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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Confusion for a new person: Some say: check the hive regularly to make sure the queen is there and she's laying. Other's say: Every time you open a hive it sets the bees back by a week. I know opinions differ, but how often does one take out frames to make sure everything is OK? On a schedule, or only when it looks like something's not right, judging by the action at the front of the hive? Thanks
 

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That is the same question I had when I started my one backyard hive. I opened it every week and told my mentor what I was seeing. I also fed every week to ensure plenty. He finally told me to leave it alone. Add a super and look again in 2-3 weeks. There was more to see, so now unless I'm trying to find something specific, I leave it alone until I am supposed to do something.
Laurence Hope
 

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As I understand it from my (very limited)experience and reading, if you have little experience with bees you are encouraged to check the hive often. Personally I believe that this is to allow you to obtain the confidence and overcome some of the fear of bees. A newly started colony (mine was) is very gentle and as their numbers built up I was right there with them. Based on my initial fears (and shakes) in opening a newly installed nuc, I can only imagine how nervous I would be now with a full colony if I hadn't developed my current confidence level.
That said, now that I see it's really no big deal messing with these bees, I don't plan on opening my hives more than a couple of times during the summer just to check on things because it really does set them back a little every time.

David
 

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As it has been said, for a new beekeeper it is important to get used to the bees. To learn what situations and life cycles actually look like. Identify eggs, different larva stages, and open a few drone cells and check for mites.

Practice picking up drones. Even mark a few for practice (use a color other than the queen color).

At first I was in them every week. I am in them quite a bit as I am not making honey this year, just increase.

In short......... Dig in, gently, and as often as you wish.
 

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Bean I take it you have one hive? But any way 2 is better then look and see if anything is different btween the 2.I think at first evey one looks in to often but this is how we learn.Every one is different on how far they have to go to be happy.Say you are happy if you pull the first fram in the brood nest and see brood on this frame the next preson may want to see how much many frames of broos are there.Now me i am happy if i see eggs and larvy in a few frams.This way i know the queen is alive and well.But then some people have to see the queen.You mentioned to watch the hive from the outside. now this is good once you know what to to watch for.This is where 2 or more hives helps then you can see the differance a problem makes.Beekeeping is fun so goahead look and learn good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all the good advice. I'll leave the little ladies alone to get on with life until it's time to take the honey. Thanks again -- Karen
 

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Karen, sometimes it can be all about you - if you feel like you get some enjoyment from peeking inside, then do it. Otherwise, why keep bees at all? besides, this "set them back a week" stuff may mean something the week of peak honey production, but not now. I'd say sometimes your needs may outweight the bees' needs.
 

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The first 5 years of beekeeping I took a very "letem work and letem bee" attitude. This year I haven't and have learned almost as much this year as those 5 years combined. I had about the same amount of success, but I think what I have learned will help me greately next year. Figure it all out first then go from there.
 
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