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kazmcc 

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Well, second visit tonight, I am DYING to see how they have settled. I nipped up on Saturday and they were busy coming and going, very quiet. I nipped back up on Monday, just for a quick check but it was late, 8:45 so not much action, one or two stragglers coming, suprised to see a couple going too, but I could smell them as I approached. Amazing! A faint whiff of honey. I've only ever visited 3 hives, all different, and the others didn't smell of anything ( fear may have masked it to be fair ) and they were a bit noisy.

A few questions then, them being so quiet...good sign? Normal?

We will be inspecting them at 5:30 this evening. After a bit of faffing, it will more likely be around 5:45 - 6pm. Does this time of day matter?

I know it's early but the weather looks cloudy, bit cold. If it stays that way, what can I expect? I would much prefer to do it on a sunny day at about noon, less bees ( I'm a chicken lol ) but it's a bit of a scramble at the moment and no-one wants to miss inspections. I would have thought it would be less stressful for the bees if most were out snuffling, is this true?
 

Polyanwood 

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Yes it is probably better for you and your bees if you inspect them while there are the most foragers out. I can see that you can't wait and everybody is excited, which is lovely, but please remember the bees don't like being inspected and it always means a few die and it sets them back, so best to do as little as possible.

If it is starting to get dark and it is cool and windy, the bees especially don't like being inspected, so try to avoid that and try not to spend too long.

Also please think carefully about what you are looking for before you open the brood box. You may not need to look at every frame, which will make the inspection quicker and better for the bees.

Good Luck. I am glad you are enjoying it.

The smell of honey usually means they are evaporating nectar. You might be one of the lucky few still with a flow on.
 

dolbz 

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If it is starting to get dark and it is cool and windy, the bees especially don't like being inspected, so try to avoid that and try not to spend too long.
This is true. I had no choice but to do a fairly late evening inspection this week and my bees usually hardly notice you're there. There were a handful of quite unhappy bees at this inspection though. Luckily they didn't get upset enough to sting me and I went as quick but gently as possible.
 

kazmcc 

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Thanks for your replies. Initially there was supposed to be 2 of us looking after the bees. We are going to be trained as we go with a mentor present for the first year. More and more people are getting themselves put on that list, and it's getting a bit too much. I feel the welfare of these bees comes second to their interest. I completely understand how exciting it is, but if it was going to harm the bees, then I would rather sit on my hands for another week than hurt them. It would kill me, but I'd do it lol. Not everyone feels this way, or maybe I am being unfair. Up to now, I am the only one who has taken time to learn more than was taught us on the taster session. I know this as a fact, the others have told me they haven't took it further. This is turning into a rant now, and I don't want it too, but rather than doing whats best for the bees, people are delaying so they can fit it in. I agreed to take care of them as I am available at any time. This was agreed to be the best. I am hoping over the winter, people will drift off and me and the bees can get on with it, with the bees welfare at the foremost. This isn't happening at the moment, it's such a shame.

Anyway, the reason we are looking tonight is to check they have settled and all is going to plan. I am told it will be a very quick inspection. Saying that, depends on how many show up and how long the queue is :( I still don't feel I have much of a say at the moment, and wouldn't dare inspect them without our mentor or his say so, not everyone feels as strongly about this. But I have the suits so if they want to inspect, I will know about it.....so there lol. I've had so many emails hinting at a 'quick peep won't hurt', I always advise them to wait for our mentor, and that it takes time for the bees to repair the damage we do when we intrude. ( sigh ) I'm going to have to call a meeting about this aren't I.?
 

Silly Bee 

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Just put your foot down.

Ask them how they'd like a troop of people stamping through their front room while they were watching telly, they might get some idea then what it means to the bees.

I like to inspect mine, but often wish I didn't have to for the disruption it causes them.
 

kazmcc 

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Just put your foot down.

Ask them how they'd like a troop of people stamping through their front room while they were watching telly, they might get some idea then what it means to the bees.

I like to inspect mine, but often wish I didn't have to for the disruption it causes them.
I know, I have to. I'm not the most assertive person. Thinking about it, I gained the funding for this project, and saw it through from the beginning so I should have a say in what happens to these bees. Problem is, we all ( including myself ) look at our mentor like he's god or something. What he says goes, and he is soooooo laid back, he's horizontal lol. Something needs doing though. I'm going to let people have a look, pique their interest for a few visits, then clamp down I think. I have to meet these people in the playground everyday so can't get too big for my bee keeping boots :(
 

Silly Bee 

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Well, perhaps the novelty will wear off after a few weeks, it often does.

If it doesn't, get more hives, and let them have the responsibility for "their" bees.:)
 

Poly Hive 

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No. This is foot down time.

The bees of course come first and it is totally unfair to them to be disturbed for some casually interested people to "have a peep". It's like saying to a keen gardener that pulling a few carrots for a minute won't hurt them.

You have the best of arguments. Five minutes in cool weather is long enough and for goodness sake do NOT look for the queen. Provided you see young larvae then that is sufficient.

Be firm, the bees are relying on you.....and if your so called mentor ain't got the oomph to do right by them then like a poor queen it's surely crunchie chrunchie time and re-mentor....

PH
 

kazmcc 

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Poly Hive, you don't want to come and be part of a great little project do you?

