Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I have another question for the masses to see if I can get 10 responses minimum with 12 different opinions to wade through :)

I was inspecting my new first year hive today. It has been 24 days since I added. 2nd 10 frame deep hive body and 9 days since my last inspection. I am really new to this and I spent about 45 min, maybe a bit less with the top off and looking at all the frames. How long can the bees stand you looking in the hive before you start doing any harm to them?

I wanted to keep looking because I wanted to find the queen and really look around and see if I could tell worker brood from drone brood and such. You know just get practice in at looking at everything. But close to when I shut them all up they were really buzzing around hard and flying at me rather than running away from my smoker. Just being way more aggressive so I figured they had enough.

What do you all think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
I think you were in the hive about half an hour too long. Instead of looking for the queen, look for signs that she has been there recently - eggs/larvae. Learning is a great purpose for being in your hive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did see plenty of signs of her being around. I found some freshly drawn comb with new little larva in plenty of the cells. So she is in there and laying about. So about 15 min maximum you think on opening up a hive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
With the goal of going through a double deep in 5 to 10 minutes tops.

If you have placed a new box you can tell much just looking down from the top without having to pull frames. You'll come to see the the outmost frames will generally be stores or not used and the inner frames are where the action is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Haha 5 to 10 minutes!?! No wonder the bees were pissed. Now I was using a smoker and I noticed after a little bit there were lots of bees lining the tops of frames and were fanning their wings. Think they were airing out the hive trying to remove the smoke?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
Not a bad guess! There will be days when as a hobbyist you pop the top and gently put it back and say "not today." Today looks to be one of those days. Heavy fog and cool. Most of the field force will be home today. I try to do my inspections when they are out.

There are times when you just do it - try to be gentle and quick - do what needs doing. I'm participating in a EAS/BIP study where I collect samples for lab analysis monthly. The yard where the bees are is about a hour drive from my home. When I get there, I go for it. To be useful for the study the samples need to be taken in a certain date range and if I procrastinate too much I loose options.

A couple of years ago the farmer whose land these hives are on was splitting a gut sitting on his tractor a safe distance away while the bees treated me like a marauding bear. So it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,431 Posts
I only spend much real time in the hive if I have a reason to (finding the queen to do a split, for instance). Otherwise I pull a frame from each box and just slide the others over to take a look, don't even pull them unless I need to closely examine.

45 min is WAY too long, and yes, the bees will eventually figure out you are disturbing them too much and will start attacking you. Lined up on the top bars with their tail ends up pumping their stingers in and out is a bad sign, very shortly they will be attempting to pump those stingers in your eyes!

There are quite a few times, especially in the fall during robbing season here, that I don't inspect a hive. When you smoke them, and then crack the inner cover to get half a dozen bees hit your veil before you get it all the way off, time to go back to the house! Otherwise you are going to get stung, you are going to mash lots of bees, and they will bang you in the face for a week if you get within 50 ft of the hive. I can wait a day or two since I only have a few hives. A professional keeper in our new club always wears a full suit and just roars right through, doesn't have time to wait for a better day.

Peter
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top