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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Hi guys,

    I'm a hobbyist with a few hives and inspect my hives about once a week, they're not full inspections but more or less top bar manipulation or to make sure no cross-combs in my foundation-less langs.


    Wondering of often you folks check on your hives?

    Thanks,
    VanCity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    I've been instructed to check my new hives every 7-10 days weather permitting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    914

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Quote Originally Posted by vancity View Post
    Wondering of often you folks check on your hives?
    The time of the year dictates how often I inspect our hives. During swarm season I check every seven days, unless there is bad weather. Other times of the year it varies. For example, during our summer "dearth", I do not inspect.

    Shane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    This time of the year {spring build up} every week and what i do is look for 1 to 3 day old eggs and if i see that i just crack the hives in half and flip them on there sides and see if theres any QCs 10 min. tops thats if i'm moving slow. And yes to smoke every time .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    I am with Glock. I check mine every 7-10 days and watch for swarm cells. I to always use smoke on my bees. They have been extremely calm this spring, but why take the chance. I use burlap and mix in Sumac buds and branches. I learned from Fat Bee Man that the sumac has a calming effect on the bees and it seems to have worked, even on one hive that was quite testy at times. They have really calmed down. I still wear my protective clothing. Call me a wimp if you want, but I want to keep doing this for a long time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Nope, having a suit on is to protect yourself in case the bees turn temperamental. They do
    stay calm and suddenly releasing their defense hormone all of a sudden. So far they are much
    calmer this year.
    But again it may be my fault for inspecting them every day or every 2 days. Don't use a smoker
    though since last winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Every seven to ten days is a good idea to inspect. I don't smoke during the inspection, but I do wear my suit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,846

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    I do full inspections about one a week during build up in the spring or if there are problems in the hive such as queenlessness it swarmed etc. Once I know the brood nest is well I do not disturb it again unless something else causes me to be concerned about it. signs of disease or pests etc. Checking honey supers will continue on a weekly bases as long as they are making honey. once honey is taken and I am looking for them to build up winter stores inspections become fewer .may once every two week or even a month apart. Last year I made one final full inspection in late summer early fall to make sure all was well. they where then left alone from Late October to early February. We had a very early spring so I was inspecting about a month earlier than normal for this area. Inspections have been every other week building up to every week at this time. I expect to make those last brood nest inspections in about a week. Honey flow is starting up. I either have the bees in shape for it or I don't.

    My biggest mistake this spring has been not having a nuc for each hive to help deal with queen problems. Had I made the nucs needed I could have simply added a queen to a colony as soon as I realized it was queenless. I struggled to keep enough hives and full size boxes this spring. I never had a chance to keep up with nucs. I also had 5 other major projects tossed in my lap this spring. that did not help. I am still trying to get some of those projects done and manage an apiary that doubled in size in the past two weeks. In the past month I have made 15 med boxes as well as the other woodenware for 4 more hives. and I still am out of equipment. Catchup is not a good game plan with bees.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    In the spring I try to inspect about once a week or so. For me, it's more about what I'm inspecting than how often and a lot depends on what I find when I inspect. For example, entrance activity in a newly established colony dropped off so that triggered an earlier than usual inspection which will result in a re-queening soon. The other new colonies look fine in front so I inspect looking for when they need another box. I have a wintered over colony that is very active and I'm actively watching that for space and swarming. As the summer progresses, the inspections take place at longer intervals and then pick back up as fall approaches.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    I am inspecting the new packages about every 5 days or so (weather permitting, and this year has been lots of cold, windy, and rainy weather). Mostly I am looking for signs my queens are doing well and they are building up as expected. I have one hive that I won't be watching as closely now, because the queen is doing awesome. I have another hive that I am checking very often because it has had a laying worker and I am trying to correct that situation. The other two are getting checked because I know they have a queen, but she has been slow to start laying and I am watching for signs of failure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Well, as a beginner, I want to peek in every day, but I limit my visits to once a week. I always have the smoker going, but really haven't used it.

    I'm using long hives here in Florida, and they seem to require more frequent attention to keep them from getting overcrowded. My first hive went from a 5 frame nuc in March to 20 frames now. My package, installed 3 weeks ago, is still working on filling the first 7 or 8 frames, but brood is starting to emerge there, so I think it may soon need to expand.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    Every couple weeks if no problems. Yes to smoke. Not overboard but I use it every time. I'm third year beek. Best advise I was given was to have a specific goal for each hive inspection, and to keep the visit to that goal. Following that advice has probably kept me from being too disruptive.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: How often do you inspect your hives? And do you smoke during inspection?

    I'm trying to check on my bees once a week. This later this week will be my 4th week since install. I opened them up today and used all the info I have been gaining by reading this web site.
    I finally laid eyes on my queen! She looks very active and was quite busy. She has a black/brown head and thorax with a golden abdomen. Quite a sight actually. Last time I saw her was when she was in her little queen cage with the package. It was great to finally get to see her. I also saw lots of bright white larvae all curled up and getting close to being capped. The brood pattern was quite tight. In about a 4" x 6" area in the center of one frame there were only three open cells. I also saw lots of pollen being stored and some capped honey at the top and corners of some frames. All in all, a great inspection.

    I also smoked the bees in the ways I have read here. It worked great. the bees all went deep into the frames and I had less issues than in previous inspections. I also went gloveless for the first time. It was so cool. No stings and I felt I was a lot more delicate and accurate with the girls. No one got squished this time! Another first!

    Thanks for all the great tips and info!
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

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