;-) lol, could do with someone like you here.
 

kazmcc 

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Arrgghh, can't edit, just wanted to PS, our mentor is brill, knows so much and has got me through my fear of bees to this point, devouring every bee fact or bit of info going. Didn't want anyone thinking he's not up to it, just easy going. I've been to a teaching hive, and there was loads of people there so maybe I'm being a bit too over protective. As soon as a bit of responsiblility is needed, people will back off. Meanwhile, I'm going to have a quick word to make sure the inspections are done at a time when it's best for the bees, not best for the people looking at the bees.
 

victor meldrew 

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Yes it is probably better for you and your bees if you inspect them while there are the most foragers out. I can see that you can't wait and everybody is excited, which is lovely, but please remember the bees don't like being inspected and it always means a few die and it sets them back, so best to do as little as possible.

If it is starting to get dark and it is cool and windy, the bees especially don't like being inspected, so try to avoid that and try not to spend too long.

Also please think carefully about what you are looking for before you open the brood box. You may not need to look at every frame, which will make the inspection quicker and better for the bees.

Good Luck. I am glad you are enjoying it.

The smell of honey usually means they are evaporating nectar. You might be one of the lucky few still with a flow on.
The flow hasn't peaked here yet :coolgleamA:,
We are invariably 3 weeks behind you season wise .
And yes as polyandwood says , Bridle your enthusiasm a little (tempting though it is ) remember it's a small colony , it's getting late in the season.
The main things you need to know , Eggs /stores / brood all stages/ . Enough room ? I should think they will have! Although carnies build up quickly in Spring, they shut down early in Autumn .
Have a prompt card with you , this will save you from worrying about things you think you may have forgotten to look out for bee-smillie.
After a few visits you will act on auto pilot :):).
John Wilkinson
 

kazmcc 

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The flow hasn't peaked here yet :coolgleamA:,
We are invariably 3 weeks behind you season wise .
And yes as polyandwood says , Bridle your enthusiasm a little (tempting though it is ) remember it's a small colony , it's getting late in the season.
The main things you need to know , Eggs /stores / brood all stages/ . Enough room ? I should think they will have! Although carnies build up quickly in Spring, they shut down early in Autumn .
Have a prompt card with you , this will save you from worrying about things you think you may have forgotten to look out for bee-smillie.
After a few visits you will act on auto pilot :):).
John Wilkinson
Thanks John, so that's what you think we'll be looking for

Eggs
Stores
Brood, all stages,
Room,
Quick close

I'll note that down. Problem is I think he should be showing us these things, but with the amount of people it would take too long, because if I ask to be shown something, everyone wants a look. I'm going to have to ask for a couple of 'just us carers' sessions I think. I'm going to mention it tonight. I would never want the bees to suffer for our interest.
 

Rosti 

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Karen, with regard inspections and frequency and the time in a hive. You have the problem that you are trying to have many people managing one hive - there are not enough inspections to go round!

Could you agree who will lead an inspection and who observes and the inspection goes at the pace of the one in charge not at the slowest persons speed?

It is believed that a good, efficient and sympathetic inspection still puts the bees back two days. A long or very disruptive inspection would be worse still. Perhaps explain to your group that this years objective is not to 'enjoy your bees to death' but to check and manipulate just enough to ensure that are building for a successful wintering and a positive spring build up. May be it is worth bringing the group together and re-affirming this years objectives and how to achieve them? Hopefully by the time next year comes round then their initial enthiusiasm will have reduced and inspections can be shared out so everyone gets a go but the bees get a fair deal as well!

As said earlier in the thread, be firm!
 

kazmcc 

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Karen, with regard inspections and frequency and the time in a hive. You have the problem that you are trying to have many people managing one hive - there are not enough inspections to go round!

Could you agree who will lead an inspection and who observes and the inspection goes at the pace of the one in charge not at the slowest persons speed?

It is believed that a good, efficient and sympathetic inspection still puts the bees back two days. A long or very disruptive inspection would be worse still. Perhaps explain to your group that this years objective is not to 'enjoy your bees to death' but to check and manipulate just enough to ensure that are building for a successful wintering and a positive spring build up. May be it is worth bringing the group together and re-affirming this years objectives and how to achieve them? Hopefully by the time next year comes round then their initial enthiusiasm will have reduced and inspections can be shared out so everyone gets a go but the bees get a fair deal as well!

As said earlier in the thread, be firm!
That's a good idea, I'm going to ask tonight about this. I'm sure the numbers will dwindle in the next few weeks. This is the second visit, and everyone is excited. I can totally understand that, I am too, but I've learnt since the taster session, and I understand it is a fine balance between intervening and letting the bees get on with it. As the others haven't followed up, they still have this view of bee keeping where the bee keeper can access the hive whenever he/she pleases. I'm going to raise this point tonight, and hopefully they will take heed. The problem for me is that they don't feel like my bees yet. As a complete beginner, I would be afraid of people thinking I was getting a bit carried away, also, this amount of people might be ok, they have much more at training apiaries, and it might just be me getting a bit overprotective. It feels the same as when you have a newborn and people are holding it.....you just want to take it back from then and are a bit nervous until you have. I am very protective of anything I am caring for, I suppose too protective sometimes :eek:
 

keithgrimes 

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Suggest you get your mentor to hgive them a short talk on the importance of the bees being left alone and the consequences of too much interference (bee deaths, grumpy bees, no honey etc etc). With respect it may be better coming from him and make you look less like 'they're mine, back off). I would also advocate a second hive next yera, not onley to spread the load but to allow you to use one colony to strengthen the other when necessary. Of course you could arrange for a couple of them to get stung, that might put them off (joking, honest).
 

shonabee 

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I was told (on a beginners course last year) that inspecting your bees "out of intrest" is the same as digging up your newly-planted potoatoes to see if they're growing yet.

I reckon that's a pretty good analogy /way to convince yourself to avoid unneccesary inspections.
 

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