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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
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    143

    Default Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Greetings
    I read somewhere that winter clusters/hives can be checked with a stethoscope and it will pick up the fainter hum from a cluster that can't be seen from a TBH window. Sounds like a rather fun way to check if the cluster is alive in there. Has anyone tried it and does it work through that wood or the small entry that's left? Are cheap scopes good enough or does it require a more expensive one? Thanks. HB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    I have done it on Langstroth hives. It does work for locating the cluster.
    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,269

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    I can hear bees just by pushing my ear against the hive. A stethoscope works, but I always carry an ear with me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Same as Adrian. I just press my ear to the hive and tap on the top.. They'll generally buzz... If they don't I crack the lid and take a peek.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Thanks so far! I didn't really know if an ear would do it! Today was after a hard freeze last night and my bees were Very quiet until I secured the mouse-guard screen that was in place but not stapled. After the noise I made I could hear them buzz near the entrance(and two guards walked out and quickly back in).So, tapping makes perfect sense to me. I wasn't sure I'd still hear them when the cluster moved toward the middle though. HB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,755

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    I have a stethoscope but sometimes an ear works better... I take the stethoscope with me when I'm asked to display bees in my Ulster Observation Hive. Little kids love to listen to the bees. "Big kids" too.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Yes, but what I would really like is a thermal imaging camera - then my nurse wife could borrow something from me. Probably not. When I hit on powerball I guess.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,282

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Just curiousity? Wanting to make sure they are still alive?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    That's it.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    I have played with this using an automotive stethescope, which comes in the form of a 12" wand.

    The wand is perfect for inserting into entrances.

    I found the practice to be very vulnerable to background noise. Perhaps workable in the country, but I found it to be of little use in the city.

    Moreso, using a stethescope actually requires some effort, and potentially keeps my delicate body out in the cold longer, and away from creature comforts.

    My preferred method for finding winter signs of life is to use a dollar store meat thermometer. They cost me only a few dollars each. A 3/16 hole is drilled in the top middle of the top box, and the thermometer is inserted and left in all winter.

    I can assess the status of all of my hives in moments just by walking by.

    Any reading higher than outside temperature informs me that there is life somewhere in the hive.
    Last edited by Metropropolis; 11-23-2013 at 12:28 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    You can also use a stick - a piece of broomstick for example. One end against your ear and the other against the hive. Which also is a good way to find the source of that funny sound under the hood of your car.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,282

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    What about thermo imaging photography?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,755

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    What about thermo imaging photography?
    I always thought these photos were really neat...

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ed-hive-images
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,269

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Another trick I saw. A guy came to see me in the winter. I showed him my ear trick for the buzz; He couldn't hear it - shooting sports were probably to blame. So he put his I phone against the hive and used the voice recorder and then played it back on high. He was able to hear that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    I bring home a thermal gun from work, its great to check for hive life and size of the cluster. It also works great for finding clusters in walls and ceilings in buildings. There getting much cheaper now, ours was about 9k several years ago, now its only around 4k
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Anyone check winter cluster status with a stethoscope?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    You can also use a stick - a piece of broomstick for example. One end against your ear and the other against the hive. Which also is a good way to find the source of that funny sound under the hood of your car.

    Thanks David! Learned that trick over thirty years ago as a Mech, never thought of using it on the hive!!
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

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