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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Booming Hivw poat winter - intensive inspection warranted?

    I was unwrapping hives yesterday and had several boomers (bees covering tops of all frames in double deep box and "exploding out") Is there any practical reason to disrupt things by examining each brood frame in such a colony?

    My standard MO with a hive such as this is to move the hive bodies off of the bottom board which then gets cleaned - entrance reducer left in place on small setting. Then I make a judgement call to reverse boxes. If there does not seem a strong population in the bottom box the boxes get reversed. (The inner cover also gets reversed so that the notch is up - Auger holes in the boxes are uncovered when the tar paper is removed so the bees don't loose their only upper entrance, rather they must start using another)

    My logic has me spending time with colonies that are not booming - trying to understand why. In this particular yard that went into winter with 10 colonies, 7 colonies survived - 4 boomers and 3 smaller. The 3 that didn't survive all had a bunch of undrawn foundation in them and if I had been smart last fall I would have pulled the yet to be drawn boxes and attempted to over winter them as singles.

    Thoughts? I was very glad to be back in the bees!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,538

    Default Re: Booming Hivw poat winter - intensive inspection warranted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    I was unwrapping hives yesterday and had several boomers (bees covering tops of all frames in double deep box and "exploding out") Is there any practical reason to disrupt things by examining each brood frame in such a colony?
    I started unwrapping yesterday, too. Finding lots of boomers, that after the kick test pour from the top entrance and bottom entrance of a three story hive. As long as they are still heavy enough, and I can see worker brood by looking down into the top box, I move on to the next colony.

    Eventually I do look at the brood, pattern, do a disease check, but not until reversal of the broodnest. I prefer to super first, before the dandelions and reverse on the dandelion flow.

    Your MO was great for last year when March temps were in the 70s and 80s, and we were able to super mid-April and the dandelion flow began at the end of the month.

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