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oliver90owner 

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You might. I don't.

Depends really what you call an inspection. I try to never tear the whole hive apart just to find the queen unless I need to find her.

I might inspect from a safe distance to make sure hives are secure (entrance blocks are secure, bees flying, etc). I might open the roof and check brood/eggs as I feel appropriate.

If they were short of stores at a previous inspection, I might be inspecting the feeder and topping up as necessary.

I have a couple of colonies without laying queens at the moment, so now keeping an eye on them weekly-ish after being left for about 3 weeks, with only a cursory check for stores, and now weiging up options of what to do if the queens do not start laying soon.

They are all active (I expect there are queens in the two non-laying boxes), but I am not disturbing any of my bees more than necessary.

Ymmv.

Regards, RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Risky buisness to be inspecting hives at this time of year,as long as they have a good laying queen and plenty of stores,leave them alone.I suggest on your last inspection of the season you see the queen.
 
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bobandbec 

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You can tell quite a lot by observing the entrance. The obvious thing is pollen being collected as a good indication of a queen(of some type) that is laying. There are other things to observe re the normal activity of the foragers etc..

As little interference as possible at this time of year with the proviso that the colony goes into Winter: treated for varroa, enough stores to last, preferably young "Winter" bees, and with a queen that will come into next Spring to produce the brood needed for a good expansion of the broodnest.

I haven't been into the broodnests of my colonies for about a month now, but I will look at each of them once more this season just to check the points above, probably at the end of this month or first week into October but be very careful to keep it as brief as possible.

Peter
 

SJH 

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I do to make sure all is ok. As a first year beekeeper I need to see exactly what is happening now to know what it should be next year.
 

Finman 

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Do i still need to be doing weekly inspections at this time of the year?
Bees need not inspections but it is good to you to know what happens in the hive this time of year.

YOu should take extra space off and, extract the rest honey away.

Winter cluster will be as big as brood area is now before entering to autumn.

How big is your colony? How many frames?

Put the frames in order

white combs on sides that they do not get mold
capped combs
pollen combs
brood combs.

You may start first part of winter feeding and when brood are almost away, feed the rest.
 

admin 

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What is your flow Somerford,Ivy ?
 

Somerford 

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all sorts - yes Ivy is coming on stream but we have Himalayan Balsam by the river and a number of gardens still have flowers in so I figure they must be taking advantage of the fine weather and getting what they can which would ordinarily not be taken if the weather was cooler.
I am still feeding though and am thinking the syrup along with whatever is coming in might have conjested the brood nest and flipped the bees into QC building mode...
What about yourself ?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Many hives supercede in the late summer/autumn,around 50% of my colonys do this,and now have two queens,so if you are constantly checking them and breaking down cells they don't have a chance to do this,which can lead to failure of the colony in the winter because you will not allow them to do what bee's do,the bee's do know better than you if they need a new queen,but it sounds as though some will not give them a chance,and wonder why later they have an old drone laying queen.
 

Bcrazy 

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I agree with Hivemaker but on saying they superceed the original queen it is fraught with danger. Why?

Drones. No drones no mating.

I have two colonies that still have a few drones remaining but for how much longer is down to the workers.

2 out of 18 hives shows that the expultion of drones is well under way.

Regards;
 

Hivemaker. 

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The very reason to let them get on with it,break down the cells this week,they will make another next week,and so on,until they have no drones,but still need a new queen.Of course there is a risk the supercedure can lead to swarming if the bee's are crammed into too small an area,so they still need room,and then this is very unlikely in my experiance.
 
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Finman 

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I agree with Hivemaker but on saying they superceed the original queen it is fraught with danger. Why?

Drones. No drones no mating.
;
Mating needs good weathers and is it possible when we go 3 weeks ahead?

You speak allways about drones and never about weathers.
 

peteinwilts 

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my bees do not seem to think it is autumn yet...

Meteorogically Autumn started on the 1st September, Astrologically the 21st September.... I guess my bees are following the stars.... :)
with daytime temps over 20 degrees, and dry, the weather is better than summer!

They are bringing in masses of food, particually noticable is bright yellow pollen. The edges of the fields and hedgerows are covered by some sort of yellow flower. Looks a bit like a small yellow sweet pea (I am ashamed of my lack of flower knowledge!).
There is also banks of other yellow flowers which look a bit like ragwort, but the leaves are very different.

My bees are still taking feed, so do not want to leave them just yet. My smallest colony is taking 3-4 litres of heavy syrup a day (6-8lb of sugar!)
My feeder is only just over 7 litres, so need to visit them every other day. :(

On contrast my big colony is only taking half a litre a day.

Somerford: Are your stocks full? Have your bees run out of space?
 

Finman 

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my bees do not seem to think it is autumn yet...

My feeder is only just over 7 litres, so need to visit them every other day. :(

On contrast my big colony is only taking half a litre a day.
Continuous feeding is not good. Let bees handle syrup, dry it up and cap . If they have a lot brood, they must emerge before they can fill hive more.
 
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At last weeks inspection there was eggs/brood on 9 frames and very little stores. I was a bit concerned that the queen was showing no sign of slowing the rate of lay and the stores didn't seem to be increasing. Yesterday showed a completely different tale, 3 frames of brood have hatched and have started to be filled with honey along with the other 2 frames. The queen was seen but I couldn't see any eggs. The next available warm day I will be preparing them for winter with the super under the brood and insulation above the crown board.
 

mark s 

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im inspecting mine every fortnight is that too much as well,this saturday is my next one as i was concerned last time wether they may be short on room,as they had 5 frames with brood 4 1/2 frames of store and were just hitting a side of the last but one frame.
 

Heather 

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Now mid October and they have had plenty of syrup, hives hefted and heavy- but they are piling in pollen and at the ivy- is there ANY need to open up and inspect hives I know are queen right??.
Am I being lazy:smilie_bett:, or sensible :hat:, when I think they are fine to keep closed till the Oxalic in December??
 

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