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Discussion Starter #1
I added 2 more honey supers to one of my hives this morning making a total of 4 supers on this particular hive. I was told to put them under the other supers so I did. Little did I realize how hard it would be to lift the supers with honey in them up to head level to get them back on the hive. I had to pull some frames that were capped and extract them. That helped a bit but not much. I managed to wrestle the top one back on. This is the first time Ive had to add more than 2 supers to a hive.

A little while later I started wondering... how am I ever going to inspect this hive with all those heavy supers on?

How do you people do it?
Do you just leave the hive alone or do weekly inspections by taking them all off?
 

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Unless I see something that looks out of the ordinary, after the honey supers go on I don't go into the brood portion of the hives.
 

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A little while later I started wondering... how am I ever going to inspect this hive with all those heavy supers on?
You don't. You should have done your inspections before they filled the first two supers. If the colony is filling their supers, leave them alone and keep them properly supered. The flow will end soon enough. Then you can remove the supers and inspect if you need to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many, many thanks to you both!
I am so relieved! I have been on top of this hive since installed and I have inspected regularly prior to supering so all should be well.

Who would of thought a little 2 pound spring package would end up being my honey maker.
 

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I don't inspect brood boxes when supers are on.

I also pull super frames as they are filled and capped. That way I max out at 2 honey supers on a hive.

I simply can't safely lift the things but I can lift a full frame:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I also have pulled frames as they are capped in the past using my crush and strain method but this year I was hoping to borrow an extractor in order to save some of that nice new comb for next year. I have some old comb frames Id like to scratch.

When the time comes to pull the supers off Ill have to call in my grown sons with their big guns. :thumbsup:
 

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I'm old, bad back and a bad arm. I take them out one at a time and put them in an empty box. it takes longer but a shorter time than the Dr. You have to get rid of the girls any way.
Just what I do!!
 

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> how am I ever going to inspect this hive with all those heavy supers on?

I wouldn't.

>How do you people do it?

Unless there is some reason to suspect something wrong, I don't remove supers to get to the brood nest. I just pile on the supers.
 

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I also have pulled frames as they are capped in the past using my crush and strain method but this year I was hoping to borrow an extractor in order to save some of that nice new comb for next year. I have some old comb frames Id like to scratch.

When the time comes to pull the supers off Ill have to call in my grown sons with their big guns. :thumbsup:
You might check with your local bee club if there is one nearby....we have one for our members that they can borrow and take home, or another they can use in the club honey house... $10.00 for use and disposables...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all.
Yes, my bee club has one. I have never had enough full honey frames to need it but hopefully I will this year. (Hate to count my chickens before they hatch..knock on wood...salt over shoulder...and all that jazz. :shhhh:)
 

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How do you people do it?
Do you just leave the hive alone or do weekly inspections by taking them all off?
By not doing weekly inspections. You must be new at this, right? Or someone told you that you needed to check into the brood boxes every week and you trusted them to steer your correctly. Well, sorry, it ain't necessarily necessary. Unless it is necessary.

Leave them bee. They will be fine. And then what you do is take the supers off. But you already knew that, didn't you?
 

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Stella, weekly inspections is fine, but let me steer you down a different street...

Beekeepers dont really inspect their hives, they work their hives, or in other words manipulate their hives. Meaning they go into their hives with a purpose at hand. Later on they many do a inspection to see how well their manipulations worked out, or to queen check.

To work your hives you need a good understanding of your bees and whats going on. So here is a challenge to you, as a beekeeper. Sit down with a pencil and paper, and try maping out your beekeeping year. Try to figure out what will happen when, and map out what you plan to do during those times. After you get it all figured out, you will find you will only need to intervene once or twice per season with any major brood work. A lot of the rest can be done from the outside, like medicating, feeding, supering, harvesting, even splitting. Dont be afraid of getting into that nest, as that is what this business is all about but on the other hand dont feel whipped into weekly hive inspections as many beekeepers suggest.

Just a though, good luck!
 

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By not doing weekly inspections. You must be new at this, right? Or someone told you that you needed to check into the brood boxes every week and you trusted them to steer your correctly. Well, sorry, it ain't necessarily necessary. Unless it is necessary.

Leave them bee. They will be fine. And then what you do is take the supers off. But you already knew that, didn't you?
I agree with this for the most part. I certainly agree that if you have supers being filled with honey and things look OK at the entrance, then there is generally no need to do inspections.

