Best time for inspection

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Sabrina 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Location
Worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
I've been having some trouble with robbing which seems to be (hopefully) MOSTLY under control, but I'm worried about when best to do an inspection.

I've not been into the hive for ages now. They've had their varroa treatments so I'd like to have a good look around before winter, especially with the robbing etc. What would people recommend? I'm not keen to open up the hive when there are gangs of bees hanging around waiting to get in and start a rumpus.

Am I best waiting 'til evening, or doing it first thing in the morning?

Historically I've usually done it late afternoon, and they were always fine with that.

Thanks
 

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
When you do an inspection it should be for a reason why do you need to do an inspection with late in the season
Andrew
 

Sabrina 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Location
Worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
I'm keen to check that the hive is healthy, that there is brood etc and to see if any/how much damage has been done by robbers. The same kind of inspection I would do weekly during the summer.
 

greatbritishhoney 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
1,626
Reaction score
0
Location
Montgomeryshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Historically I've usually done it late afternoon, and they were always fine with that.

Thanks
I'd go with that then.
Still warm, flying bees out of the hive etc.
Just make your inspection quick so that you don't end up with a cloud of wasps.
Decide what the purpose of your inspection is (stores, eggs, disease or whatever) and stick to it.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,644
Reaction score
7
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Ask yourself are you inspecting for yourself or for the bees.

Or in outer words is it necessary.

I am now hands off until oxalic treatment in Jan and then weather depending, start again in Feb.

PH
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
12,502
Reaction score
28
Location
South West
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Miriads
Ask yourself are you inspecting for yourself or for the bees.

Or in outer words is it necessary.

I am now hands off until oxalic treatment in Jan and then weather depending, start again in Feb.

PH
I am just feeding ....feeding ....feeding... another 24kg in the mixer now and new thymol mix batch ready to add as soon as syrup is cool.
I am NOT going to open the hives until next March and DEFINITELY not chilling them with OA in midwinter!

I will heft each hive with a spring balance and record the weight when feeding stops?? end October
Feed with a block of Fondant over crownboard if they need it,
when I see a LOT of FLYING bees in the spring I will feed them some 1:1 syrup... with a dash of thymol to keep the bugs out of it, then when it is warm enough... the inspections can start all over!
Plenty to get your teeth into folks.... tin hat at the ready!!!!!!:gnorsi:
 
Last edited:

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,881
Reaction score
317
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
when I see a LOT of FLYING bees in the spring I will feed them some 1:1 syrup... with a dash of thymol to keep the bugs out of it, then when it is warm enough...

Tin hat secured tightly?

What do you call spring? What if March is very cold? The middle of Feb might be good for the first cursory inspections if the weather is suitable, who knows.

I don't necessarily wait that long if it doesn't happen to arrive on time at the right temperatures etc, etc.. They may well miss the first nectar flow (OSR), as far as 'surplus' is concerned, if the weather is not helpful. One needs a hive with lots of three week (or older) bees of the new season, to be ready for the OSR.

I will be checking to make sure there is enough protein, carbohydrate and water for strong spring brooding.

I will be removing unused stores, or adding frames of comb, or extra super (storage or brooding) space, to ensure there is plenty of space for the queen to lay.

I will be checking for DLQs, Q-, etc and uniting/combining/requeening to ensure there is a good laying queen in each colony.

I will be reinforcing any stocks going to the OSR if necessary.

The one thing I will not be doing is waiting too long before encouraging them to get a move on. Been there, missed the flow and been on 'catch-up' all season. One has to 'make hay while the sun shines'. Unfortunately, waiting for the sun to shine in a British spring season is not always the best policy, if one wants an early crop.

I shall be planning on which stocks to move to the field beans after the OSR and to plan what happens to them when the forage crop has gone over.

Oh, and I shall be on the lookout for any spring sown OSR in the area.

So lots of things to do with/for the bees before March arrives. That is without all the cleaning tidying and other routine winter jobs.

RAB
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
12,502
Reaction score
28
Location
South West
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Miriads
I will drink to that Tractor man!

There are some good harbingers of spring to watch out for and a good pinch of common sense about when to open a hive is needed, just because its 1st April and the bait sausage is sizzling in the bee shed dose not necessarily mean its ok to rip open a nest to see whats occurring!
Especially if the duck's pond is frozen over and its snowing....................

OSR WATCH..... ours was very late this year and was over almost as soon as it started!
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
26,267
Reaction score
628
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
Get calm bees that you need not be afraid to nurse hives.

In Russia they use to rob hives so that one guy put an bear suit on. When bees attack
on the bearman, other guys pick the honey frames.
 

Latest posts

Top