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Don't worry about it - satisfy your curiosity - it's how you learn. Plan to expand a bit and you can spread your attention around a little next year.
 

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Opinions vary -> I've been opening many of my hives, almost every day, for more than forty years (except Winters when I lived in temperate climates). Maybe it's caused them problems, maybe not. It's done wonders for me, I greatly enjoy watching what the bees do inside their home. I keep the bees for my enjoyment, not theirs, I guess I'm just selfish that way.
 

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It will affect the bees slightly... but we're talking about setting them back only by a few minutes here... if you're only doing that a couple of times a week, don't worry about it at all... now if it's a few times an hour, then you might be creating a real problem.
 

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My first hive I was in that thing ALL THE TIME! I would say I opened the hive about every day to every other day. How else was I suppose to feed them with an internal feeder? Plus like everyone else, I think they are facinating creatures, I couldn't help but be constantly curious. Heck, imagine just minutes before having to go to work and having a swarm land on you the eves of your house. Scrambling equipment together and trying to scoop the bees off the roof, into a hive, only inches from where they are hanging. Then rush off to work and for the next 8 hours feel like a kid on Christmas and driving your co-workers nuts for the next 8 hours by wondering what the bees are doing now? :p

C2
 

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I use screen inner covers during the summer. Makes it easy to take the outer cover off and look down. I can watch the progress of the top super with very little disturbance to the bees.
 

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The biggest downside in our part of the country is the small hive beetle. Each time you lift the cover they scurry out of their prisons (along the ends of the top frames or on the inner cover) and the bees must round them up again before they can cause any damage. I don't open mine 'frequently' this late in the season.
 

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I don't think it's bad for them at all. In fact, I think it's good for the beekeeper.
 

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Disruption caused by a properly done inspection lasts hardly any time at all. Use as little smoke as possible (or none at all), move slowly so not to jar the frames, cover the boxes with robber clothes when they are separated, and use a little smoke to herd the bees down into the boxes when putting the top boxes back on so not to crush bees between the top bars and botom bars of the frames. Check the bee activity at the entrance before you begin and again about 10 minutes after you stop and see if you notice any difference.

You should check your colonies every week until you are proficient at finding the queen, determining the amount of brood, evaluating the brood pattern and the health of the brood, and determining the amount of food the colony has. After you become proficient, an inspection every 3 weeks is enough to detect a problem before it gets out of control.

Remember that you own the bees, they don't own you. You manage them for your pleasure and benefit and they profit from your care and management. They are yours so deal with them as you see fit, not as someone else tells you to do (me included), and remember they are just a box full of bugs!
 

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remember they are just a box full of bugs![/QUOTE said:
They are yours, and I havent noticed any affect on them when i open them up. I will say that they go way beyond a box full of bugs to me. They have taught me more about nature than anything, person or book has.......but thats just me....
 

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Its certainly good to see others being overtaken by this bee addiction. I was afraid I was going over the edge with my constant daydreams of what the girls are doing and fighting off the urge to open up and see whats going on. The lawn chair beside the hives helps, but boy i want to investigate. I open up once every 3-4 days for a quick peek and once a week for a good inspection. Does anyone else check the calendar every day to see if "today" is the day?
 

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It's been more than forty years now and I still often visualize (daydream) what may be going on in my hives, though I continue to frequently look to see for myself. It is always fascinating, but not always as expected, and sometimes sad - though often I can remedy harmful happenings.

In the past three years or so, I've increased my time with the hives, by expanding into queen rearing and nuc production, though in a limited way. Raising queens gives me a few more excuses/reasons to open a hive, such as grafting queen cells, observing the growth of queen cells, checking on virgins emerged from queen cells, checking on successful mating and laying of young queens, etc.

Those are parts of beekeeping I had only previously observed whenever the bees had decided to raise swarm, supersedure, or emergency queen cells, now I decide when it will happen (which is about one new batch of grafts per week, year-'round).
 

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LOL It's called "bee fever" - an addiction to beekeeping. It's an old term, look it up. Fortunately for our nation, it's spreading again like wildfire. Absolutely no remedy for those seriously afflicted, stays with you for life! Studies have shown that taking a hive apart and examining brood and such does retard the honey making process, however just raising the cover does not. OMTCW
 

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I've got around a dozen nucs started for overwintering. They require lots of attention to insure they don't swarm so I always have an excuse to go out to play with, I mean work the bees without bothering the big hives.

Wayne
 

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well, I must say, I have quite a bit of respect for these "bugs", being the living creatures they are and the valuable contribution and impact they make on our agriculture and economy.

If you are concerned about opening the hives too much, perhaps risking release of valuable heat, nest scent, etc... you might consider getting an observation hive to satisfy your bee-peeping urges.

Having the one or two obh's to be able to watch any time you want from any direction might satisfy that craving and give you the learning experience you are seeking at the same time, while keeping the regular hives closed more often and allowing them their 'space'.

Just an idea.

Big Bear
 

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Naaaa.....get more bees, that way you can look at different hives different days...ROFL
 

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A cheap alternative to observations hives, which can be expensive, is to cut out a rectangle on one side of one of your hive bodies or supers (one that's not in use, of course--a jigsaw pummeling a currently occupied hive will make for a tragic comedy, no doubt). Then attach a sheet of thin plexiglass to the inside and hinge the cutout to the body with a clasp at the top. Now you have a window you can open without disturbing the colony, and when it's closed, provides the dark and insulation the bees need. I can guarantee neglect of basic human care in favor of observing your insect family.:)

Anja
 

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I always thought it was required to open them often. It's how I find problems. Like this evening I put some supers on 4 of my hives as they are honey bound. In doing this I found another problem. Seen my first SHB. I will be putting in some of the plastic traps. My point is most of our openings end up being benificial for them and us. So look on. I also believe they will tell you when you are looking too much with their demeanor.
 
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