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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, this is my first year. I have a hive I'm taking care of which is not very strong. Last time I checked before winter the queen was there, but bee numbers were a bit low. It is still ticking along but not a lot of activity.

Winter is very mild here but we still have a few more weeks before spring. I'm very keen to open the hives and have a look and see what is going on and whether they are wet etc.

If I find a day above 20 deg Celsius and have a look, would that be ok?

Thank you.
 

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Yeah but I'd be leaving it for a bit longer. Maybe wait for a few +20⁰C days in a row. Remember every time you remove frames you set the colony back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I will do that. We found water on the crown board an want to see what else is wet. I think we need to fix the lid.
I can see they are consuming honey and still plenty left, I think. So that’s good.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Have a look sure.
pull frames no .

If concerned about feed or moisture I open at 30 degrees F to just look.
I often have an empty medium on top and fill with cut up old blanket, on week hives.
In feb here,, open and add a sugar block, then in april open again and add 2nd block if needed and 1/2 or a full pollen patty.

frames are not pulled till much warmer.

the temp matters as you go in deeper, shallow visits can be done quite cool.

lots of moisture they may be brooding, it should be OK unless dripping on the cluster.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I don’t think that temperature in winter is much of an issue here it doesn’t get too cold but that is a good tip I keep in mind.
 

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Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
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Hey, according to the Australian Beekeeping Guide, page 24, "A good time for beginners to open hives is when bees are happily foraging. Bees generally begin foraging well when the temperature is 16C or above, cloud cover is less
than 7/10ths, it is not raining, the wind is relatively light". I've seen it elsewhere too that you can open the hive above 16C.

A quick look maybe, but I definitely won't open the brood if it is less than a 22C for a few days.

https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/14-098.pdf

I think that if your hives get full sun, all day during winter (and some shade during summer) here in Perth, it is very beneficial.

I also notice that one of my hives is "lazier" than the other. It wakes up a good hour after the one next to it, but when they wake up, activity at the entrance is the same between the two hives. I find it quite curious. Could be the amount of sun it gets.
 

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Before you have a look, ask yourself "what am I going to accomplish by opening the hive?". And suppose you do find that you are queenless, what can you do about it now? Do you have queens available this time of year in your area? I suggest waiting until weather is favorable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help.

If they overwintered without a queen I’m in trouble because there is a waiting list for queens here.
 

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Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
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Hi there Boo.

If your dad has another hive and it is thriving, wait until it warms up in a few more weeks and pinch a frame with eggs or very young larvae. They will make a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dad did a quick inspection yesterday because he said the hive felt too light. Found it really low on honey so removed the super and gave them sugar syrup until they start bringing in a steady stream of nectar, hopefully soon.
 

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I'm not too far from you guys and judging by from what I can see through the side and rear windows of the Flow super, honey has been decreasing rapidly in the last couple of weeks. I'm not good at hefting the hive and judge the weight. I'm assuming they still have enough but will open the hives either this weekend or next. Around me here I have a lot of native flowers starting to flower, so that's good.

Did you find the queen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Honeyeater and skeggley how are your hives going?

My bees stopped consuming the syrup and I’m confident they are bringing in a lot of nectar now. Lots of traffic at the entrance too. We will be making our first proper inspection this weekend.
 

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Hi there boobees. I plan to do the same this weekend. I have two hives and both are now very active bringing in pollen and I can see honey increasing in the frames through the windows.

I hope I still can get in my bee suit... funny how the more chocolate I eat the smaller the suit gets.
 

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Hi guys, I emptied some buckets last weekend, yes more mead, and left them out for the bees to clean the dregs but no bees are interested which tells me there's better afield. I've noticed a couple of colonys a bit lighter but still plenty and with pollen coming in suggesting they're building but no drones seen yet.
Was planning going in this weekend also weather permitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all. We saw some first drones this morning out of dad’s hive.

Will update after the inspections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This morning we got a text from our neighbours to let us know our bees ‘escaped’ and are hanging on her lemon tree. There was a photo of a football sized swarm on a branch.

We don’t think these came from our hives, but dad is going to see if can catch them this afternoon. He never caught a swarm before.
 

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Hey mate how did your inspection go? I’m on a windy hill and had to abort twice..... way too windy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes. Didn’t find the queen but lots of larvae. A few drone cells too but no queen cells. Hive looks weak and will get a frame of Brook from dads stronger hive to boost.

That swarm was gone by the time we went for it.
 
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