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Camaryian 

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I am a bit new so please be gentle.

I have my set up and now have some bees I got last weekend. Everything seems to be ok lots of coming and going and activity so I thought I would have a go at my first inspection without much success.

I get the smoker out and am very conservative with it, but it seems not to have an effect, when the lid is off the bees do not descend to the frames but are milling about on the top. This means there are plenty on the QE when I take it off and in a few seconds they are bouncing off my veil. I begin to get a bit nervous and end up only looking at a couple of frames and abadoning the inspection. I have tried twice this weekend but without much luck.

Am I being overly nervous keeper and this is ok, or am I using the smoker incorrectly. Is there a best time of day to do it?
 

freckledbeck 

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Hello and welcome! :)
I was nervous the first few times I opened my hives, I think this is normal? (I still get very excited when I open my hives, its a real buzz -don't know if that wears off tho the more you do it?)
Have you done a Beekeeping course anywhere? (because I think that gives you confidence) and also makes you local contacts, who would probably be more than happy to help you if you need them.
Where did you get your bees from? It's good to try and get a 'gentle' strain of bees if you can.
I am very new too, so my advice is a bit basic, but Im sure you will get lots more replies from beeks who know what they are talking about!
Good luck
 

MuswellMetro 

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I am a bit new so please be gentle.

I get the smoker out and am very conservative with it, but it seems not to have an effect, when the lid is off the bees do not descend to the frames but are milling about on the top. This means there are plenty on the QE when I take it off and in a few seconds they are bouncing off my veil. I begin to get a bit nervous and end up only looking at a couple of frames and abadoning the inspection. I have tried twice this weekend but without much luck.

Am I being overly nervous keeper and this is ok, or am I using the smoker incorrectly. Is there a best time of day to do it?
welcome, please ask away, that how it works

little bit more info on set up

you say QE, have you supers on, is it a full 9 brood 2 store hive or a nuc expanding into a hive, ? National type , super etc etc...and source of Bees/Queen ( not a name but are they aswarm or what)

the bees once up can be like that for 24 hrs

so QE, you took off, how?. QE can get braced to the frames, so if you lift it up the frames rise and the bees get a shock....so relase each corner, smoke under one corner then twist off, then lift....worth a try

inspect at 10.00-2.00 on a warm day with little wind...they do not like wind or thunder clouds

no aftershave/perfume either, smoke your gloves, veil area and under arms ( smell and i dont mean that badly)

use a manipuation cloth if they are really bad, a large white hand towel will do. as the QE comes off, cover them up with the towel again..calms them done...role back the towel and lift a frame...if really bad use two towels, covering up as you goe


my bees are docile, but last week i exposed honey ( lots) removing drone brood then broke a frame lug and got honey everywhere...they stung me 100yds from the hive as i dropped my veil...yesterday calm as anything


PS the other hive has just been requeen as utter B**Stards
 
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darrenperrett 

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Hi Camaryian.
Welcome to the forum :cheers2:

It is best to give them a puff of smoke in the entrance and then wait for a few minutes to let get them full of honey.

Darren.
 

garethbryson 

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Get yourself a water sprayer and when they mill round on the top of the frames give them a mist with the water, that'll put them down onto the box for you.
 

Camaryian 

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Thanks, they were a swarm from a hive (artifical swarm?) and appeared docile although I was stung through my rubbish gloves. I sort of wanted to be stung early so I am not scared of being stung again.

I have no supers on but had 10 frames and I think only two are empty. Perhaps they are edgy because it is nearly full already?

I was thinking of adding a super and I presume that the bees would be more spread out and it would make my inspection easier. However I have another brood box with frames and foundation, would I be just as well to add that? I am not really prepared to add boxes and supers in my first week!

I have been on a course and did what was shown it just isn't working the same way!

I guess I am just going to have to saddle up (with some towels) and get on with it!
 

grizzly 

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Hi Camaryian

What smoker fuel did you use ?, was it going well ? and after giving them a puff at the entrance, (waiting a couple of minutes), did you drift some smoke over the tops of the bars ?

I was talking to Admin recently, we have both found that on occaision we have opened up a strong colony, my last one was double brood, you start to inspect, then things get a little overwhelming, they just dont do what they should, so we close up.

However, we both said we took a break, gave it 10-15 minutes, then went straight back in again, but this time holding the thought that we will get this done, narky bees or not, and bizarrely they have behaved, and the job gets done.
 

Arfermo 

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Hi Camaryian.
The advice given above is OK in general terms but I think you need to have got to grips with the basics of beekeeping, in a practical sense, BEFORE launching yourself full tilt as you have evidently done by getting a colony in a nuc. I get the impression you may not yet have signed up to the local Beekeeping Association and been to their apiary to see how to manipulate a hive properly. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Then you would have available to you as many mentors to lean on in your locality as you could possibly wish without resorting to such a vague query as this. I don't want to appear rude but I think this is your best course - and soon. To find someone else locally is also easy - just go to a local small grocer, farm shop or craft centre and look for the local honey on the shelves and get the telephone number, name and address from one of them and give them a buzz (excuse pun). Don't bother with supermarkets as none of them, not one, sell local honey - which is a National disgrace.
Arfermo
 

MuswellMetro 

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I am a bit new so please be gentle.

