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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About every 5 days give or take a day I always want to inspect my hives I only have 3 but losing one hive to shb late last year I am a bit more concerned is it best to just leave them alone and keep a eye on there entrance activity ? does opening your hive frequently disturb there activity?
 

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Yes opening too much does disturb them. Once a week MAX is generally enough, for their sake. You will get enough time in the box as you go. If you crave more time, join a local club and find some people to share with. See how other people do things, especially more experienced beeks, will help tremendously. If there are no problems and no reason to go in ( heavy flow etc) then every 2 weeks until late fall is acceptable also. It can take upwards of 3 days to re-regulate the tempetature/humidity after cracking the lid. Be mindfull of upcoming weather and pressure changes. Read more forum posts, there is plenty of great info here on it, and will help time pass by until your next visit
 

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I would open them every other week. I do 3 weeks. Get more hives if you want to look in them all the time. This way you can spread the looking out over a larger number.
 

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When I first got my bees I was their biggest pest.
Yes this may set them back just a little. But if your starting out you need to know what your looking at and for. There's only one way to learn this. You need a frame of bees in your hands.

I take quick peeks about once a week. I have enough that I can be in one every day if I want to.
 

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Where im at i only have slime outs in late summer regardless of shb concentrations. And ive seen balls of shb the size of golf balls in multiple corners. If bees occupy the entire hive usually they keep them at bay unless a nosy beekeper goes rummaging through the hive. Just my experiences, every hive is different.
 

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I agree with wanting to go into the hives more than is necessary. I have staved this off somewhat by just standing close to the hives and watching what is taking place.

There is always something interesting going on during the coming and going of the forager girls.

I am going in today to fill the hive top feeder, may take a peek at what is going on down below while I am there. For their sake......
 

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I agree with wanting to go into the hives more than is necessary. I have staved this off somewhat by just standing close to the hives and watching what is taking place.

There is always something interesting going on during the coming and going of the forager girls.
4 p.m. has become my favorite time of day. Grab a cup of coffee, and watch all the happenings during the afternoon orientation flights. You get a good idea of hive strengths, problems, and satisfaction all at the same time.
 

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Entering the hive has only 2 risks. 1. Pinching the queen by accident, or 2. If the weather is poor you may chill brood. The best way to learn about beekeeping is to observe what the bees are doing in the hive. Don't be afraid to snoop every 2nd or 3rd day, understanding that if you pinch the queen it may set you back.

Luke
 

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Hehe this is why I went ahead and expanded my apiary. Now I have enough hives that I can scratch that itch daily if I want to.

One thing I do not understand about the conventional wisdom of not going into the hive much because it can throw off the temp in the hive.....why would that affect the temp any worse than using a screened bottom board? Going into the hive may interrupt the normal activity of the hive, but unless it is cold I don't see that it would hurt the bees if a screened bottom board doesn't.
 

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Watch the porch on days you don't go in. Then when you do look in compare porch activity to what you see inside each hive.
If your hives are for production curb how often you look in. If your hives are for your pleasure then look when you get the urge:)
 

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Going into the hive always sets them back to a certain extent each and every time.

But, who cares? If you are going for a record honey crop, or maximizing queen production, or wanting to achieve some other production goal, then, yes, you have to carefully time and minimize when you mess with them. But if you have bees for fun and want to learn, then go in whenever you want and weather conditions allow.

I would also say there is no set best frequency for going into the hives. Different times of the season require different amounts of inspections - more often during swarm season when monitoring hive conditions if you are trying to prevent swarming, less often (if at all) during winter when not much is happening inside the hive. Also, how deep you go into a hive influences how disruptive the inspection was and thus how often you can go in with little negative affect.

JMHO
 

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Inspecting so often upsets their microclimate and it takes them ages to get it back to normal. Also you will be making your bees more vunerable to diseases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good stuff thanks for the replies !
 

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First year I had bees another beekeeper told me to stay out of the hives as much as possible. Move them away from myself if I could. So the second year I kept a swarm I captured in a 10 frame deep and got into it 3 times a week. It didn't make it through the winter, but my other 10 hives did great!
 

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why would that affect the temp any worse than using a screened bottom board?
Whether you use a SBB or have a wide open entrance at the bottom the amount of draft is changed considerably when you take the lid off. I do not believe it takes very long for the colony to get the climate back to normal once the lid is back on.
 

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As you are learning, I think you need to look in there to see what's going on. If 1 hive is dragging behind the others you will be able to see that and perhaps get some help to determine what is causing it. 3 hives is a good number for a beginner too. Because if you have 2 and they are building up differently, you may have a normal hive and a boomer or you may have a normal hive and a pooper. But with 3 that gives you 1 more reference to make decisions from.

If you are going to keep bees, then you need to manage them. Just be sure you have a purpose when you open the hives. You don't have to see the queen to know she's in there if you see eggs then you know she was alive and laying within the last 3 days. You can observe pollen coming in and have a good idea they are taking care of brood too. But you have to open them up to see how much room they have and to stay ahead of supering. Also to see if they are getting a swarm implulse and making swarm cells. I don't subscribe to the conjecture that you "set them back everytime you open them up" because if you identify a varroa problem, you can treat them and keep them from dwindling. Also if you have a small hive beetle slimeout impending, you could move the hive off the stand, put a new hive body and frames in the old spot, do a shaken swarm and save your hive while you feed the SHB larvae to the fireants.

The bottom line is that you are the beekeeper and you get to make that call on how much is too much.
 

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Whether you use a SBB or have a wide open entrance at the bottom the amount of draft is changed considerably when you take the lid off. I do not believe it takes very long for the colony to get the climate back to normal once the lid is back on.
Acebird, I don't think it is that quick especially if you have been working in the brood area. The timelag for the bees to restore their microclimate back to normal can be considerable, if you study the research done on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Had no idea of this some very interesting info !
 
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