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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can't remember what book I read it in (probably Beekeeping For dummies) but the author was trying to the calm newbies and keep them from doing the inspecting every other day thing and simply said with a bit of observation you can tell an immense amount about the health of your hives just by keeping an eye on what's going on outside them.
That said I have to admit I'm a bit lazy. I haven't done a full breakdown in a month. I only check the topmost super to see how their drawing out the comb and judging when I'll need to put another on. I may take a peek down into the lower super from above. Frames drawn out and covered with active bees? Yup. Close it up.
I do however, spend an inordinate amount of time watching the activity on the front porch and Ive noticed what seems to be a pattern.
Most days besides the endless comings and goings there'll be between 30 and 40 young bees ( I am assuming they're young as they are noticeably smaller than the foragers) out doing their sweeping thing. Then one day, like today, there will a hundred or more cleaning the porch, cleaning up the front of the hive, cleaning down the legs of the hive stand and a whole bunch out taking their orientation flights. After a couple days it's back to normal. I take this as a sign the Queen is doing her thing pretty well and and all is functioning smoothly deep inside. Am I crazy or what?
I marked this on the calender to see how this corresponds to a bee's life cycle.
Just wondering.:s
 

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Yep, you're crazy. :lpf:

Actually you're pretty smart...it is amazing what we can learn about a hive from observation, instead of digging thru it frame by frame, top to bottom. And as you've discovered, this time of year hives are pretty much on auto-pilot. However, depending upon the age of the queen, things can change pretty quickly. Like you, this time of year I pretty much learn about a hive by observing the outside. Unless its a nuc I'm establishing, or a colony that has had trouble recently.

The time of the year, and what we observe on the outside of the hive, determines how thorough an inspection the colony gets.
Regards,
Steven
 

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There is a book called "At The Hive Entrance" by H Storch that does an incredible job of helping to understand what we see in terms of external activity and indicators and translates that to what is likely going on inside the hive.

I highly recommend the book.

Big Bear
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alas that book is long out of print and impossible to find. I can find a lot of references to it and an e-version for $35. Don't know if I want to spend the cash.
(Might need more bee stuff.)
Always been fascinated with bees since I read Konrad Lorenz's 'King Solomon's Ring' in which he outlined Karl von Frisch's research on the language of bees and their 'dances'.
Now I get to watch.
 

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I try to sit beside my hives almost daily. Here lately the yellow jackets have made it very uncomfortable to sit long. But you are right. I had a have go queenless, you could watch the bees, they were not motivated to forage. Installed a new queen and in less than 10 days they were wide open again. She had just started laying when the bees became very active again
 

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I see someone else has already told you that you can get it from Better Bee. I think the re-print is good. I refer to it often and have found it helpful.

from another bee e-list I found an on-line copy you can download free, but it got more complicated for my level of tech competency so i was happy to pay for a hard copy.
 

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Yea, I bought a copy from Betterbee 17.95 for the book smaller than a pocket book 9.00 SHIPPING!!!!! and I live in NY.:eek: Plus I had to pay tax.
 

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$9.00 Shipping!!!

I guess I am going to get that downloadable copy working, print it off on the College's printers, and maybe pay $3.50 to get it bound at copy services if I like it... So far its only music and movies downloads that people get in trouble for, right?:shhhh:
 

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I also was able to get a copy from an inter-library loan to read before I bought, but found it worthy of (oh yes, that shipping fee...sometimes more than the item desired) the cost.

BTW, I also paid a premium price for The Buzz About Bees by Tautz (Amazon)...but haven't regretted it for a moment.
 
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