I need to do my first hive inspection and it rains every weekend

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by extrasharp, May 2, 2013.

  1. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hard to get to the farm during the week but I might have to. It rains every weekend so far and I'm guessing it's best to wait instead of stressing the bees?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Welcome to the wonderful world of beekeeping! :lol: :thumbsup:
    If nothing seems out of the ordinary, wait until it's at least not raining. :wink:
     

  3. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you. The weather is crazy. I sit and watch them and their little legs are loaded with pollen, plenty of activity and they look happy.
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    "Welcome to the wonderful world of beekeeping! :lol: :thumbsup:
    If nothing seems out of the ordinary, wait until it's at least not raining. :wink:
    "

    yep, or in my case SNOWING.......14" on the ground again. :grin:
     
  5. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    "I need to do my first hive inspection and it rains every weekend"


    If it's raining you don't 'need' to do an inspection. :eek:ldtimer: Try never to do inspections when it's rainy, cold, or windy- the brood can be chilled, and the bees will be very cranky and will let you know it. Besides, if it's raining a lot, the bees probably aren't doing much anyway, they lay low and wait.
     
  6. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    AH the temptations of being a new keep. Some good advise above. I would add that I never open a hive on a day I wouldnt want the roof taken off my house. The girls seam to respect the understanding we have on that.
     
  7. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    You gave me that advice very early on in my beekeeping journey and I've put it to practice and have passed it on. Works for me.
     
  8. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Got a break in the weather and got to check the hive. I thought I had a clue but didn't see eggs, plenty of bees since I bought a nuc to start with, hoping to do a better inspection this next weekend. Saw a lot of extra comb at the bottom where I think they didn't have room in the nuc and one of the frames warped so extra comb there. I don't think I hurt anybody so I think I did ok. Going to be doing plenty of reading here this week. Lots of capped "cells".
     
  9. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have so many questions. Doing a search here but can I ask some questions? The return key won't work for me. 1. what's the best smoker fuel? Pine needles aren't an option, thanks DuPont. 2. Pulled out the plastic divider under the screen and found some little worms. What are they? 3. The company I bought my nuc and hive from said it wasn't necessary to treat for mites till I see them, our state guy says to treat anyway since I'm a beginner. Any input is appreciated.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Cindy, when you did your inspection, did you see any baby bee larvae in the cells? It's common to not be able to see eggs, but if you see open cells with white bee larve curled up in them in "C" shapes, at least that means your queen has been laying over the past week or so.
    If it were me, with a brand new hive I wouldn't treat for mites at least until late Summer or Fall. There will always be a few mites in every hive- they arrive on the backs of your foraging bees and drones. A few mites won't hurt, but usually it takes at least a few breeding cycles for mites to build up into a population that could cause any actual problem.
     
  11. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had so many bees and was nervous the sun would go in and I'd take too long, I didn't see any but I'll be more thorough Saturday, sunny and 80.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Smoker fuel..... Brown baling twine, not the green plastic. Burlap. Old jeans and T-shirts. Dry grass from the lawn mowing. And many more.

    Leave the plastic out. It is a breeding ground for pests.

    In all my years, I have never seen mites in my hive until I did a mite check. Do a drop test or sugar shake, ""not a sugar dusting"", in August. If the mite count is high, treat.
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I like pine shavings (used for animal bedding) for smoker fuel. This is available at farm stores like TSC. Just make sure you get untreated. I would advise that you not treat for anything until you're sure you need to, like Iddee said in the above post. Like Omie said, eggs are difficult to see, sometimes a magnifying glass helps. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  14. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    cindy-
    "Pulled out the plastic divider under the screen and found some little worms. What are they?" cindy not sure what this is, your screen, a screen bottom board?
    smoker fuel, like gunsmith, i use and like either the pine or cedar shavings. i use a taller smoker, so i put in some crumpled newspaper. i save booklets my insurance company sends me, (everyone gets these things) the pages are printed on newspaper like paper, rip 3-4 sheets out of this, crumple, put in the smoker. i use a butane torch to light the paper, puff the smoker, and start adding the chips, puff a little, add some more, etc., til you have some nice cool smoke going.
    seeing eggs, i use a magnifying lens, it's real handy.
    mites.....
    "The company I bought my nuc and hive from said it wasn't necessary to treat for mites till I see them, our state guy says to treat anyway since I'm a beginner. Any input is appreciated."

    this is a new hive? i would follow the advice of the company........sometimes we unnecessarily treat our bees, imho, being a beginner in beekeeping is not a good reason for me to treat for mites in a new hive. you might be asking for more problems. they may be there, they may not be. in time they will be. you will see them on the backs of your girls, or if you scrape drone brood cells. i would wait.
     
  15. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use wood pellets for smoker fuel as well as dried tobacco stalks. burlap old cotten rags, sawdust and wood chips. I can get pine needles but it takes more work to get them.

    Steel yourself and do a single thourough inspection. then it is done. otherwise you are putting the bees through the stress and still not getting the info you need. At best a inspection is bad. bees are not meant to have their home dismantled. As a beginner it is necessary that you do more inspections for the pourpose of learing. those inspections will also take longer. It is part of what it takes to become better. Take the time to find those eggs and remember they are almost impossible to see through some veils. If you can't find eggs find larva. Waiting and doing nothing is seldom a good plan. not always but most of the time. Giving a virgin queen an extra week or two to show she is sitll aroudn is usually a good idea. no sign of a queen and waiting a week to see if that changes often is not.
    In all there is a lot of experience to gain this summer. IT might go better for you if you could go with an experienced beekeeper when they inspect their hives. there are many things they can point out to you.
     
  16. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd love to have an experienced beekeeper close, I'll keep looking. The plastic board I think is a debris board? Guess it worked. Sorry for the run on sentences, I still can't "return". It was going to be beautiful this weekend and now 30% chance of rain :(
     
  17. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What's that? Somebody say RAIN again this weekend. Thought about taking off tomorrow or Monday but its going to RAIN.
     
  18. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    My favorite smoker fuel is a roll of corrugated cardboard. Tear it so that the bottom edge isn't solid but rather separated a bit into layers. Like Riverbee, I like to start the fire with a crumpled sheet of newspaper (one match is usually enogh to get the process rolling) . After it catches fire outside the smoker you stuff it down to the bottom with your hive tool and while pumping to keep it hot, slowly fit in the roll of corrugated carton. With a bit of good pumping the carton will light from the newspaper and after a minute or so you should have a nice dependable smoke coming out. Usually, after the cardboard has burned about half way down I recharge the smoker by stuffing dry weeds or leaves on top and little by little they take over.
    Don't worry about exposing the bes to the sun, do it calmly and they won't respond any differently than they would in the shade.
     
  19. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok I had a clear Saturday and smoked (that's another story) and pulled out the frames and found larvae :) hubby got his first sting, more surprised than hurt. Didn't see the queen, a lot of bees to look at but did see the larvae.

    7 frames filled and a lot of activity so we put the 2nd box on top. Now questions. Seeing a lot of bees acting like swarming at the entrance. No fights. Coming in and out, the ones going in have a lot of pollen on their legs. I guess that is good and hope most of them are out collecting when we check next weekend. I'm seeing a lot of ants in a single trail so I'm looking for help on that. Read cinnamon and diatomaceous earth around the concrete blocks, is that enough? Also TICKS, I hate those little B******s, I had 4 on my shoes and one on my hip. Wasn't a deer tick and I know about Lyme disease. They love the area where the hive is at, any help with that?
     
  20. extrasharp

    extrasharp New Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0