Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2015
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    Default Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Temperatures are expected to soar across much of the US this weekend. Where I am temps are going to hit 97 on Saturday. Other than the fact that it can be incredible uncomfortable to inspect in such temperatures, is there a point where beekeepers just decide to leave the bees alone? Also, is it advisable to remove honey supers in such temperatures using bee escapes?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    I absolutely hate the heat, and so I try to do my inspections in the morning while it's still cool-ish. At 97 I'd be real cautious about heat stroke, especially with bee keeping gear on. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after and be ready to call it quits if you start feeling nauseated or light headed.

  4. #3
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    I was marking freshly mated queens in mating nucs yesterday. 92* air temp heat index of 112*. Absolutely brutal. I put supers that I'd just extracted back on at the same time on the production colonies in that same yard. Didn't light a smoker, too hot for that nonsense. :P When it is this nasty really early morning is the best option. Like first light.

  5. #4
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    Southeast Texas
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    it effects the beekeeper way more than the bees - its way hotter than that here in SE Texas and the bees do just fine even in direct sunlight.

  6. #5
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    Jan 2016
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    Ozark, AL
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I absolutely hate the heat, and so I try to do my inspections in the morning while it's still cool-ish. At 97 I'd be real cautious about heat stroke, especially with bee keeping gear on. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after and be ready to call it quits if you start feeling nauseated or light headed.
    Well stated. It is very easy to push it to far and things can go south real quick.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    JWC - Not to badger ya - buy I bet you were alone in the bee yard - I know you know - plenty of fluids - lots of breaks - don't over do it. Go down in those temps and ya may not get back up. And if your like me - it could be a couple of days before anybody comes looking.

  8. #7
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    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    If honey supers are on I leave 'em alone except for a quick check to monitor the honey. That is, as long as previous inspections were A-ok. And I do it in the cool of the morning, just like my yard chores. 101 forecast here today.

  9. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Quote Originally Posted by sakhoney View Post
    JWC - Not to badger ya - buy I bet you were alone in the bee yard - I know you know - plenty of fluids - lots of breaks - don't over do it. Go down in those temps and ya may not get back up. And if your like me - it could be a couple of days before anybody comes looking.
    I hear ya. The trouble with it being so humid here is that the sweat doesn't really evaporate much. It just kind of coats you. Prior to changing jobs I worked in hot rolling aluminum plant. On days like today it's 100* everywhere inside this massive building... get near the furnaces or the mill itself where hot slabs and mill coolant were circulating and it's 130* and steamy. It always felt like walking into air conditioning when leaving the plant for the day.

    I wasn't doing anything major, sak. Just two production hives there and about 10 building into their 3 deeps. And 12 mating nucs. I did stop by the owners well spigot when I was done and get a nice, long drink of cold well water and get a little of the cold stuff on my face/head. I'm all smiles because the farmers STILL haven't cut the alfalfa.

    I don't know how you guys do it down in Texas. I hate the heat.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Down here - outside work quits about noon - if not in the A/C honey house and even then we take a couple hour power nap - I've all my life worked outside up to about the last 10 years - and the heat just zappes everything out of ya - After being out in the heat - even till noon - we just shut down cause no body feels like doing anything. Lots of night work - like box assembly. Just something to keep the hands getting there hours.
    And on the sweat - coveralls don't need washed - you have just soaked them enough with sweat you have washed them - but they get ripe after a couple of days HAHAHA. water/sweat just dripping off them everywhere

  11. #10
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    It is HOT and dry in North Texas as well, even with flooding spring rains. I have to inspect 2 boxes tomorrow morning that where transferred last weekend from nucs. It is tolerable up to about 9-10am in a full suit,,,,I think....

    BTW, it is so hot and dry here, yesterday I saw two fire hydrants fighting with two oak trees, over a dog

  12. #11
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    Hornbeak,Tn,USA
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    I'm in my fourth year and it is very hot and humid here in upper northwest Tennessee too. Has been awhile now. Brutal that is. I have seven hives in my yard at home and a few more elsewhere. They sure are taking in the water from the freshwater swimming pool and even have their own float. The kids don't mind the company. The bees stay over on their end.
    Anyway I have only minimally been working my hives. Too hot. The flow is about done here till fall. I've noticed there isn't as much capped honey in supers as I had same time last year.
    I stay in touch with family when I go to work the hives and make sure my phone is at hand. I check in with them frequently when I take a water break. At home I tell them to look out windows for me. If I'm sprawled out on ground to call 911. Then I got to thinking will rescue come to a beekeeper amongst his hives with bees all around?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Quote Originally Posted by sakhoney View Post
    JWC - Not to badger ya - buy I bet you were alone in the bee yard - I know you know - plenty of fluids - lots of breaks - don't over do it. Go down in those temps and ya may not get back up. And if your like me - it could be a couple of days before anybody comes looking.
    Don't beat yourself up too badly Sak; some people could get lost and no one would ever go looking for them!

    In our location we seldom get over 90F. but I cant take the heat anymore at all. Have worked lots in refineries and paper mills and have came close to collapse a few times. Seen other fellows go down. There is much more awareness nowadays that serious and permanent damage can occur with heat exhaustion; not just unpleasant at the time, if you push it too far. Not at all sorry to be retired!
    Frank

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    I hear ya Frank - I'm ready to retire myself - Just as soon as I get this son of mine through TA&M. Can retire and do that at the same time. 3 more years. And at this age - the heat don't take long.
    popeye - I keep my cell close as well - had it in my top pocket this spring - and I guess a bee stung it and scented it - They went after that thing like mad - never touched me but the phone - well check the photo

    Cell phone.jpg
    Last edited by sakhoney; 07-22-2016 at 01:47 PM.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    There is MUCH more focus on "heat stress/exhaustion" now. Even in my relatively short career so far, it's gone up considerably. Which is good. I overdid it to the point of vomiting a few times as a kid and that's just what I remember... dizzy, might have kind of blacked out once too if I recall. Supposedly that knocks down your tolerance for it from my understanding. I'm just doing short stints... would be nice if my truck had AC though so that I can cool off when I'm done.

    Anyway, not to derail it entirely. If you're out working bees in this heat be careful! And if you're out working foundationless hives in this heat... well, you deserve whatever happens.

  16. #15
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    Jan 2013
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    Valdosta, Ga USA
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    I thought 97* was normal. You guys get cooler weather sometimes?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    Quote Originally Posted by noljohn View Post
    I thought 97* was normal. You guys get cooler weather sometimes?
    Yes, we call it "winter"

  18. #17

    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    hahaha here we wear a coat and long sleeves at 65 F and that said normal daytime highs are 105 and up so all work done in the morning when a nice cool temp in high 80s
    Cheers Bill
    zone 9b

  19. #18
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    Apr 2016
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    Dutchtown,Louisiana,USA
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    Default Re: Hot Weather and Inspections - How Hot is too Hot?

    As soon as the foragers start going full throttle, get to it. Much past about 10 am here these days its hot like the wolf outside and only necessities happen, surely not something that's supposed to be enjoyable

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