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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the low end if safe temperature for a full hive inspection? Today started out near 40F and is predicted to go up into the low 60F for a high. I'd like to go full through the hives to check brood and stores prior to prepping for winter and start an OAV treatment by months end. I'm concerned about causing chill brood as I would suspect my winter bees in being laid around now. We're still more that a month of but will be skating into the upper 30's at time going forward. Thursday is predicted to hit 80-should I wait? Still have supers on te hives building comb and honey stores
 

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You are absolutely fine at 60. If needed, you can pull brood frames at 40 but keep them covered with the attached bees and put it back in hive or a quiet box quickly. I wouldn't do it unless I had to and if it is not windy.
This late in the season can be disastrous if you kill the queen. A better approach is to do this earlier. However, I am late myself so will be doing my final inspection and possible reconfiguration next week.
Have a plan. Do not pull frames unless you need to move them. You can see what you need to by looking between the frames. If you need to, tip the box to see lower part of frames. You can get a good view by pulling an outside frame and separating the frames while they remain in the box. J
 

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LarryBud,

In the spring I wait until the temp hits 55 before I do my first inspection. Is that enough info for you?

I've a done most of my fall prep for the winter last week. Do any condensing that is necessary now. Or just leave them alone and let them do it.
 

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60+ is always good for me, I try to avoid going in when its lower, but 55 would be okay if it was a quick inspection. The fewer frames removed the better!
 

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The right question is how little time I can spend doing the equivalent of heart surgery on this colony! Time is more important than temperature and finding eggs and healthy capped brood takes less than half a minute. I don't want to be in the brood chamber if it is windy and less than mid fifties. Full inspections for rookies tend to be grand epic cleaning up frames/ destroying the bees roads and bridges and a full photo coffee table book layout of both sides of all frames. Do not do that in the times of the year with questionable weather. Bees need to maintain that brood at 93-97 degrees and 40% humidity. Do your full inspection when ambient conditions mirror those figures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm holding off for a few more days-it should be upper 70's/low 80's. Not sure if we'll see a repeat in warmth any time soon after any way. I'm not doing a nuts and bolts inspection but probably the last inside look-see until spring I guess. If something needs attention, I'll do what it needs but at this point, I'll assume the girls already have done what needs to be done. I'm figuring we still have a 4 to 6 week until first frost and they're in the middle of a strong flow. Just doing my best to get them set up and through the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, we hit 82 F today and I went for it. 24 days since the Formic Pro treatment and everything looks pretty good, no sign of DFW, saw three full frames of brood, capped and uncapped (only pulled in the center of the brood boxes) and the ends are loaded with honey and pollen on both deeps of each hive. Huge populations-apparently my Queens think it's April with the current fall flow.

It appears the Formic did it's job and both colonies looked great. The population has built up since the initial die off from the FA and I've got full comb coverage in the brood boxes and on three supers on the one hive with full new comb almost completed on a fourth added (to allow for brood expansion) during the Formic treatment. The other hive was not impacted as badly but was treated and has two capped supers and a third (added for the formic) being built out-looks like a good fall harvest. I have some other questions on winter prep that I'm going to start in another thread. And no, I did not clean up frames and passages, left as much as I could as it was. Thanks for the help!
 

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Just a tip. If it is cold and you really do have a need to check on them to quickly check on brood or hive strength, add a pollen patty, add or remove Apivar strips, or whatever, remember that you can always just tip the box up on the lower front or back edge and inspect the frames from underneath or whatever it is you need without breaking the cluster.
 
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