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I've heard it said that when a hive is smoked it, "sets the bees back for 2-3 days" however we are in the middle of our nectar flow (at least I hope we still have a few weeks left of it) and I have had a couple of hives I checked on starting swarm cells. So far I've been able to split 2 super crowded hives and the hives are still drawing out much needed comb but I keep wondering if I am damaging my chances of a good crop by checking on them every week. I know if I don't watch their population and space they will swarm because of the amt of brood, the amt of honey they are jamming in the brood chamber and the flow. I had one hive with the top deep full of honey and zero room for the queen to lay. Luckily she still had some room in the bottom but I extracted four frames and returned them to the center of the top box. I can't bottle this honey because I had been feeding earlier in the Spring and I can;t be 100% sure the honey is not from sugar water. I will at least be able to feed my splits with it after the flow so it is not a concern. Keeping the hives producing is my main concern so do I smoke/check regularly or what?
Thanks-Howard
Hampstead, NC
 

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I'd say smoke and check every 7 to 10 days in that situation. I don't want my hives swarming, they might make me have to retrieve them from a neighbors wall or somewhere, and I really have a hard time believing they get set back that much when you are considerate of them in the inspections. My hives keep on working as if I'm not even there, storing and feeding and passing off nectar, and the queen just keeps on laying as I watch her. Granted, inspecting every frame in the broodnest is very disturbing and I'm sure it sets them back. But I have to take into consideration my surroundings and the work or setback that might be caused from a swarm issuing.
 

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I dont think smoking a hive sets them back at all In fact I've never even heard it before.
If your bees are getting really strong you will need to be in their checking for swarm cells every 5 days IMHO that way you can get to the swarm cells before they are capped which in our experience is better than ripping down cells that are already capped or about to hatch.
When I'm doing my queencells I'm poking round in my finishers all time, at least once every 2 days, and they do as much honey as anything else we have.
kiwi
 
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