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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This post most likely applies to beeks with only a couple of hives or those that started that way. I was wandering if anyone else feels a little let down after performing their inspection and having to wait a week or more before doing another inspection. It bugs me that I have to wait another week to see what the girls are doing.

I have two hives now and I am alternating each week on which hive to inspect. That way they get looked in every 14 days. I am afraid that I am going to need more hives to get my fix on a regular basis. I'm kind of hoping that this fall will cure me of always wanting to peek in the hives.
 

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Ugh, the recommendation is to build an observation hive or get one to ease this
inspection urge. I did hive inspection sometimes 2x a day the same time and
weather condition. They thought it was a routine by now. Oh no, they said not again!
What I did was split one strong hive into 4 nuc hives to give them a new mated queen. Got
the task down to raising some good queen bees now. After going thru 4 nuc hives I felt enough.
This urge will subside by the 3rd year so don't give up yet. By then you should be able to assess
the hive inside just by looking from the outside hive activity. You got the urge!
 

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I'd inspect every 10 days and get your fix. I started with 2 hives and now to date have 22 and enough bee equipment to make 35 nucs and 50 DBL .deeps . It is a addiction like no other
 

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My third year and I still want to check them all the time. I want to build up to a dozen or so hives just so I can spend more time poking around inside them.
 

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I inspect all my colonies in one day and do indeed look for an excuse to go molest them sooner than really necessary. Been doing this a long time and I still like to be in a beehive.
 

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I wouldn't say "Let Down" is the right term for me but I do worry constantly that I've messed something up. Know what? Every time that I do - they fix it!
 

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Bees are very forgiving unless you crushed 1 or a few on a hive check. Go easy on the frames!
How do you prevent from crushing them? I felt guilty when I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I crushed 1 bee on the 4 day inspection. After that I haven't generated any fatalities. I started using the quarter inch rod method for sliding my top bars together. I saw that in this thread. It works like a charm. Also, (this is foolish on my part) I have been performing hive inspections with no protection other than a smoker. This is to remind me to go slow and not make a mistake. It also adds to the thrill of performing a hive inspection. I know this is foolish. I'll probably change my evil ways after I get my first sting.:ws:
 

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It is a addiction like no other
True dat.

To the OP. Make up a couple of splits when you get the resources to do so. Check 'em every day if you want to. I check my nucs every week or more often and probably don't check my few production hives enough now that I have nucs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm hoping to make splits next spring. Currently, Much of my free time has been going to putting on a metal roof during the times that the wind isn't blowing excessively. I'm not sure how favorably my wife will look at building a home for more bees when I haven't finished working on our home. There are a couple of design changes that I want to incorporate into the new hives. An observation window and a mite tray. Also I want to change the construction on the partial frames to give the bees a 7mm bee space between the frame and walls of the hive. That way they have the option to seal the hive shut at the top bar. Here is a picture of some of the half-frames that I am currently using. IMAG0207.jpg
 

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An observation hive will satisfy these urges and provide so much more than that. It's almost like you're handicapped if you don't use one.

1. No smoke, no prep required to observe.
2. Take your own sweet time and observe, rain or shine, day or night.
3. Learn to pick the queen out from the workers at a quick glance.
4. Watch how the brood/pollen/honey patterns emerge.
5. Observe when the flow takes place, when they ramp up, when they huddle.
6. Watch the baby bees emerge.

And a million other behaviors that cannot be observed no matter how many times you open the hives.

it can make the difference between you as an amateur versus you as an authority. It is the secret to success, IMO.
 

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My first several years I felt actually depressed, even horrible, after my hive inspections. Even though I was fascinated by and drawn to the hives, and would even take my lunch out there and sit and watch them, I was feeling badly for intruding into the hives, disturbing all of the excellent order the bees had created. Then I had a kind of epiphany of self-realization and realized that I was projecting all of my distress onto them about home destruction, owing to my mother having been a holocaust survivor! Once I realized that, and talked about it with a couple of close friends, my bad feelings of wrecking the hive went away. Now I'm enjoying the process. I still try to be as careful and sensitive as I can be to what I can understand of their needs, but I know they are resilient.
 

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This post most likely applies to beeks with only a couple of hives or those that started that way. I was wandering if anyone else feels a little let down after performing their inspection and having to wait a week or more before doing another inspection.
Everyone seems have have their own little rules about how often inspections should take place.

Really depends what you're after. If someone has a specific recommendation, ask them "Why", and then ask yourself if that suits your purposes.

IMHO, new beekeepers should be inspecting ad libitum - How else does one learn?
 

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Everyone seems have have their own little rules about how often inspections should take place.

Really depends what you're after. If someone has a specific recommendation, ask them "Why", and then ask yourself if that suits your purposes.

IMHO, new beekeepers should be inspecting ad libitum - How else does one learn?
Not sure about "little rules" since it's no secret that opening hives and inspecting frames sets them back.
That can be considered a "big" rule for those who don't want to curtail hive activity so you can't blame those who have that opinion, right?
Learning is a good thing, no doubt about it.
That's why God invented the OBH.

Everybody raise their hand who understands what the Greek term "ad libitum" means. :D
 

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Build an observation window into the next Top bar hive you build. You can look in and check on their progress without opening them up.
 
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