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Discussion Starter #1
Curious as to how hot the weather is when your experience inspecting is still safe....at least if no comb has to be adjusted. It's going to be around 100 for a couple of weeks and I need to get in there. I expect I'll have to get up at dawn but wondered anyway.;) Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah,southern(I'm almost at Calif boarder) and east of the Cascades in Oregon gets Very hot...we hit 107 here almost every summer July and/or August. Good to know 88 is already wiggly since last night was 80 at 10 pm still! That Was unusual ! but early am will be more like 65-70 so I better get in there Then.... but more like 7 am. Ugh. I "homestead" on a small scale but don't do "farmer's hours" (no big fields to work,or critters to milk or anything,just chickens,bees,fruit trees and raised beds) so wondered what I could get away with! Last year I went two months without inspecting as all I had was One swarmed hive rebuilding population in a hive full of straight comb all summer. This year I have 3 and already had a mess in one from waiting 4 weeks last time. Thanks for the input!:thumbsup:
 

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Prop your top cover off of the bars, it will provide shade and ventilation across the top of the bars and help prevent comb collapse
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Harley, but I have a shade canopy over the whole bee area (only 3 hives)and have never needed extra ventilation (yet) since I've never had comb collapse (except when I was adjusting a cross comb and it was my fault,not the weather). Since I put the shade up last year they don't even beard all that much.
My question was what is "safe" outdoor air temperature when handling the bars in an inspection?
 

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The hottest I have inspected was in the 90's, but I was wearing an inspection jacket so I was more worried about me collapsing versus the comb.
 

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"...I was wearing an inspection jacket so I was more worried about me collapsing versus the comb."
That caught me by surprise...buwhahaha. Ain't it the truth??? There are so many factors involved with manipulating natural comb, not sure there is an absolute temperature limit. I just stay away as much as possible - I wouldn't wait 4 weeks, but I wouldn't try to do a full-blown inspection either. Remember that they are trying to keep it cool in there - every time you open the hive it's like opening the door of a house that has central a/c going - it's not helping them at all.
 

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Direct sun light will soften comb to the point it will loose its structural integrity at lower temps than 90 but working in the shade I don't see why you couldn't inspect at temps around 90 degrees. After all the in hive temp is around 95.
 

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Thanks Harley, but I have a shade canopy over the whole bee area (only 3 hives)and have never needed extra ventilation (yet) since I've never had comb collapse (except when I was adjusting a cross comb and it was my fault,not the weather). Since I put the shade up last year they don't even beard all that much.
My question was what is "safe" outdoor air temperature when handling the bars in an inspection?
Like what has been said the inside temp is 95 ish so you should be able able to inspect safely up to that temp, what I was getting at and it sounds like you have already taken care of it, is radient heat on top will make the surface hotter than air temp causeing the point where it connects to soften and weaken . What factors really count is though is how old is the comb and what does it contain ? You try lifting and inspecting brand new honey laiden comb I have had it bust off for no aparent reason at 75 deg whereas 2 yr old brood comb is going to be a lot more forgiving that is why I loved the window in my TBH I could see where the honey comb started and only focus on the broodnest , so I never worried about it being too hot to inspect
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for pitching in Michael,and all the replies! For some reason despite bee temp being 93 I still thought people would say "cooler" than that to inspect, so it's good to know .
I Will get out there early in the morning when it's 80 or less, since it'll probably be 90 by the time I finish!

Yeah shannonswyatt I wear a full suit and gloves and reading glasses I'm trying not to steam!hahah...I learned I needed a sweat band around my forehead under there as well! I'm a wimp in heat over 80 anyway and sheer determination gets me through these summer inspections! I consider it a good way to burn off calories.

Thanks Harley for reminding me of Old comb! I sure noticed how much tougher it was when I rotated some out this Spring.Those larvae casings Really add structural integrity! The hive I need to inspect is over half from last year and I was completely overlooking that, so I feel better about it now!
 

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Thanks for asking the question, HBing! I wonder if humidity also has an effect? It isn't just hot here, it's really humid, which is probably more of a problem for me than the bees. When I did a check on Sunday, it was late in the day, 5 p.m., and I clearly saw new comb stretching, so decided to back off the full inspection. My hive is also in the shade (of the dappled variety). I have a bottom and top entrance -- when I hang out and watch them in the evening, I'll put my hand up to the top entrance (no foragers ever use it as an exit -- just bees hanging out) and there is a noticeably cool breeze coming out of the hive! At first I thought I was imagining things, but no, they have their own ventilation system going nicely.
 

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Best advice is ... "it can wait until tomorrow." Really.

After all, you are the one that's curious ... not the bees.

In summer, I suggest getting out of bed early ... then, "be quick about it." Know what you're looking-for before you look, and if you don't actually know what you are looking for, maybe the best thing to do is "not to look."

Generally speaking ... (gasp!! an infidel!!) ... I don't look unless (in my near-daily outside inspections ...) I perceive "something very-seriously odd" that truly draws my attention.

If your motivation is, "I'm curious ..." well, bees frankly do not require human curiosity. Especially in hot weather, they're probably trying foremost to keep things cool. Rig up an improvised tarpulin across them, say, and beyond that ... leave them bee.
 

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>For some reason despite bee temp being 93 I still thought people would say "cooler" than that to inspect, so it's good to know .

There is a huge difference between 93 F with the hive in the shade, and 93 F with the hive in the sun. I would never open a top bar hive in the sun on a hot day. 93 F in the shade is pushing the limit, but that's what the normal temperature in the brood nest should be, so if it's hotter than that, the bees will not be able to cool it while you are working and the wax will be VERY soft...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
>For some reason despite bee temp being 93 I still thought people would say "cooler" than that to inspect, so it's good to know .

There is a huge difference between 93 F with the hive in the shade, and 93 F with the hive in the sun. I would never open a top bar hive in the sun on a hot day. 93 F in the shade is pushing the limit, but that's what the normal temperature in the brood nest should be, so if it's hotter than that, the bees will not be able to cool it while you are working and the wax will be VERY soft...
Yes,I understand that and I doubt if I myself would do more than put in a queen cage,at over 85,even in the shade! I can't stand being out there in a suit when it's over 85 anyway! I figure the "way to go",as others said too, is just to get out there at dawn(providing there was a cool night!) before it heats up at all if there's a full inspection to be done. In that post I meant it's "good to know" that 93 info would be an emergency high-end limit. Thanks. :)
 

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Plus one on the mornings. On hot days my girls tend to be out and about before me, so an 8 am check is like a noon check in May.
Hmm -- mine are not happy about morning inspections. At all. Temperature doesn't seem to have an impact where I am (it's always hot, and nights only "cool" down to 72F) -- cloudiness might, though I may be projecting my own feelings about gray skies!
 
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