Checking for queen cells in bad weather

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DorsetNewBee 

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Hi, looking for advice from all you experts; this is my third year of beekeeping so I have a lot to learn. I have two colonies at the moment and I have been checking for queen cells every 7 days. Today has been very rainy and humid and the bees aren't flying much, so I wouldn't have chosen to open up my hive (I did the other yesterday which went fine). But having read various threads about looking at bees in bad weather I decided I should go ahead, especially as a large swarm landed briefly in my garden yesterday (unfortunately moved on before I could catch it) and I wanted to see if it was from my hive. I went through the brood box very carefully and took down several queen cells. I didn't see a queen but I did see eggs and brood. The bees were extremely aggressive although I didn't get stung. They have always been lively, but this was the worst I have ever seen them - I was as calm and gentle as possible and closed up as soon as I could, but although I did what I set out to do it was not a pleasant experience. My question is, was I right to disturb them or would some of you have advised against an inspection on a day like this?
 

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Beekeeping dream and beekeeping reality. ;) The dream is of sunny days and happy bees, the reality can often mean you need to do something in less perfect conditions. Someone to hold a brolly and perhaps smoke the bees is a great help when you need to be focused and quick. Interrupting their plans and bad weather, I can imagine they were annoyed, not pleasant but necessary.
 

enrico 

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They are bored and you have given them something to do😄
It is a risk you have to be prepared to take if you leave it!
I have work on five days inspections then I can add a couple if needs be!
 

DorsetNewBee 

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Thank you for both replies, maybe I should be doing it every five days as well. My mentor said 7 but if 5 is better then perhaps I should try that.
 

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Five keeps you on top but weather can always be an issue, I have two double broods to shake through tomorrow and hoping it stays dry.
 

Finman 

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Inpecting the colony in bad weather and in low temperature may cause that brood may catch cold or it burst chakbrood. Not a good idea.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Hi, looking for advice from all you experts; this is my third year of beekeeping so I have a lot to learn. I have two colonies at the moment and I have been checking for queen cells every 7 days. Today has been very rainy and humid and the bees aren't flying much, so I wouldn't have chosen to open up my hive (I did the other yesterday which went fine). But having read various threads about looking at bees in bad weather I decided I should go ahead, especially as a large swarm landed briefly in my garden yesterday (unfortunately moved on before I could catch it) and I wanted to see if it was from my hive. I went through the brood box very carefully and took down several queen cells. I didn't see a queen but I did see eggs and brood. The bees were extremely aggressive although I didn't get stung. They have always been lively, but this was the worst I have ever seen them - I was as calm and gentle as possible and closed up as soon as I could, but although I did what I set out to do it was not a pleasant experience. My question is, was I right to disturb them or would some of you have advised against an inspection on a day like this?
I always keep an eye on the weather and move inspections forward if needed. Extremely time sensitive inspections have to be done irrespective of weather so an assistant with a fishing brolly and a smoker is handy, oh and work at speed doing only what you had planned.
Are you going to go back into that colony to see what’s going on as you removed all the queen cells?
 

Curly green finger's 

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I always keep an eye on the weather and move inspections forward if needed. Extremely time sensitive inspections have to be done irrespective of weather so an assistant with a fishing brolly and a smoker is handy, oh and work at speed doing only what you had planned.
Are you going to go back into that colony to see what’s going on as you removed all the queen cells?
I agree with dani weekly inspections to the day don’t work , you leave it to long ‘a week and the queen has gone ‘ if the cells weren’t capped there’s a chance your queen is still present’ I would be looking in tomorrow and taking it from there, if the weather allows.
Inspect before 12 am swarms seem to leave after that.
Have some one with you to hold a brolly and smoker if you can .
 

ericbeaumont 

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went through the brood box very carefully and took down several queen cells. I didn't see a queen but I did see eggs and brood.
Were the cells charged?

Removing QCs may buy you a little time, but the bees are telling you they intend to swarm. Your cell removal will not deter them; better to work with the bees and carry out an AS.
 

DorsetNewBee 

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Were the cells charged?

Removing QCs may buy you a little time, but the bees are telling you they intend to swarm. Your cell removal will not deter them; better to work with the bees and carry out an AS.
Yes I was wondering whether to do that (have not done one before), my main problem is locating the queen. I used to spot her every time in my first couple of years beekeeping but for whatever reason I don't find it easy to spot her at the moment. There are eggs so I assume she is there, I just can't see her
 

madasafish 

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Today at 10.45amI did an inspection of a beginner's just swarmed hive: they had just swarmed yesterday in the sunshine and the hive had about 20 QCs- several of them emerged. (!) We took them all down: there will be a virgin somewhere.
They were bad tempered but it had to be done of they would swarm to nothing when the good weather comes later this week.
We had an umbrella ready but as it turned out rain stopped after the first two frames..
 

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I agree with dani weekly inspections to the day don’t work , you leave it to long ‘a week and the queen has gone ‘ if the cells weren’t capped there’s a chance your queen is still present’ I would be looking in tomorrow and taking it from there, if the weather allows.
Inspect before 12 am swarms seem to leave after that.
Have some one with you to hold a brolly and smoker if you can .
large swarm arrived at one of my shed top bait boxes this morning at 10-15, exactly same spot that a swarm arrive two weeks ago at 10-30. Not sure they are that worried about waiting for post meridiem, but I will speak to them later about their timekeeping :ROFLMAO:
 

DorsetNewBee 

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I always keep an eye on the weather and move inspections forward if needed. Extremely time sensitive inspections have to be done irrespective of weather so an assistant with a fishing brolly and a smoker is handy, oh and work at speed doing only what you had planned.
Are you going to go back into that colony to see what’s going on as you removed all the queen cells?
Yes I thought I would tomorrow, forecast better. And I will switch to 5 day inspections instead of 7 days. Thank you very much for your advice.
 

gwt_uk 

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I only have weekends to inspect due to work commitments so have to sometimes inspect in less than ideal conditions. The bees don’t like it but it’s the only way to get swarming management in place
 

Curly green finger's 

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large swarm arrived at one of my shed top bait boxes this morning at 10-15, exactly same spot that a swarm arrive two weeks ago at 10-30. Not sure they are that worried about waiting for post meridiem, but I will speak to them later about their timekeeping :ROFLMAO:
Maybe it’s just my bees , like me like to keep to a sort of schedule.
Watched two colony’s swarm so far this season while inspecting other hives.
Also had to nuc 9 dam queens
 

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