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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    105

    Question Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    What is the minimum exterior temperature required to open a bee hive for whatever reason?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    You can open it any time the bees are flying. However, you don't want to expose brood a long time if the temperatures are in the high 50s or low 60s. Otherwise you might end with chilled brood. In such cases, I usually just peek under to covers / boxes if I need to. I don't do full inspections or look for a queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    I have opened the top covers as low as 36 degrees before - just have to be quick (10-20 seconds - and no wind - don't pull any frames out either).

    Don't pull any brood frames unless it is 65f or so, and not windy.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    I have opened hives to add sugar with the temperatures in the single digits. Do it ONLY if you have to to prevent starvation, and do it quickly on days with the sun shinning and no wind. Do not disturb the cluster or move frames unless the bees are active, that being near 60 or above.
    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,227

    Default Re: Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    I have opened hives and took off honey when there was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Had to brush bees off of combs then too.

    Do things when you can not when you want to.

    Why do you ask?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Req. Exterior Temp for Handling Bees

    I moved the hives out of the wind about 20' away to a snow fence I just built (we get an easy foot and a half of snow here and our "snow drifts" can undo hours of shovelling in about 20 minutes). It was about 55 degrees out no wind whatsoever... I had to hand carry the deep honey full hive bodies about 50 feet and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be too harmful (I don't yet have means to move a complete hive)... The four hives were open for 1 minute max each & the clusters stayed intact, I jogged through the moves. I got stung at the beginning of a "carry" & had to leave the stinging bee and focus on moving the hive, my arm looked all deformed for a day I hope the reactions get better in time the more I get stung. anyways that's when I started the " what's your worst bee sting experience? " thread.

    I just asked because its my first fall as a keeper, I'm brand spanking new at this.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 10-22-2013 at 04:24 PM. Reason: UNQ

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