Bee Space--counting at night or is mid-day ok?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by CarrollwoodBees, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Stupid question: Beekeepers say not to provide more space in a hive than the bees can cover, but how do we know this? When I'm inspecting in the middle of the day, I can't know how many bees are covering the frames to know if there is too much space or not. The stupid part of the questions is should I bee checking at dusk when everyone's home? Isn't this counter to the rule of checking when the girls are out so it's less hassle? Should I adopt a rotating schedule where one time I check during the day and one time at dusk? Right now, I check every two weeks at mid-day (and in Fla. that tells you how dedicated I am). I would be happy to check at dusk. But then checking bees numbers only once/month might mean I'd miss an upcoming swarm, especially during flows. Suggestions?

    PS I used to check the hives less, but paid for that in swarms and wax moths and hive beetles.
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    you should be checking mid day cause you want to judge by how they can protect the hive when they are the most vulnerable and thats when all the field workers are away doing what they have to
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Yep check during the day when the foragers are out, you are wanting what bees are left to be able to cover the brood and do the hose work. All of the extra bees will result in a beard at the end of the day.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You can enjoy looking at your hives (foom the outside) towards evening and estimate how full the hive is from what activity you see outside. But, don't examine them from the inside--you'll lose a lot of (squashed) bees that way and could also risk your queen's safety. Even when checking the hive during the day, you'll find bees on the occupied frames--just not covering them as thickly. Frames that don't have bees during the day examination will probably not be very well covered when everyone is at home.
     
  5. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Thank you! I went in yesterday afternoon and removed several frames from one hive and a medium super from the other based on your and G3farms' advice. Queens are laying well, but I notice they aren't capping any honey. And when all that brood hatches, it'll be like feeding elephants--enormous amounts. All I can hope is this late bloom of ligustrum will help some in keeping them healthy.