Inspection Video after a split

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this video was done by Marcus Griffin , heres his post and inspection video
So I went into the two hives I split three weeks or so ago. Some of you might remember my bellyaching about it. Some said show the video I shot.

The following link is a thirteen minute video of my inspection I conducted yesterday. Keep in mind that I'm a new bee at this and while I'm embarassed in a way to show my inspection skills (or lack thereof), perhaps the video will be instructive in the sense of our experts replying with comments as to what I should have done.

The video is a quicktime movie (.mov) at 12 frames per second and is 40mb in size. There's music at the start. Try to ignore it.

Try not to laugh too hard or suggest my bees should be put into protective custody.
that's the original quicktime file
here is the video converted to a .wmv


ian michael davison:
Hi all
TWT: I went in to the site to watch your video but got side tracked by the girls gone wild gone wrong. What did you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wink:  :lol:

Regards Ian

Hi Ted,

Watched your video (the second link).  Do you mind if I make a couple of comments?  

I couldn't get the volume up (on my end) until about half-way thru, so I went back and rewatched it from the beginning with sound.  

You asked about keeping the smoker lit.  The perennial 'keeper' question.  I don't have a good answer for that, except two things.  After playing around with various 'smoker fuel' for a couple of years, one that I've found to be reliable and long-lasting is a tightly rolled piece of cardboard.  I cut about a 4- 5" wide by maybe 10-12" long (depends on the weight, ie. thickness of the cardboard).  I roll it as tightly as I can and make sure it fits inside the smoker with a little room on the sides.  I tie it with bailing twine.  Use regular household string or even yarn or thread if you don't have it.  If I get a spare box from something in the mail, I'll go ahead and cut it down and if I have the time, just roll a bunch of them up for future use.  I probably have 8 or 10 sitting with my 'bee-stuff' just waiting for use.  Now, once that gets going good, it lasts quite a long time and it gives good cool smoke.  The trick is to get it really going well before you open the hives.  Could take 10 mins. or so - don't rush it.  The first thing I do is lite my smoker - even before I get my suit on.

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Bush at his farm this spring.  He showed me how he keeps his smoker lit..... with a blow torch!  (LIGHTBULB!!!!  :shock: )  Why didn't I think of that?!?!  What was the first piece of bee equipment I bought this spring?  A blow torch.  They sell them at most hardware stores for about $20-25.  Mine has an electronic ignition, just pull the trigger and instant flame.  If my cardboard happens to go out, I just torch it.

I did notice in your video Ted that you had very little smoke going.  Your smoker should be billowing.  Also, when I first open the hive, I give the entrance a couple of puffs (remember - really billowing) and I crack open the innercover, give the top a couple of puffs and then leave the inner cover on.  Maybe 2-3 mins.  Let the bees get the message.  If you need to smoke them during an inspection, just a puff or two - ususally just to move them down or away from the frame or frames you're working.

OK, now as to working the frames.  When I hold my frames, I try to keep them vertical (like in the boxes) as much as possible.  If you continue to hold them horizontally as you were in the video , you'll run the risk of uncapped, green honey running out of the cells.  It's also more disruptive for the bees to be held completely contrary to the way they've been hanging.  As for that end frame - the foundation should be secured by you (not the bees) better.  Next visit - bring some wire and an extra box).  I would take the frame out, shake (carefully so the foundation doesn't fall off all together) the bees off, brush the rest off, and set that frame in it's own box.  Go ahead and work the rest of the box and then come back to that frame.  Most of the bees should be off it by then.  Use the wire in maybe 4" lengths to pierce the bottom of the wax foundation and tie it around the bottom of the frame - snip the excess and bend back the ends so as not to leave the sharp exposed.  Try to keep the wire as close to the wood frame as possible.  Maybe do the same on the sides.  That frame isn't overly heavy yet, but as the season goes on, the bees will be filling it with honey (it's an end frame) and it will weight ALOT.  You want that to be as sturdy a frame as possible.

OK, as for 'finding the queen'.  You're assumption of having one was probably correct.  Since this was over a month ago now, you definitely know if you have one or not.  Next time you really want to look for the queen bring an empty box out with you.  As you check a frame, move it to the empty box so that eventually all your frames are moved into ithe new box, then just move the old box off the stack and your bees with a new box back onto the stack.  You probably know this, but more than likely your queen was somewhere in the middle 4-5 frames.

As for the hive tool use.  Moving your frames toward the back of the box is fine.  If you don't have to tilt the frame to get it out of the box, try not to.  Every time you tilt it up on one end, the bottom of the frame on that side is being pushed against the side of the box and you're most likely squishing bees.  :cry:

I wasn't sure what your top box (was that a medium?) was for, brood or honey.  But it looked like you still had a feeder on when you removed the cover (? not sure) but if it was a feeder, you shouldn't be having a super on at the same time - that's not nectar the bees are storing then, it's your sugar syrup.  

As you closed up the hive, it looks as though you put the inner cover back on and then the outer cover -without the feeder.  You didn't have any screen over the hole in the inner cover - all those bees will work their way into the outer cover.  It happens.  I run DE hives, so I have a vent box over my inner cover.  I opened the hive once and found a BUNCH of bees, lo and behold, I had left the screen off the opening and they helped themselves to the inner cover - started some beautiful comb!

Sheeesh!  Didn't mean to be so long winded.  You're doing fine, hope your enjoying the girls!


sherry, that isn't my video, it was just one that was send to me and I thought it could give someone who hasn't started beekeeping yet something to look at...

I found the video helpful. But I found Sherry's post, to be MOST informative. Thanks for posting all the info you did. I am brand new to bees. I have a hive, just got it and the bees 2 days ago. I am fortunate that I have a "mentor" that's experienced that is coming back in 10 days to make the inspection. They laid their own new queen. I am excited to be doing this ! I am a SPONGE, just soaking up all the info !  Thanks for sharing !



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