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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I finally did the hive inspection.

Everything I imagined could happen didn't and all the things I thought would go well failed. :cry:

The bees were great, didn't even care that I was there. I probably over smoked the poor things.

Saw capped brood and uncapped. Found the queen.

Don't think I spaced the frames apart correctly or put the brood frames together right. I messed up big time on all that ordering of things. Can't even remember what went where I was so dang nervous. Question: if I put brood too close to the ends on accident will they die because of the cool temps coming this week (50's)?

Pollen patty wasn't touched in 2 weeks and was sopping wet (what does that mean? Too much moisture?) I removed it and didn't put another in.

A wasp appeared while I was doing my job so I had an open battle with that thing and it lost while my bees looked on in amazement. I was kinda hoping they'd help me out in the struggle but no such luck. :scratch:

Here are the pix that hubby took. If you scroll down past my rambling about my experience you'll see what I got. Could you let me know if things are looking good?

http://mylifewithbees.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-hive-inspection-done-and-i-sucked.html

BTW/although there was a traffic jam at the entrance during hive inspection I decided not to change to the larger entrance because of the wasp. Was that correct?
 

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Pixie,
You're bees look fine. You have capped brood, shrimp and probably eggs. You found the queen!! All is well.
Don't let one little wasp change your plans. The girls will be able to defend their entrance against much larger predators (you!).
 

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I would say everything is fine. If you are worried about where things go then take a marker and number the frames the next time you open it up.
Marty
 

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Looks like you have a normal new hive. The pollen patty wasn't eaten because they have plenty of pollen and they like the real stuff better. It was wet because of all of the bee breath. I use telescoping covers and inner covers. I put a stick on one edge of the top of the inner cover to raise the top up a bit. This allows the moisture to escape a little easier.

I leave the stick on all year. I would make sure that the bees are not too crowded at the entrance. I you are just having one 70 degree day, you can probably wait for a while, but I would remove the reducer. I actually don't use them much except when I have strong hives and nucs or weak hives next to each other and the flow is over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
beedeetee,

Yes, today is the only day we will have warm weather. After 4 today it is suppose to start raining. Tonight it will drop to 50 and then the 50's during the day and 30-40's in the night until next Tuesday. Should I wait til next week to go to the larger opening? I just checked now and it is still a traffic jam.

Thanks for the info everyone and for looking at the pix.

tnmx, I think I will do just that. It will help.
 

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I read your blog.....how funny! I don't think you need to worry about the wasp but watch out for that husband. Beekeeping started out as my hobby and now we fight over who gets to work with the girls.
 

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I think you are me two years ago except you have a husband standing there helping :)

Everything is fine and it doesn't sound like anything went too terribly wrong.

For frame inspection, I usually take out an unbuilt outside frame to give me more space to pull out each of the other frames. As I pull one out, I replace it where there is plenty of space, leaving all of the frames in the same order as when I started. Then I scoot them all back together and put back in my outside frame. You don't seriously need to shuffle the frames too much; they'll figure it out and then when the outside ones are the only ones left to build, you can move those closer in at your leisure.

Also, if you were nervous and sweaty this time, let me tell you what's in your future: When the population really booms and you open the hive to a whole heck of a lot of bees for the first time, you may feel one crawling up your leg inside your pants. It's not really there, it's a psychological trick like the Telltale Heart.

I'd say the same thing as the others about the wasp. You were brave to kill it but the girls know what to do. If there's too much of a traffic jam, I'd go ahead and remove the reducer or set it to a wider opening.

If they aren't taking your food offering, I believe it means that they are getting a better offer somewhere else. They know what they're doing in that regard too.

Also, there's no stopwatch on your time in the hive. You'll know when it's time to close up shop by their behavior. And you'll get faster with more experience and you'll stop feeling like you need to look at everything. You'll have a better sense whether there's a problem or not and it will all be really quick. I can reliably get in and out now in less than 20 mins total (getting stuff together, lighting the smoker, doing my job, and closing it up) which means I can pop in and do maintenance right before carpool duty without feeling like I need to block off the whole afternoon!

It just gets more and more fun!
Caroline
 

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Okay, I read the blog. Here is what I would suggest. It seems like you are an organized type of person. Buy a frame holder that hangs on the edge of your box.

Before you open a hive (or smoke it) look at the entrance. For a while you won't see the pattern, but over time you will know what to expect on the inside from the bees actions on the outside. Particularly if you have two or more hives and can compare them.

Hang the holder on the box and take out the nearest frame. Hang it on the holder. Repeat with the second frame.

Now when you look at a frame just put each frame back in order in the near side of the box. Now you have room to lift frames without rolling hundreds of bees (I suspect your next anxiety attack) and they stay in the correct order.

When you are done slide them back to the far side of the box (I normally do it one by one, but when they are light you can push them pretty easily). Then replace the frames in the holder in order. Now you frames are in the same place that they started.

Most of the time I just look at entrances and compare. When I do go into a hive I may just look at the top of the bars to see how many bees are there. That isn't very disruptive and you can do that often.

For now you should keep looking in your hive to learn. Over time the more you remove and replace frames the more likely you will hurt your queen so you will rarely actually look for the queen and be more interested in the approximate number of frames of brood/honey/pollen.
 

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Sounds like things went incredibly well for you. Be glad...now relax. You killed the invading wasp, good for you.

You found the queen (huge), you found eggs, brood and capped brood (excellent).

You found what you believe to be excess moisture in your hive and took steps to work with that, i.e. removing the pollen patty, etc.

You did well. Have a ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your input on this and for letting me know that all seems well. I will order that frame holder and also going to get that frame spacer :)
 

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Did someone suggest that you need a frame spacer?

I would like to know why.
 

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I agree. For a spacer just push frames tight together. Leave the temporary (in a year or so you will wonder where that space went) extra space split between the outside frames and the box.
 

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]

It is exact! Push them together. Then roughly center the entire group of frames. The space will/should be at the sides.

You are thinking too much. Relax, have an iced tea, read a book. But first, Push your frames together. (if it's not too late)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now I'm confused. When I had a beekeeper watch over me when I hived my bees I pushed them all together and left the spaces on the end and he told me it was wrong and had me space all frames (including the ends) equal width apart.
 

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Every frame you can buy now is made to create correct 'bee' space when pushed together. The end bars are wider at the top than at the bottom. When they are touching, there is space for the comb to be drawn out to the face of the frames on both sides and still leave a space of roughly 3/8" between the fully drawn combs.

Spacers are made for the honey supers. The idea is that if you remove a frame and space 9 frames evenly in your 10-frame hive bodies, the bees will draw the comb out past the face of the frame. It is easier to uncap and supposedly there will be more honey in 9 "thick" frames than in 10 regular ones... Just to add to the confusion, if you have bare foundation in your supers you should run 10 frames until it's drawn. Otherwise the bees will make all kinds of burr/brace comb.
 

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Some beekeepers like to squeeze the frames together in the center of the box. I have also known beekeepers who space their frames equally. It is a matter of personal preference. Both sides have their reasons for doing it the way they do it. The bees will be able to survive either method.

When working hives, it is customary to remove an outer frame first. Then, you slide the next frame into the open gap, and then lift the frame out. If you just try to pull the frame straight up and out, you can injure or kill the queen if a piece of burr comb snags her.

With frame spacers, your only option is to pull the frames straight up and out. The frame spacers prevent you from being able to slide the comb away from the other combs before removing it.

Also, in my experience frame spacers tend to act like propolis traps, and it is a royal pain trying to scrape the burr comb and propolis out of the frame rest.
 
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