Today's hive inspection...a little traumatic

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by hlhart2001, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    I went in to check the second hive body. I pulled out 1st frame to make room to move the others...the outside frames are not drawn out but I would say the 4-5 middle ones are...I went to one of the middle frames and pulled it out...there was a clump of wax beneath it on frame beneath from 1st hive body(with brood). When I pulled the frame above it brood spilled out(poor baby bees:cry:)because they were attached. I scraped off the bottom(of the 2nd hive body frame best I could, but did not take everything apart to get to that clump on the first hive body frame(I felt I had traumatized them enough). Did I see the queen...no, but I know she's there. I just hope I didn't hurt her. What will they do with the exposed baby bees?..."recycle them"? Some literally fell out of the torn wax onto the top of the exposed frames...ugh. Also I know that my spacing was off because there was some sticking between the frames in the 2nd hive body. Thanks, Halley
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They were just drone larva. They put them in burr comb whenever possible. No big deal. They will just replace them.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Every time we go into hives there will be some disturbance, that is just a part of beekeeping. Often when stacking boxes or putting on inner or outer covers, no matter how careful we are there are some bees that get "crunched". Brood (particulerily drone like Iddee said) is often built in places where bee space may be just a little off, particularily between boxes. Because this is usually drone brood (and varroa like to reproduce in drone cells 85% of the time) it presents an opportunity to do mite checks.
    When I go into my hives I usually remove the top box before I do anything else. I like to examine and remove this burr/bridge comb so that when I replace the top box there is less chance of squishing the queen in the mess.
    I realize no one likes to accidently destroy bees but given that it is usually in our efforts to try to maximize favourable conditions for the colony, (something the bees themselves selflessly do all the time) I feel it is a "fair trade".
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    I scraped off the bottom(of the 2nd hive body frame best I could, but did not take everything apart to get to that clump on the first hive body frame(I felt I had traumatized them enough).

    tecumseh:
    during the regular season I commonly scrape this myself primarily because it limit the effort and mess and the mashing of bees the next time I might need to separate the boxes. during the fall and winter time this comb can also act as a bridge from one layer of boxes to the next, so I tend to leave it alone at these time when the bees might need every advantage to move from one box to the next.
     
  5. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    You are making this new beek feel better all ready. So perhaps the next time I go in I'll just pull the 2nd hive body off and see what's going on first. I am so afraid of squishing the queen who obviously has been very busy that I just resist this. I think my big challenge is getting the spacing between the frames correct(so I guess I'll order those spacers). In looking at the larva I didn't see any mites but this is a new package of bees installed beginning of May so I don't think there would be much yet??? Right?. I really want to see the queen...I thought I might of seen her(she appeared a little bit bigger but then I just couldn't be sure). Just hope I didn't hurt her. Maybe next time. Thanks for your comments. Halley
     
  6. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Halley,

    I did the same thing the first time I tried to rotate by boxes. I wasn't prepared to see bee larvae when i separated the boxes so i put them back in place as they were and came and posted a question about it with pictures on this forum. Got the same answer as you and then I was good to go the next time. Good luck.

    here's the link with a few pictures of when i did the same thing. Photos start about post #12

    http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/5705-Swapping-places-with-the-two-brood-chambers
     
  7. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I too am always afraid of accidentally killing the queen when I scrape out burr comb. This year I have left it place. I have disturbed/torn up some brood comb when doing a hive inspection too. I really am concerned when they build brood comb in the underside of a top feeder. The first year I experienced brood comb in the underside of the top feeder, I was scraping away, brushing off the nurse bees. When I squashed a couple of the bees, I realized in horror that one of them could have been the queen.
     
  8. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Thanks for sharing...that is what it looked like. I didn't see any mites on the larva, but I didn't get all of the bridge comb out on the top of the 1st hive body. I was so worried about the queen and these babies(now that I know their drones , not so worried) that I put the frames back as fast as I could. Perhaps next time I'll pull off the 2nd hive body and get it.
     
  9. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Ugh...I am hoping our Queenie is doing okay(at least you knew right away as horrible as it was..I fear I won't discover it until the next time I go in...a week or so)....I always say if they can survive me and all my fumbling around then they will be one helluva beehive!
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I posted somewhere a while back the method I use when going into a hive and it may be worthwhile to repeat it.
    It may help some who chose to use it, it is the way I have found works best for me.

