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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    70

    Default 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    I put my bees in the hive 5 or 6 days ago and since then we have had terrible weather. It has barely been hitting 50 degrees and we have had an unbelievable amount of rain this week.

    I did my 1st inspection of the hive today. It is only 40 degrees out and I was surprised to see several bees flying around the outside of the hive and stacked up at the entrance reducer. It did not appear they ate hardly any sugar water out of the hive top feeder. I did find the queen cage to be empty and found her alive inside the hive in a cluster of bees. The bees were really clustered on the front side of 2 of the frames (guessing it was probably warmer here). I did not see where they had attempted to start any combs.

    Does all of this sound normal considering the time frame they have been in the hive and the temps we have had? When should I expect to see them starting work on combs? Temps the next few days are suppose to be upper 50's to upper 60's.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    This weather in the north has everything behind. They are still in cluster mode and think it is still winter as most of us in the north think as well.
    Temps are about to become average in your area next week. It will be a diferent story then. I wouldn't recommend a hive inspection for a while especially a new hive and in 40 degree weather. This week and next week for you will be touch and go.
    COME ON SPRING!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    You can sneak a peek when the temp is holding in the 40s. As long as they are clustering they should be fine.
    Also, to prevent starvation because of the extended cold you should give them patty as well. Patty will help them
    build up some broods also even in the cold. Put the foods next to the cluster so they can eat too.
    Some beekeepers put dry sugar over the cluster to feed them if it is still too cold to feed them syrup.
    Other than that you'll just have to wait it out for better spring weather. When they have consistent temp
    in the 50s and above then you will see them flying. Hopefully that will not be too far away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    Yes, it sounds about normal. They'll kick in. As mentioned, keep your inspections quick for now.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    Guess you might not call what I did yesterday much of an inspection. I was more curious as to if the queen had got out of her cage and if she was ok. She did and thanks to the big white dot on her I found her around the cluster.

    Temps are suppose to finally stay about 50's this week. Next week every day is suppose to start staying in the 60's.

    I will probably add more sugar water end of next week. I am going to try my best not to take a quick peek.

    How long should I wait til a better inspection. Also how long til they start building some kind of comb? Guessing queen really cant lay any eggs until she has a comb to put them in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    One thing you might do, if you didn't, is have the syrup inside the hive. If the syrup is outside then it might be to cold for the girls to take in without making them cold. If you have a mason jar on the inner cover and cover that with another box and then the outer cover some of the heat from the hive will warm the syrup so they can take it. Just a thought.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: 1st inspection....sound about normal?

    I have one of those "miller" style hive top feeders that I can put the cover on top of. Hope it helps keep it a bit warmer in are cold weather. What I like about it is the bees don't have to leave the hive to feed.

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