But the things that cause new beekeepers to lose hives mostly stem from not doing inspections. And if you don't go into your hives regularly you never build any experience. New beekeepers who don't make time for regular inspections and get enough experience to be comfortable doing them don't last.

So, my advice to new folks is until you have enough experience to spot a problem by looking at the entrance and peeking under the lid aim for weekly inspections to confirm queen and stores status - and to gain experience working g bees. Except when you have heavy honey supers.

Also this - if you bought your first bees in April, and you haven't inspected them at least twice by now - you might consider cutting your losses and sell them now before they die. It may not be your thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Ian.
Very solid advice! I accept the challenge.

I checked out your web site. You have a beautiful farm!
 

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Stella, weekly inspections is fine, but let me steer you down a different street...

Beekeepers dont really inspect their hives, they work their hives, or in other words manipulate their hives. Meaning they go into their hives with a purpose at hand. Later on they many do a inspection to see how well their manipulations worked out, or to queen check.

To work your hives you need a good understanding of your bees and whats going on. So here is a challenge to you, as a beekeeper. Sit down with a pencil and paper, and try maping out your beekeeping year. Try to figure out what will happen when, and map out what you plan to do during those times. After you get it all figured out, you will find you will only need to intervene once or twice per season with any major brood work. A lot of the rest can be done from the outside, like medicating, feeding, supering, harvesting, even splitting. Dont be afraid of getting into that nest, as that is what this business is all about but on the other hand dont feel whipped into weekly hive inspections as many beekeepers suggest.

Just a though, good luck!
I like that Ian. Good advice. Nicely said too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi David,
If hives would all behave the same, beekeeping would be much easier! Some hives follow the rules and grow at a steady rate, some go crazy.
This year I have learned splits (or been forced into learning them. lol) by keeping a weekly eye on the inner workings of the brood nest. I have learned to manipulate the brood nest as needed to keep it open. Yes, I agree, get in there and learn. And once we learn, we can hopefully stand back one day and rely more on whats going on from the outside.
 

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I agree with this for the most part. I certainly agree that if you have supers being filled with honey and things look OK at the entrance, then there is generally no need to do inspections.

But the things that cause new beekeepers to lose hives mostly stem from not doing inspections. And if you don't go into your hives regularly you never build any experience. New beekeepers who don't make time for regular inspections and get enough experience to be comfortable doing them don't last.

So, my advice to new folks is until you have enough experience to spot a problem by looking at the entrance and peeking under the lid aim for weekly inspections to confirm queen and stores status - and to gain experience working g bees. Except when you have heavy honey supers.

Also this - if you bought your first bees in April, and you haven't inspected them at least twice by now - you might consider cutting your losses and sell them now before they die. It may not be your thing.
Agreed. You have no idea how many times as an Inspector I was told by a beekeeper, "I don't want you in my hive(s) this week the flow is on." Makes sense to me. Interrupting a colony packing in honey by doing an inspection can throw off a day's production or maybe even more.

On the other hand, don't be too afraid of doing what needs doing when you can not when best for you or your bees. Git 'er done and then get out the way and let the bees be.
 

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I'm sure it's true but I wonder if there is any data on how much of a setback smoking and inspecting really is? Some I'm sure, but during a flow the foragers seem to keep on task almost no matter what. For sure they are going in and out like clockwork a few minutes after you leave them alone.
 

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Beekeepers dont really inspect their hives, they work their hives, or in other words manipulate their hives. Meaning they go into their hives with a purpose at hand. Later on they many do a inspection to see how well their manipulations worked out, or to queen check.

To work your hives you need a good understanding of your bees and whats going on. So here is a challenge to you, as a beekeeper. Sit down with a pencil and paper, and try maping out your beekeeping year. Try to figure out what will happen when, and map out what you plan to do during those times. After you get it all figured out, you will find you will only need to intervene once or twice per season with any major brood work. A lot of the rest can be done from the outside, like medicating, feeding, supering, harvesting, even splitting. Dont be afraid of getting into that nest, as that is what this business is all about but on the other hand dont feel whipped into weekly hive inspections as many beekeepers suggest.
I couldn't have said it better myself, truer words were never spoken. :thumbsup:
 
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