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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
In Gernany we got unusually warm February weather, around 18°C. The bees are coming and going collecting some pollen. Is it recommend to have a quick i spection at this time of the year? Can I move the hive to a new box or should I wait longer?
Regards,
RUn
 

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I don't know anything about the beekeeping year in Germany - when the blooms are, how long the winters last, what the bees are expected to be doing this time of year, but in answer to your question from a purely temperature standpoint, I would generally feel comfortable opening and moving frames in my colonies above 15 C (roughly 60 F). As far as it being recommended to have an inspection or not, that would depend on the variables I mentioned above, and your reasons for making the inspection.
 

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I generally try to minimize winter inspections beyond looking in the hive from above to check the cluster size and checking stores. Pulling frames increases the risk of crushing the queen, and you can not (easily) replace her this time of year. I also would not move frames around, it may confuse the bees and cause problems if/when it gets cold and they need to recluster.
 

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It really depends on your specific climate. Where I am I won't really start digging into my colonies until May, but I'm sure that a bit farther south there are already folks conducting their spring assessments.
 

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I just hear another beekeeper say that he starts his regular inspections at 50 F/10C daytime and 40F/5C nighttime. I think I would agree with Ambrose about waiting until 60F/15C before breaking boxes apart.
 

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I think 50 degrees F is just a bit on the cold side to do a full inspection and prefer to wait for 60F. That does not mean that I won't go into the hives for a specific purpose at those temps, just not going to be tearing it apart.
 

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It really depends on your specific climate. Where I am I won't really start digging into my colonies until May, but I'm sure that a bit farther south there are already folks conducting their spring assessments.
I second this.

I will probally start inspecting my hives mid march or early april here depending on the weather. Typically the first bee swarms in the area come about april 15th, and I try to start checking my hives before they would throw swarms.
 

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There was a crack in the hive and small amount of watter went in. I would like to place the hive into a new hive.
This is not a justification enough to re-hive them now - bad timing (due to possible queen damage and difficult or impossible replacement of her).
Just make sure the water does not enter again and relax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is not a justification enough to re-hive them now - bad timing (due to possible queen damage and difficult or impossible replacement of her).
Just make sure the water does not enter again and relax.
There was some mold on that side. Can that be harmful for the bees?
 

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There was some mold on that side. Can that be harmful for the bees?
Don't worry of the mold at all.
Bees naturally and often live in moldy conditions.
Trying to avoid mold, you have a real chance of squishing your hardly replaceable queen at this time - that would be a real problem for you then (not some mold).
 

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I agree with the day time temp of 60 but I think you need for the night temp to be 45+ so any brood would not be chilled if the colony could not generate sufficient heat (number of bees) after the inspection.
 

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There was a crack in the hive and small amount of watter went in. I would like to place the hive into a new hive.
cover the crack with foil tape to seal it up/repair it until spring. Duck tape would also work, but will not hold up as well in the weather.
 

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Agree with the above do a "repair" on the crack, until the temps get warmer, even 3 weeks would help.
at times I use chewing gum, calk, putty, duct tape, any thing to help seal the crack for a few more weeks.
if a torch is safe melt some bees wax into the crack leveling with the hive tool.

do get the new hive ready.
the issue is if you roll the queen you may end up queen less as there may not be the mateing weather or drone population to re mate a queen and commercial queens are not yet ready. could also chill brood or stress the colony.
the "crack" is not as big a risk as the re hive at this point.
the crack is a 1 or 2 and the re-hive is a 7 or 8 on a 1 to 10 scale.

even could lean a piece of tin on that side to keep the rain out, several minimally invasive "crack" fixes.
I have leaned a wheel barrow at times to protect a side for a bit.

GG
 

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We got a nice day here in Georgia yesterday and I looked into my hives. This was my first winter of beekeeping so I am no expert but I am glad I did. My hives are both single deep and a single medium. In the fall the mediums had only 4-5 frames drawn out which were filled with honey and no brood. Yesterday when I looked the hives are packed with bees. The deeps are packed with brood, syrup, and pollen. The mediums still have some honey, but have 5 frames packed with brood and they had already drawn out 3 more frames with honey and pollen, so I added another box to each. If I had waited another week or 2 I think they might have already been preparing to swarm. Also saw a lot of drone brood. I am happy with how they are doing, but was surprised that they have taken off so early in the year.
 
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