How would you inspect this hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Milford, Michigan USA
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    304

    Default How would you inspect this hive

    I would like to do a full inspection on this hive but I am not sure how to proceed.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    I just looked at the temps and it's not "that" hot in Michigan, so....

    To reduce the population and keep them from swarming, I'd make a split.

    Just take the top off and get after it.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Southeast Texas
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    first thing in the morning before they start bearding like in the photo - but if you have a good honeyflow going on - they may remain like that overnight. They do this because of all the steam/moisture in the hive from the new honey being dried in the hive. Also it lets the bees inside circulate more air without all the bees restricting the space between the frames.
    If it was mine - I would offset the box above the brood nest back 1/4 inch to give them more air circulation.
    Good luck

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    3,388

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    Add another super or two, you have plenty of bees for making honey.

    They do beard when it's warm and damp in the hive -- mine are starting to, a good sign on production hives.

    If you have a screened bottom board, pulling back the sticky board an inch will let them ventilate better and reduce bearding.

    As far as inpections go, just smoke them lightly and open it up. They won't behave much differently. I suspect you will find a hive full of honey, I've been hearing reports of a really good year up that way.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    I'd open that bottom entrance up all the way. And then I probably wouldn't touch them until the bearding has died down a little. Why disturb them when they have their minds so set on bearding. I'll bet in a couple days that bearding will die down. Or, just quickly add 1 or 2 boxes to the top until you feel more comfortable getting in there.

    I had a bearding hive like that yesterday, and if I was within 20 feet of that hive they sent warriors to chase me off. I don't think they're in any mood. (I do bet that hive needs a couple more supers)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
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    304

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    You can’t see it but the hive has a 4 inch top entrance. The screened bottom board has been open for a couple days. They beard like this all night. Today I opened the bottom entrance all the way. I will likely extract this hive and a few others Tuesday. I don’t want more hives I have six and gave away four swarms already. I get way more honey now than I know what to do with. I took seven full suppers off this spring that were leftover from winter. So more bees and more honey is not what I am looking for. I just wondered what the best approach would be to inspecting the hive. Because the bees cover two boxes I was concerned I will damage a lot of them when I remove the boxes. I will try a lot of smoke and see how it goes.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    That's really weird, Mike. I wonder why they are bearding like that when the weather is not exceptionally hot, you have a 4" upper entrance which should provide plenty of ventilation, your screened bottom board is open, you have a full bottom entrance (at least as of now)... Is this the hive that has swarmed?

    Why would the bees be bearding like that with all the open ventilation? Are there just too many bees for that hive size? Is this a pre-swarm indication? I hope others chime in. Is there something inside that hive they don't like?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Southeast Texas
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    read my post above

  10. #9
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    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Why would the bees be bearding like that with all the open ventilation?
    I don't see how bees can ventilate the hive with a SBB. Seems counter productive to me, but I'm only supposing. None of my hives have a SBB and I have seen very little bearding this year. All my hives have a reduced bottom entrance and a inner cover with a screen covered hole. The bees ventilate the hives by fanning. I don't see how they can be as effective with that having a SBB.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
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    652

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    +1 i think slatted racks do more for ventilation than screens. gives them extra space but lets them control the air flow. I stick my head over my hives and then sound like an AC unit humming.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    6,034

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    I'd do it from the top down. Wonder where the nrood nest is located. Are they using the bottom much at all?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Milford, Michigan USA
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    I'd do it from the top down. Wonder where the nrood nest is located. Are they using the bottom much at all?
    No they rarely used the bottom entrance even when the top entrance was only an inch and a half. I will tear it down Tuesday.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Milford, Michigan USA
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    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    I don't see how bees can ventilate the hive with a SBB. Seems counter productive to me, but I'm only supposing. None of my hives have a SBB and I have seen very little bearding this year. All my hives have a reduced bottom entrance and a inner cover with a screen covered hole. The bees ventilate the hives by fanning. I don't see how they can be as effective with that having a SBB.
    My screened bb’s do not have sticky board inserts, they are mounted on inch runners. I slide a 3/8 inch piece of plywood under them to close them off. I replace the 3/8 piece with 1/8 when I OAV treat. This method allows me to place the evaporator under the screen from the back of the hive. No scorched frames or bees. The boards are rarely opened. The only reason I removed the board was to see if it would reduce the bearding.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    6,034

    Default Re: How would you inspect this hive

    I'd put the brood on the bottom board if it isn't already. They might have never moved down having the top entrance. I had one last spring I had to switch around. They'll plug that nest in a hurry if you get the kind of flow we have had here.

    Gotta get some empty comb or space above them.

    Have you not looked in them this spring yet? I reversed like early March.

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