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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder how many people cause disruption in their hives for no reason than by digging around for the queen too often. I know she must be checked for a myriad of reasons at intervals, but do some take it too far? I think the less time you have that hive open, the better. To a certain extent, I let nature take it's course, and reap the good with the bad. I'm not lazy, but I feel it would not be fun as a hobby anymore if I tried to micromanage every single egg.
LtlWilli
 

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Re: Looking for Queens

I have hives I havent been into the brood nest for 3 years I watch what is going on at there front door if I see a problem then I go looking for a cause. But a 1st year keep i believe should get into the hive as much as they wish that is the best way to learn is by doing
 

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my attitude about such stuff is about the same as riverrats. when you are new bee keeper and you have a lot to learn get in there and muck about a bit. later you do become aware of stuff with very little external data and the necessity of stirring the girls up is not so critical.

ps... there are time when you definitely do want to limit you examination of a hive. winter being one obvious time and if you wish to maximize you honey crop the prime nectar season is another time you would plan to limit any intrusions into the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used to open and look over hives just for the fun of it. Thanks for the responses, guys. I really thought too much opening would cause a disruption...It just seems that half the posts contain "Can't find the Queen", or something similar. You make good points---beginners HAVE to bee there to see what they are hearing about. Curiosity can be a bad thing sometimes ,though.
LtlWilli
 

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I'm probably still guilty of doing this (queen hunting) too much, but I just like going through them. :mrgreen:
How do you know if there are swarm preparations going on if you don't have a peek now and then? Do you all consider it ok to crack the top box and tilt it back looking for swarm cells or is that considered too invasive? How can you tell by not going in that the brood chamber is becoming honey-bound?
(20 hives and I still have lots of questions, and plenty to learn.) :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course I'mm not advocating complete close down---Just a look when it seems evidenced that there is something wrong---Not for sight seeing.
 

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My rule is "go into a hive when you have a definitive reason to do so. Go as deep as your reason requires. Get out".
You need to know the condition of the hive at all times, but don't linger when there's no reason to do so.
 

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Having several hives enables new BKs to be able to inspect more often without disturbing one particular hive as often. Rather than inspect them all every time, you can alternate and give them more of a break in between opening them, while still being able to see and learn. :)
 

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Omie said:
Having several hives enables new BKs to be able to inspect more often without disturbing one particular hive as often. Rather than inspect them all every time, you can alternate and give them more of a break in between opening them, while still being able to see and learn. :)
good point omie wish i had that answer for the wife when I went from 6 to 40 hives :D
 

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a Perrybee snip..
How do you know if there are swarm preparations going on if you don't have a peek now and then? Do you all consider it ok to crack the top box and tilt it back looking for swarm cells or is that considered too invasive?

tecumseh:
much can be known without taking apart a hive frame by frame. on many occasions a hive construct cups and cells along the bottom bars at the top of the brood nest. by doing exactly what you describe and looking upward at the bottom bars you can get a pretty good idea of the possibilities of swarming while minimizing the intrusion. Actually I do a lot of 'inspection' (and not just for swarming) in just this manner.

for myself what needs to be known is very seasonally defined and sometimes more about resources than anything else and thereby queen, bees and brood are secondary concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You always make such good points, tecumseh, and I cannot help but to see your points. I'm all for regular viewing ,but some sound like they rummage thru every day...All this for a glimpse of a queen.
I'm all for maintainance, but against sight -seeing tours....Ha Ha
LtlWilli
 

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was always told it takes 3 days for a hive to get back to normal everytime you get into it. not sure if thats the case just always heard that
 

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I'm a first time beek so I know i will be in them too much.I've had them 3 weeks and i have been in twice. Saw the queen in onehive the first check, still haven't seen the second.
 

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Buzzen said:
I'm a first time beek so I know i will be in them too much.I've had them 3 weeks and i have been in twice. Saw the queen in onehive the first check, still haven't seen the second.
Your doing alright. I think you are in the ballpark for a new keep. I know some keeps that have been at it for years. Go through there hive more often than you are. :thumbsup:
 

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what 'an intrusion' cost is also likely a matter of the season. at some times of the years since not much is going on anyway their is very little lost (ie the repair bill is really quite minor). at the peak of the flow is another matter since any disruption means less nectar is brought in and a colonies total honey production is reduced. the old bee keepers would insist that the only thing you did during the peak of the nectar season would be to add more supers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's another thing I did not consider...Thanks, tecumseh...That makes really good sense. A new perspective indeed.
LtlWilli
 

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I've given up on queen-looking. In 5+ years, I think I've seen the queen 2 or 3 times, and that was by dumb luck. I look for brood and larvae and have to be satisfied with that.
 

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My first year I had 2 hives and I went into them once a week. I did learn a lot doing that, but I also learned to stay out! They know what they are doing better than I do - I finally figured that out! Now as the other guys say you can judge pretty much what's going on with your hive just by observing the comings and goings of the bees. You will be able to tell if all is well with the world.
 

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"Curiousity killed the Queen" - well, at least this happened in my case. I love working my bees and I love learning. I split my hive back at the end of Apr/beginning of May I think - and I had yet to see the Queen my hive had "raised." I went through the entire hive and lucky lucky me, I found her! But.....I got greedy and wanted to take a picture of her.....put the frame holding her on the frame rest and SHE FLEW OFF!!!! I was not expecting that in the least! I'd never had a queen fly off before. She flew off and landed on a nearby chair - then dropped to the ground. I thought maybe she had moved into one of my supers that I had off the hive as I was inspecting it :beg: , but I went back again about a week later - and no eggs! UGH!!!!! I had been sweating whether or not she flew back in or found her way back - as I had seen no sign of her around the hive entrances, etc. So after finally succumbing to my worry (turned out to be a good thing I couldn't stay patient any longer) I investigated and found no eggs. :eek: I took a frame of eggs from my Dad's hive and then looked yesterday and I had a queen cell. Today I went looking back through the hive to see if I had a large drone population to mate with my new queen when she emerged from her queen cell.......AND BY ACCIDENT spotted Queen #2!!!! You can't even imagine my surprise. I figured they immediately knew when my Queen left that day and "started" a new Queen asap. It looks like she just hatched out because she was really "clumsy" and still had the "downy" type "fuzz" like newly emerged bees have. I'm still very worried about not having enough drones (can anyone tell me what happens in that case?) - but as soon as I saw the queen - I got out of there FAST! So.....I'm learning a ton and becoming more and more confident, but curiousity definitely bit me in the rear!!!
 
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