Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How To Perform A Complete Hive Inspection

DavidSheri Hello from www.honeybeesonline.com (Long Lane Honey Bee Farms). We are David and Sheri Burns and we are located in central Illinois. We’ve been a beekeeping business for a decade with online lessons, YouTube video, beekeeping blogs an podcasts. We also offer onsite beekeeping classes. All of these resources are available to beekeepers around the country and through our efforts we have introduced and trained thousands of new beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

In addition to our online store, we have a small store at our location and this time of the year people are pouring in buying equipment like extra honey supers and hives to hive swarms.

We are trying to stay ahead on building honey supers because we know when you need them, you need them yesterday. And with the rain, most of us only have a small window of good weather to place them on our hive. If you even think your hive may need more supers, order early!

youtube1 Everywhere I go someone will tell me they have watched my videos or listened to our podcasts and they feel like I’m an old friend. Our beekeeping YouTube channel has received over 1.2 MILLION views and has attracted production companies who make reality shows, commercials and more. But I just keep making videos that can help people enjoy beekeeping. If you haven’t enjoyed our YouTube channel you can check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/longlanehoney

I’m making a new video showing beekeepers how to properly inspect a hive, find the queen and more. I’ll be posting it in a couple of days.

Of everything we do with bees, what we enjoy the most is interacting with our students who come from around the US to take our beekeeping classes. I’m getting ready for my second beekeeping institute of the year starting Friday and runs through Sunday. You have to register very early in the year to get a seat. We will be posting our 2016 dates soon. However, we just received a cancellation due to an unexpected health issue. So if you want that seat, call Sheri. It is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 3pm each day. 217-427-2678. Sheri is in the office today between 1pm-3pm central time. Many of you wanted me to offer a 3rd Institute, but I just couldn’t work it into the schedule this year. We may offer three in 2016.

COME SPEND TIME IN THE BEE YARD

 july17Two new awesome classes I’ve added are, “A Day In The Bee Yard”. I will show you, in the field, a variety of ways to work bees andJuly19  manage colonies. Imagine spending 4 hours in hives with a certified master beekeeper teaching you how to split hives, prevent swarms, find queens, manipulate frames, mark queens, how to use a cloake board, feeders, patties, mite tests, and much more.

We only have 2 spots left on Friday, July 17, 2015 9am-1pm so we’ve added another class on Sunday July 19th, 2pm-6pm. Now that you’ve been in your hive and you’ve seen things that you cannot identify or figure out, why not come and let me walk you through some answers to help you feel more confident in working your hive. We’ll have fun together. Each photo above is a link to that particular day, so click on the image for more info. If you cannot get off work on Friday, come spend Sunday afternoon and let me teach you a thing or two. Or register by going to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/beekeeping-classes/

In this lesson, I want to walk you through a proper inspection of a hive. But before I do, let me WARN you that as we enter the month of July, nectar flow will start to slow down and as we enter late summer and fall, your bees will get hungry and not have very much incoming food. Many beekeepers reported this to be the case last year and there were many hives that went into winter very low on winter stores. DON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE. A colony of honey bees consumes the same amount of protein and carbohydrates as a medium size dog. So do not assume bugs don’t need food. Especially 40,000+. They do. We have two feeding system we’d like to offer that are big sellers already:

BBFS Burns Bees Feeding System – This is an awesome way to feed bees in late summer and fall. Remember, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in the latter part of the year. We created is feeder to accommodate 2 jars of sugar water and one space for sugar or pollen patties. No more smashing bees between boxes with your patties. And what’s cool is, that when you lift up the jars, there is a protective screen to hold the bees down so you can add more pollen or sugar water and not have bees boiling out of the holes. Since the video below we have modified this system to have a smaller rectangle hole for the patties and only two holes for jars as shown in the photo. But the video demonstrates how to use them. Get these ordered so you have them before the nectar flow ends.

Ultimate Feeder The Ultimate Hive Feeder works the same way and we sell a lot of these. It fits on the frames of the upper brood box.  Place a medium super box around it and the top cover on and look how the bees feed. You may want to place this above your inner cover, then place an empty super box around it and top cover on the box. This way bees will not build wax in the open space around it. Just be sure not to block the oval shape hole on the inner cover so that the bees can gain access to it.. We are proud to carry this product, so click on the image for more info or go to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/ultimate-hive-feeder-by-beesmart-designs/

Here in Illinois I have had ten and a half inches of rain in the month of June. That means my bees have missed a lot of flying time to harvest nectar. This is true for a large part of the US. With more rain in the forecast, bees might get behind on winter storage so keep an eye out on feeding your bees August through November.

Now before our lesson today, let me encourage you to watch our facebook page. We usually post important information daily of practical beekeeping tips, photos, news reports and more.

How To Perform A Complete Hive Inspection

1. Inspect The Outside

Rainbowhive As you walk up to the hive, look for anything unusual such as skunk scratches on the ground in front of the hive or on the front of the hive. Look for any broken pieces on the hive that may need repaired. Make sure your stand is solid. For example, if you are using pallets, make sure they are not deteriorating. If you are using concrete blocks, make sure they are not broken and that the hive is still level and solid.

2. Smoke The Entrance And Under The Top Cover

Smoke the guard bees a few times at the entrance then smoke under the top cover2 or 3 times to help calm the bees.

3. Remove Top Cover And Smoke Under The Inner Cover

I like to set my top cover upside down so that I can place my boxes on it as I inspect. As soon as you remove the top cover be looking to smash any fast moving small hive beetles. Smash them with your hive tool.

Institute4 4. Smoke lightly over the top of frames in top box.

You really don’t need a lot of smoke, just enough to calm the bees, so usually three or four gentle puffs that floats over the top of the frames is sufficient.

5. Inspect each frame looking for the queen as you go.

Keep a record of what you see on each frame. Eggs, larvae, sealed brood, nectar, honey etc.  Make sure you keep a close eye on the queen. When I see my queen, I will remove that frame Nuc1and place it in a nuc box for safe keeping during the inspection. I place the entire frame, queen and all the bees in the nuc box and place the top cover on. Now I can inspect without worrying about killing the queen accidently. Once I’ve inspect all frames, then I place them back in the box and remove the entire box and place it on the lid.

6. Inspect the next box repeating step 5.

7. Inspect next box and repeat based on how many boxes you may have.

What  you are looking for is:

1. Healthy and abundant brood

2. Evidence of a healthy queen

3. Sufficient nectar/honey and pollen

A beekeeper called me today who has two hives, one is doing great and one is low in population. I told him to inspect the hive that is low in numbers to see if there are several frames of sealed brood. If so, just be patient because these bees will emerge soon and increase population. If no sealed brood is found, then replace the queen immediately because without sealed brood, the hive will go even longer without adequate population. Now if it is full of eggs and young large everywhere, then certainly there is no need to replace a good laying queen. If that’s the case, pull a few frames of capped brood from the strong hive so this weak hive can have immediate population growth within a few days rather than waiting 24 days for the eggs to finally produce adult bees. These are the kinds of things you are evaluating as you inspect your hives.

Thanks for joining us today!
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
www.honeybeesonline.com
217-427-2678

1 comment:

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