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First inspection of the year?

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When is it appropriate to do the first inspection? Is it solely down to temperature and if so could an inspection be done in January/February? What temperature is needed, I have read 9 degrees Centigrade but can't find where I read it?
 

Heather 

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Biggest danger to bees can be the beekeeper!! When they are out flying in numbers, with warmer weather - then look. Till then - read some books:)
 

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When you can stand in the Apiary in a short sleeve t-shirt is what I was taught.

Looking at my records my first inspection last year was the 22nd February,I had Willow pollen going in for a few days before and temp was 16c

In the Autumn it is recomended not to open up if the temp is below 10 - 12c
 

Poly Hive 

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The rule of thumb Aberdeen and district preached was when the flowering current blooms. For what that is worth.

What are you concerned about?

PH
 

Finman 

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My first "inspection" is that in march I try with one hand, what is the hive weight.

It is is very light, I open the cover and look if I see capped food. If I see,I shut the cover.

In August I look if queens are present in all hives.

If I see several drone pupae in bottom rubbish, it is a sign that queen is not OK.

Worker pupae tell that queen is OK.

If the hive is OK, it mkaes a tight cluster around brood area.

If brood are not present, there is no cluster formation.

.
 

oliver90owner 

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Last year I was going through the bees mid February. But it was very warm, they were flying strongly. But generally an 'inspection' would be simply how much space do they need, is it enough and here is some more (if they do) affair. Bear in mind though, that winter was only about 6 or 7 weeks long, last year......

Temperature is certainly not the only parameter to consider. Wind, precipitation are another couple. No chance to do so much more, excepting maybe uniting colonies, if necessary. One risk of early interference is 'balling of the queen' which I have not experienced and do not wish to encourage. As Finman said, inspect what?

Dartingtons are so easy in this respect - no greater need than sliding the frames forward with them; only removing one half-size coverboard; no risk of splitting the broodnest horizontally; just increase the broodnest by a couple of frames if necessary and close it up. Very little disturbance. A bit different to a standard National.

So other considerations are: will this benefit the bees? What could you do if you found anything untoward? No and not a lot, is the likely answer.

Regards, RAB
 

Somerford 

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Dartingtons are so easy in this respect - no greater need than sliding the frames forward with them; only removing one half-size coverboard; no risk of splitting the broodnest horizontally; just increase the broodnest by a couple of frames if necessary and close it up. Very little disturbance. A bit different to a standard National.



Regards, RAB

so.....a benefit for the BH owners too then ?!

regards

S
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Last year I inspected on 14 March which was really quite a quick look. Some cloud but otherwise sunny. 14-15 degrees. I then left it for 2 weeks before a further inspection where there were definitely more bees around.

I also recall that you don't need to inspect until the flowering current blooms, so I bought one last summer.
 

Onge 

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Did a shook swarm 15th march last year.

It was very warm and they did very well.
 

hedgerow pete 

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I inspected my outside hives as soon as it get above 10 degrees in temp normaly a mid day job with a pollen patty in one hand just incase, as for the bee shed i can can do them any time i like, i just heat the shed up

if you have a mesh floored hive get a torch and lie under it!
 
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What I'm wanting to do is remove the super and queen excluder that is under the brood box. I wont be lifting frames out of the brood box just putting it on top of the floor.
 

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The weather experts,met office etc(cough cough) are predicting a very mild February this year..
 
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I've been using 'Metcheck' and it's been pretty accurate for the last 3 years. It says that temps will be 10 degrees centigrade later this month.:toetap05:
 

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Hi arnt you worried that you may leave the queen under the QE as the workers may and will go into the supper, Ihave always taken them off for the winter and gave them a good clean at the same time

Grub
 

Repwoc 

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Metcheck says it's going to be ~0 deg C round here for the next 2 weeks.
 
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Hawklord
Hi arnt you worried that you may leave the queen under the QE as the workers may and will go into the supper, Ihave always taken them off for the winter and gave them a good clean at the same time

Grub
The super is under the brood and the stores will have been consumed during the milder weather of September - November as there was only 5 frames of honey. Now the bees will all be upstairs in the brood chamber. Get the balance right and you don't need to feed any of that nasty sugar.
 

Grub 

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The super is under the brood and the stores will have been consumed during the milder weather of September - November as there was only 5 frames of honey. Now the bees will all be upstairs in the brood chamber. Get the balance right and you don't need to feed any of that nasty sugar.

So you put QE on to stop the queen laying in the super ?
When I first started I put a super underneath but made sure the marked queen was in the brood box but they had superceede and I found the new queen stuck in the QE dead in the spring my marked queen was ok , felt realy bad

So just didnt do it anymore with the QE on

Grub
 

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