I have my set up and now have some bees I got last weekend.

Am I being overly nervous keeper and this is ok, or am I using the smoker incorrectly. Is there a best time of day to do it?

follow up from my post ,i have put a video "how it use to be" on main forum in 4 parts, it shows the old use on minipulation cloths to calm bees

so
 

Midland Beek 

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I never smoke through the hive entrance or through the mesh floor of a hive. Pushes the bees upwards and onto the top bars. Just where you don't want them.

Assuming there are no supers on the hive, I lift up the crownboard at each corner a little, and smoke through the gap. Wait a minute or so, and then remove it. Puff more smoke over the top bars and a little in between frames ... if necessary.

If there's a super on the hive, I do the same but lift the super at each corner a little and puff smoke through. I lift off the super with crownboard still in place and do not disturb.

More complicated with more than one super, but then none of my hives ever have more than one super.
 

kazmcc 

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Hi Camaryian, This is all really good advice for us new bees, I am lucky as I will have someone training me each and every time I visit the hive....they arrive on Tuesday :)

I am a little concerned that you are alone when you inspect the hive. are you alone, and if so, is your hive in your garden where you can shout for help if things get hairy? I think it would be best until you are confident at least, if there was someone else with you, even if it is watching from a distance, so if things get bad, they can get help......not that I am saying things will get that way, it's just better to be safe, and for those of us who haven't got that much experience, i think it best we are protected as best we can be.

Karen
 

madasafish 

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Camaryian.

I can thoroughly recommend joining your local Beekeepers Association. They really DO show you how to do it properly.. And help avoid the panic "what do I do now?" when everything goes tits up - as it does.
 

petersbees 

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Hi also am a newbee, so I hope you don't mind me pigbacking onto your thread. Took delivery of a nuc last week, transferred it 5 days ago and fed it with 1 ltr of sugar syrup. Did my first inspection today and just have a few queries. Found queen, marked and lots of eggs and larvae with food and some emerging bees. one or two bees got very excited but most were quite happy. My questions are

What is the best smoker fuel?
About half of the sugar syrup has been used, bees were still taking the syrup although there were lots of bees arriving with full pollen baskets. What is the life of sugar syrup, if they are still taking it should I keep feeding, should it be renewed every week?
 

kazmcc 

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Hi also am a newbee, so I hope you don't mind me pigbacking onto your thread. Took delivery of a nuc last week, transferred it 5 days ago and fed it with 1 ltr of sugar syrup. Did my first inspection today and just have a few queries. Found queen, marked and lots of eggs and larvae with food and some emerging bees. one or two bees got very excited but most were quite happy. My questions are

What is the best smoker fuel?
About half of the sugar syrup has been used, bees were still taking the syrup although there were lots of bees arriving with full pollen baskets. What is the life of sugar syrup, if they are still taking it should I keep feeding, should it be renewed every week?
I use dried leaves from the park in my smoker, just a mixture really, or dried straw, with a roll of newspaper to set it off.

Do the bees have ample stores? If it was a well stocked nuc, they should have enough stores to be seeing them through. I'm with Rab, don't feed for the sake of it or just to be on the safe side, only if you really have to. You don't really want them storing the sugar syrup. I think it's been said that they will take it if it's there. The pollen will be being used to feed the larvae.

I just saw my previous post here, and I remember how excited but scared I was back then.....now look at me! Rearing my own queen, leading inspections! I would have said you were nuts if you'd have told me I would be doing this in under a year!
 

Erichalfbee 

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What is the best smoker fuel?
Search smoker fuel here and you'll find lots.
For me......you can't beat dried rotten wood (I collect it walking the dog and dry it in the boiler room) topped with herbs of the day. Bay leaves, thyme and lavender straight off the plant all work really well.
 

Moggs 

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Hi Camaryian

Your bees sound quite defensive. There may be something untoward that you will have to evaluate. For example, is the hive queenless for some reason? A very gentle approach is the way. Try not to cause undue vibration as this gets them going. Do not oversmoke as bees can be unnerved by it. Work with the bees - apply a little smoke if they start to fly up, just enough to set them scurrying down onto the frames - we are talking of wisps and whiffs of smoke, not huge clouds! If they start to sting, this sets off an alarm pheromone and activates the defensive reaction. Your beesuit may be covered in stings - which will set them up for a fight immediately (wash suit with some washing soda in the wash water).

My advice would be to try to work carefully through a full inspection - take lots of notes and then we can evaluate the reason for their bad mood. Just record what you see!

You may be able to find a helpful beekeeper around here who could assist you through the initial explorations.
 

Moggs 

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Ahhh thank you for pointing that out! I would imagine that those bees are ermmm somewhat different.
 

Bcrazy 

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Just finished reading this thread, No wonder i packed in beekeeping.
Mo
 

BCBEE 

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Hi
I am also new but one thing i read last week was that because we smoke through the bottom of the hive this drives the bees up to the top to its worth trying a blow of smoke into the top vent first. Just athough

Kile the bit about sprayers as we make them where i work.

Phill
 

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