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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you get into the hive too much?

It seems, from discussions on this forum and others, that some beekeepers open and check their hives with great regularity...sometimes weekly.

During my first year I probably errored on the side of not checking as often as I should. I contented myself with comparing the hives "from afar" and checking only when I thought necessary. I didn't want to damage anything.

Are there any guidelines for how often to check a hive? I'm sure all us new beeks would like to hear from those with experience.

Thanks

Walt
 

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I am sure that you can check them too much but for a new beekeeper I think that it is worth the setback to learn how they change over the days and weeks.

At some point a person should just get more hives (haven't we all) so you can just bother one a week and not overly bother a hive too much.

I think that the first couple of weeks that a hive is set up or a new queen is installed that you should just let them adjust and keep out of the hive. After that looking at the top of the bars or pulling a frame or two isn't too invasive. If you insist on looking at each frame until you find the queen every few days, you are certainly going to set your hive back a bit.
 

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I am sure that you can check them too much but for a new beekeeper I think that it is worth the setback to learn how they change over the days and weeks.
Exactly. I recommend that new beekeepers do a frame-by-frame inspection about every 10 days. Consider your first colony a learning hive. The only way to become an experienced beekeeper is to spend time with the bees.
 

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During my first year I probably errored on the side of not checking as often as I should. I contented myself with comparing the hives "from afar" and checking only when I thought necessary. I didn't want to damage anything.

Are there any guidelines for how often to check a hive? I'm sure all us new beeks would like to hear from those with experience.

Walt
I agree with those already posted here, but thought I'd ask you a few questions?
How did that first year hive do?
Did it make it through winter into late spring at least?
Were you satisfied with your lack of manipulations, or would you like more in depth looking, especially now that you've kept bees for a year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ray,

Thanks for asking about the hives.

I got a few pounds of honey from the 2 hives last year and both made it through the winter in good shape. They are now being "busy bees". This year I did a thorough inspection in March and will continue to monitor more closely because the queens are older, hives are larger, probability of mites is higher, my confidence is greater, etc.

I probably stated it poorly, but it wasn't that I didn't look at the hive last year, because I did check a few frames every couple of weeks for activity and monitor the beetle population. I just didn't do a thorough frame by frame search every week or so, but most of my observations were comparing the hive activity to each other. I figured the more I fiddled, the more likely I was to kill the queen or screw something up.

I am satisfied with the way the first year turned out, but, yes, this year the hives will, and have, required more attention, and I'm enjoying it.

Walt
 
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