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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    I made an appointment for my first inspection today (on May 12) -- the inspector was very nice, and I found out that Florida state inspectors aren't allowed to "handle" the TBH bars themselves -- apparently, for liability purposes. He did seem quite familiar with them, though, and said he could talk me through the process. I'm planning on my first inspection this weekend (about 2.5 weeks after package install). From the observation window, I can see at least two large pieces of comb, and there is much more activity around the entrances (sigh -- there are 3 now, but since the bees are using them all, I won't try closing anything up!). I'm a bit nervous about cross-combing, and a bit intimidated at the idea that someone with much more experience is just going to watch me! Still, I found it interesting that inspectors aren't allowed to "handle the hive" at all. Is this the case in other states as well?
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    What is it getting inspected for? I have never heard of anything like that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    In Florida the inspector is only looking for one reportable disease-American Foul brood. And I guess now they may be testing for signs of africanazation.Our inspector has always been very helpful. For a new beek they can offer advice and insight. Since the comb is not as securely anchored as it is in hives with full frames they do not want to be responsible for any disasters.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,772

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    I am guessing Stephen Cutts called. Stephen is a fourth generation beekeeper. Whether it is Stephen or Ryan, they will also answer any questions you may have at the time so make a list.
    That is the recommendation for all my inspectors for foundationless and frameless hives. We had too many incidents of comb dropping off, possibly killing the queen. The Florida Statute actually says they have to be in movable frames, but we accomodate varying hive styles to the best of our ability.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    777

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    .

    They may also try to get you to re-queen if you have any feral queens from cut-outs.

    Don't let them pressure you into doing this. They can't legally make anyone do it unless
    it's a very aggressive and/or Africanized hive.

    We need more diversity and health in the gene pool. Their monopoly on genetics and implementation of toxic treatments are only perpetuating the collapse and mite problems.

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    The inspector inspects mine every year without me there...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    I am guessing Stephen Cutts called. Stephen is a fourth generation beekeeper. Whether it is Stephen or Ryan, they will also answer any questions you may have at the time so make a list.
    That is the recommendation for all my inspectors for foundationless and frameless hives. We had too many incidents of comb dropping off, possibly killing the queen. The Florida Statute actually says they have to be in movable frames, but we accomodate varying hive styles to the best of our ability.
    I spoke with Ryan. He was very helpful -- I am actually excited for the inspection!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .

    They may also try to get you to re-queen if you have any feral queens from cut-outs.

    Don't let them pressure you into doing this. They can't legally make anyone do it unless
    it's a very aggressive and/or Africanized hive.

    We need more diversity and health in the gene pool. Their monopoly on genetics and implementation of toxic treatments are only perpetuating the collapse and mite problems.

    .
    Since it's a brand new package, there hasn't been time for local breeding to occur. He did ask where the package came from, and did ask about the nature of the bees so far. I've had negative reactions from local beekeepers about my choice of apiaries b/c they are located in Texas, where ABs have been found. And certainly the package I have shows some mixed coloring, from very light golden bees to some with darker bodies. It's too soon for brood, so I won't know about that. And the bees certainly seem "gentle" if that word means that the bees generally seem unconcerned about my presence -- I don't get bunches buzzing around my head or anything, nor do they land on my gloves and sting.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The inspector inspects mine every year without me there...
    I have to be there b/c he's not allowed to remove bars. But he did assure me that he could talk me through the process. I have every intention of practicing that skill starting this weekend!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Victoria, Texas, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    All of my hives are from feral swarms from South Texas, and I haven't gotten an Africanized swarm or colony cutout yet. Some are more aggressive at times because of the weather and lack of a flow, but my experience suggests the AHB threat in Texas is a bit exaggerated, at least in my area. I have encountered 2 coloneys that based on aggression were Africanized, but that is the exception. So I would not be concerned about the AHB threat from your package if it came from a reputable apiary.
    TxBeek. KTBHs. Victoria, Tx. along the Gulf coast. Zone 9b.
    Treatment free bees from traps and cutouts.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by msscha View Post
    I have to be there b/c he's not allowed to remove bars. But he did assure me that he could talk me through the process. I have every intention of practicing that skill starting this weekend!
    I'm sure your inspection will be fine. Meeting your inspector is a good thing because he is a wealth of info for you! I've found that my state inspector is a very nice man, and he's not "out to get" anyone at all. :-)

    When I remove my bars, I use a very long, thin serrated knife. I first cut any attachments to the walls first (slicing upward so that I don't put any downward pressure on the comb). Then I cut between bars to make sure that they're not stuck together. Finally, I slide over the bar I want to inspect in order to separate it from its neighbor. It's not hard to do, but I find that being gentle and very careful are helpful.

