to see. When no bees are coming and going, they are all in the hive waiting for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    221

    Default

    Good looking hives Chris. On the other side of the Cascades...are your bees still taking quite a bit from the feeders?

    JT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Do you have screened bottom boards ? if not you dont want your hives slanted back water will run in. If they are,, never mind. They look good , its still freezing here..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Thanks everyone.

    I've fed them twice now, after 6 days, almost 3 qts each hive each visit. Tomorrow, I'll make another gallon(s) of 1:1 and feed along with the hive check.

    I built a super cool hivestand, purposefully unlevel. One thing I didn't count on was hivestand runners, LOL! Since that picture was taken, did put cedar fence plank under the rear so the hives are positioned more properly. This is temporary, but don't want to tinker (remove runners) so soon. Have tried not to do too much to them the first week, but everyday it's been something (removing mouseguard...traffic jams; removing inner cover...already have top feeder in place)...etc.

    I just don't want to open up the hive and look like that poor guy on the video (Bee Forum, thread "Is this how it's done?)

    This board has been invaluable. Even with books, magazines, and an all day beekeeping class, it's hard to actually know what and how to do it. Appreciate everyone's help, and I look forward to being the one offering assistance next year!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    You'll get used to it. In the summer, when the hive is booming and the weather is right, the entrance will be a cloud of bees. No matter, you can still open the hive up and do your stuff regardless of the number.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default All Went Well....For a Rookie

    Sunny day, just a little breezy. I gowned and lit the smoker. Wife just woke up, watched from inside with a full cup of joe.

    Ok, laugh (well, not yet, wait until further down).......lots of bee activity. I smoked, waited, smoked the lid, waited a bit, then went in...my first time.

    Removed the top feeder(s). Both hives, nearly empty (2.5 qts each hive/4 days).

    Lots of bees on the top bars looking at me. I lightly smoked them (as lightly as you can in a breeze). Heard the loudest bzzzzzzzzzzzz I've ever heard. It was cool! Hoped I wasn't hurting any.

    Pulled out the first frame...obviously nothing going on with it. However, the #9 Frame had a bit of light comb there. #8 more, #7 more still. I think it was #7 or 6 pulled out.....tons of bees, and noticed the queen right off the bat. No markings, it was just very apparent it was her. In my elation, I slowly put that frame back in, ever so careful, and closed shop.

    This happened with both hives....both built up about the same. Found the queens right away. Did notice liquid (nectar?) on some of the outer frames partially built up comb. Good comb building in the center frames, something on all frames save the outer two. These hives are not even 2 wks old. Time for another deep in a couple weeks?

    I should have been looking for eggs. However, lifting a frame full of bees, I felt so clumsy. Those darn gloves made it difficult to pull the frame out. Tried inspecting the frame, saw the queen right away, looked briefly, think I saw a few eggs, not sure. Didn't expect to see her that fast. More concerned at that time to get the frame and queen back in the hive.

    The hives seemed healthy, so for my first time, about 30 minutes total, declared the day a success, and made mental note to do a much better check the next time out.

    Bees starting to look at me again, I gave a light smoke and started to slide the top feeder back on.

    Then I saw it.....the aluminum holder for THE QUEEN CAGE! Right dab in the top center of the hive. (Quick review, my hives were packaged by my supplier, I picked hives and all a few days later). I foolishly thought they had directly placed the queen and hadn't even bothered to ask. Lucky for me it all worked out anyway.

    So, I gingerly and carefully pulled and pried the queen cage out of the center hive, probably mangling a little bit of fine honey comb in the process, hoping it was just burr comb.

    The first hive probably still had a queen cage as well, but it was already fed and closed already. I wasn't about to resmoke, open and subject them to even more stress. It will just have to wait until next week, hoping it will come loose without wreaking too much havoc.

    Thanks for the help and for reading about my first time experience.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads