Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've installed a package last Wednesday 4/02 and checked if the queen was released on Friday, which she was and I checked to see how the bees were doing with building comb. They had already started with the comb, storing pollen and honey to my surprise after only 2 days. My question is, when should I do the next inspection, 4/12 will be day 10, should I do an inspection tomorrow or wait longer?
That being said I am also installing 2 nucs tomorrow, how long should I wait till my first inspection on those?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
What is your purpose of inspecting the hive?
Although there is no general rule of when to inspect after installation I would recommend 2 weeks for the package and one week
for the nuc hives. From the outside you can see they are bringing in nectar and pollen so really don't have to go
in to inspect often. I inspect my strong hive once a week looking for a possible queen cell. And inspect the nucs
every 2 days looking for new queen cells and to add more nurse bees after the drift if there's any. Don't disturb them
often otherwise they might leave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
What I tell folks is to have a purpose to your inspections. If your personal education is the reason for the inspection that is fine - just don't "do" an inspection for the sake of doing an inspection.

Likewise once your purpose in doing the inspection is accomplished, get out of the hive. Don't waste time doing things like looking for the queen unless you need to find her for a particular purpose. Instead look for signs that she has recently been there - eggs, just hatched larvae that hasn't been capped yet.

You will always be looking for signs of health and food stores - if the eggs and larvae do not look "pearly white" or you see bees that are deformed, investigate! Call in some assistance if you feel you need to.

I try to do no more than 2 or 3 top to bottom examine every frame inspections of a hive in a season. For hives just starting out, there will be a check to make sure the queen has been released (for hives started from a package) about 3 days after install and for both nucs and packages about 10 days later with the goal of making sure the elements are there for the hive to thrive - healthy brood and food.

Once you're happy that things are as they should be, you can take quick looks every few weeks throughout the summer. You write from SC - I'm in Maine, come October 15 (or so) the bees are prepped for winter and left to fend for themselves at least until mid February or April if I'm confident I've done my job right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
If you are brand new to bees I woudl tell you to inspect often. weekly even. for no other reason than to learn and see for yourself what bees will do. set an observe the bees at the entrance to the hive daily.

Most of the time when you inspect do not fix anything. you are not there to fix things. you are there to learn how bees do things. Once you start to understand some of that you will be able to work with them. not fix them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
This is honey season here in SC right now, so, as far as the nucs are concerned, I'd install them in an empty box, slide the outside frames away from the others and put a frame of comb or foundation in those two slots and fill the rest of the box w/ frames. Then go back in about a week and see if you need to add a box or shuffle frames around to get foundation drawn.

Packages I'd pretty much leave alone other than popping the cover to see if another box is needed. But I don't really have any experience w/ packages. So I defer to others who do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the responses everyone, exactly what I wanted to know. I'm off to go pick up my nucs now, another exciting day! :banana:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
I hope you have a great start this year. :thumbsup:

Work up your own inspection frequency, whatever you're comfortable with. My first couple of years I was in the hives almost every week. It really was an education, watching the colonies starting from scratch and developing into full strength hives. Throughout the year you can match what you see outside the hive to the changes going on inside. That information will be helpful to you later.

The downside to frequent inspections is the temporary disruption it causes the colony. An inspection will set them back a little bit, and the risk of accidently killing the queen is elevated with increased inspections. But the bees will be alright whatever you do. Less intrusion is generally better for the bees, but the education you'll gain with regular inspections is very valuable. Either way, take lots of notes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
Yup, have fun with your bees, but just realize that every time you open the hive you slow them down a little. Its a disruption to their normal activities, and it takes them a bit to recover from it.

I would say at most weekly when you're new, just so you can get a feel for how to do it all (and I know, you want to get in there and see whats going on when your investment is closed off in a box like that). Later on, every other week is better (IMO).

Just don't do it when its cold (I try not to open a hive if its not at least in the mid 60's), and there's always the risk of accidentally killing the queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
i inspect too often im sure. its hat i love at this time in my life. but, i am doing other things to keep me in the bees. making splits,mating nucs etc. im sure everyone can support that when u go in to the hive especially deep down, it slows them down for a bit. u can see the activity at the entrance,go in and inspect, then walk away and watch how less the activity is and for how long it takes them to get back at it.

i need to follow the rule of have a reason for going in to the hive. and NOT just to peak hahaha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
Peeking is bad for the bees, good for the beekeeper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Peek all you want. You'll get over doing so after a while. Once you have satiated your curiosity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Just out of curiosity I inspected my big hive every other week and inspected my nuc hives everyday sometimes 2x a day.
I think my bees are getting sick of me doing this to them everyday. If they can talk, :Ohh no, not another sneak and peak session again at
the same time everyday! They got so used to me now that they just ignored me while doing their everyday bee stuffs.
There are always something new inside to learn. Maybe I should get an observation hive instead, huh. Will never get tired even after 1000x
hive inspection. I think I got addicted. What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
You'll eventually get to the point where you've satisfied your curiosity, then your inspections will be more purpose driven.

Until then, enjoy !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
I was just looking at my hive tracks. It shows I have 179 inspections. Now those are just the ones I record and that is maybe one in every 4 or less. Such as yesterday going through 6 hives or more looking for capped brood to add to my cell builder. I will not record those but they serve somewhat as inspections also.

I have 6 full inspections I need to get done right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
A great deal of inspection, and enjoyment as well as education can come from not opening the hive. You can tell a great deal at the entrance. Are the bees bringing in pollen and calm(usually queen right), no pollen (likely queen less) are all bees coming in being checked by guard bees ( indicates a a balanced population), is the entrance crowded (possible overcrowding and swarm conditions) how many bees are coming and going at morning startup ( 70F) or at that major airport time around 2:30 p.m. when field workers start coming in by the numbers. What do you see outside the entrance, a few dead bees in front is OK. Are you seeing brood or deformed bees at the entrance or are bees wandering around on the ground (deformed wing virus or nosema symptoms). We open a ton of hives every week but we always walk through and let the bees tell what's going on 1st. The entrance is a great indicator of what is really going on inside and one method to help guide you when to check once you get past the initial set up stages of queen introduction and adequate food forage. In addition to it being an indicator it is absolutely fascinating to watch bees work "undisturbed". Remember to not stand directly in front of the hive when you do this and always leave your watch in the house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
I was watching a video of a queen breeder a while back, and she said that a split or a mating nuc should not be inspected for 30 days after introducing a cell. She said that if you did, you risked disrupting a colony where the pheromone system is not yet well-established. They might supercede or abscond. I made some splits in early March. I almost made it 30 days, and I wish I had, because then I wouldn't have been so worried that my queens didn't get mated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
That doesn't make sense. How will you know whether the queen cell produced a queen? Mating nucs are managed on shorter time frames than that. Left alone for a month the queen would have the mating nuc filled up w/ brood.

Two weeks maybe, but, a month?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the responses!
The 3 lb. package I installed 2 weeks ago tomorrow seems to be doing great, lots of activity, bees at the entrance although lots of them seem to be drones, pollen coming in, saw the queen during an quick inspection this past weekend, lots of larvae, things look great with the package.
Also picked up the 2 nucs and installed, did a close inspection but didn't see a queen in either one but didn't spend more than 10 minutes on installation of each nuc. I've been watching the entrances of all three hives and the 2 nuc hives don't have much activity at all, matter of fact the package may have 20 bees going in and out to the nucs 2 bees going in and out. Should I be concerned or are the nucs working on getting settled in, it's only been 3 days since the nuc installs. :scratch:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top