    Closing them up is a little trickier because you don't want to squash your bees. For me, I find that I'm able to do it best if I set the bar down right next to its neighbor in the spot its suppose to sit. I do not slide the bars together because that would just squash my girls. Also, I found it hard to put the entire bar down at once, so I put one end down first as I gently lower the rest of the bar (The bar is at a very slight angle as I do this), giving the bees time to move out of the way. Sometimes, I have to jiggle gently to get them to move, but again, it's not hard. It just takes a gentle touch.

    I'm sure that you'll develop a method and rhythm that works best for you, though.

    Good luck & have fun!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nueces, TX, USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    I use the bounce method...sliding the bars together and bouncing it on the bees in the way gently until they move...I also don't worry if there are a few casualties when inspecting a hive.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    They probably can't handle them in case they break the comb from the topbar.
    I haven't had an Inspector Call yet but have spoken with my local inspector and he requested I have a stand available.
    A basic stand to hold the comb is very easy to make might enable he to get a clearly look of things.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,120

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    I am guessing Stephen Cutts called. Stephen is a fourth generation beekeeper. Whether it is Stephen or Ryan, they will also answer any questions you may have at the time so make a list.
    That is the recommendation for all my inspectors for foundationless and frameless hives. We had too many incidents of comb dropping off, possibly killing the queen. The Florida Statute actually says they have to be in movable frames, but we accomodate varying hive styles to the best of our ability.
    So does that mean that in effect TBH beekeepers are exempt from inspection for diseases and pests of honeybees in FL? If Log Gum beekeeping or Skep beekeeping became popular, or even if only one person kept bees that way, what would FL's reaction be? Would FL demand that the beekeeper keep bees as stated in the law?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by txbeek View Post
    All of my hives are from feral swarms from South Texas, and I haven't gotten an Africanized swarm or colony cutout yet.
    So I would not be concerned about the AHB threat from your package if it came from a reputable apiary.
    Thank you for the reassurances. So far, my bees don't seem aggressive, but I don't have anything to compare them to, either. I'm finding the description "gentle" difficult to define, or perhaps, I just had the wrong picture in my head of what it means (something more interactive?). In general, the bees don't seem particularly interested in me when I am at the hive, which I am thinking is a good sign of the kind of temperament we're hoping for!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    No, we have rules to follow, especially regarding movable (hence inspectable) frames. As for non-movable frames, I guess the state response would depend on whether the state found out. I instigated the inspection -- our inspectors have a close relationship to ag extension and the University of Florida's bee research program, all of whom seem to be very good people to know. Personally, I see no reason not to work within state law.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by AugustC View Post
    T
    I haven't had an Inspector Call yet but have spoken with my local inspector and he requested I have a stand available.
    A basic stand to hold the comb is very easy to make might enable he to get a clearly look of things.
    That is my plan for me, too -- to make a stand. I'm following one of Phil Chandler's plans and using wire coat hangers.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Would you please post a link to the plans for a stand?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Top Bar View Post
    Would you please post a link to the plans for a stand?
    Sure -- I just got it from his pdf -- http://aabees.org/ebooks/how_to_buil...p_bar_hive.pdf, page 41. The image from that page is pasted below. I am not going to make the whole hinged base -- just the basic stand. I was also thinking of seeing if I could somehow fit the stand so that the bar would hang just above its place in the hive -- sort of lifting it straight up and holding it in place. That may be beyond my abilities (given that the bees have found additional entrances in the body of the hive, I don't hold out much hope for leaving my day job for carpentry).
    tbhinspectionstand.jpg
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Scheduled first inspection -- inspectors aren't allowed to handle the TBH hive!?

    Thanks!

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