    1 - approach hive standing off to one side.
    2 - puff a small amount of smoke in front entrance and wait approximately a minute (smoke can be optional if you know your bees)
    3 - remove outer cover and set it upside down, next to or behind your hive.
    4 - (here is where I depart from the norm)
    without removing inner cover, separate and lift top deep and set it slightly askew on the upside down outer cover so anything (comb, queen cells, bees) don't get crushed by placing it on a flat surface.
    5 - next, begin by removing all burr comb on the top bars of the bottom box and then begin examining the box, removing the first frame to create room and going frame by frame after that.
    6 - Once done the bottom box, I remove the inner cover from the top box and place it on top of the bottom box.
    7 - I then go through the top box frame by frame, same as I did the bottom box, removing any burr comb along the bottom bars of the frames as I go.
    8 - Upon completion of the top box, I simply return the inner cover to it and place the box on top of the bottom one and replace the outer cover.

    I have found this works best for me for a couple of reasons. When I needed to find a queen, if I just started looking through the top box first, I found more often than not I was "chasing" her around the hive, driving her down, only to have her pop back up on a previously examined frame just before I moved on to the next box.
    Secondly, with all the burr comb removed there was very little chance of accidentaly crushing either the queen or numerous bees in the mess between the boxes. Yes, it does create a bit more work for the bees to possibly replace this "ladder" but the added benefit of a quick mite check when removing the burr comb outweighs it in my mind.
    I have also found that by keeping the inner cover on top of the box I am not examining seems to keep those bees calm. No sense having both boxes wide open when only examining one of them.

    All of this can be used, adapted, etc. to what works best for the individual.
    We are all a little "different" anyways! :lol:
     
  11. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    This sounds logical and organized...Do you do this every 10 days or so?
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Perry said it in #5, but some of you might not have understood what he was saying. Forgive me if I repeat, with a bit of elaboration:
    The queen likes to stay where there is brood, or space for laying. This means that she is rarely on the frames next to the hive walls (#1 or #10). Therefore, in order to best examine the brood box safely, it's best to start from either side, whichever is easier or more convenient for you. Using your hive tool, give it a twist, between #1 and #2 (or #9 and # 10) near both ends, thus squeezing all the frames tightly together, but enlarging the space available for the first (or last) frame. This gives you more room to easily lift the wall frame from the brood box. With one frame missing,twisting the hive tool between frames #2 & #3 pushes them apart and makes it easy to lift out frame #2 without rolling/squashing bees. The first two or three frames examined should be put aside and not returned to the hive yet. Continue examining the frames one by one, carefully replacing them in the hive and then slowly pushing them together to make room for the next. After all frames (or enough to suit you) have been examined, using your hands or your hive tool, push them to the wall and make room in the original spot to replace the first frames removed. Before leaving the brood box for the next box to be examined, make sure that the frames are evenly spaced in the box.
    See how Perry packed all that verbiage into one short statement: ..."begin examining the box, removing the first frame to create room and going frame by frame after that." :wink:
     
  13. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I went back and reviewed the thread I did about my first real inspection.

    http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/5853-First-real-inspection

    I saw what I thought was "white worms" between a lower frame and a second frame (drone larvae). My two levels were so connected, we had to just lay the whole hive on it's side on the ground and take it apart that way.

    [​IMG]

    Some great advice:

    So far I've learned something every time I've been into the hive. I'm sure you'll have the same great experience. :)
     
  14. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    I see your concerns and everyones' on removing and replacing frames. The worst feeling I get is when replacing the frames back, some of them feel that they are going back in place too tight, then I wonder if I did put them back in the right position like they where before I got them out.

    After thinking about the problem I came out with marking the top bar of the frames with a red permant marker at one corner so as to be sure that they get back the way they were. This is still not done but will be by the next visit.
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You can make room for them by inserting the frame half way (where the sides are narrow and fit in easily) and then push the frame awayfrom you and then toward you. This easily compacts the other frames and makes room available for the last frame to slip in easily.
    Marking a frame for a certain position may sound wise, but you'll find, as time goes on, that you'll want to switch the frames' positions or even their direction (turning them around) for assorted hive manipulations (such as encouraging building and expanding the brood nest).
     
  16. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Hmmmm, good thinking.................thanks tech:thumbsup: