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Author Topic: Inspections during early evening  (Read 328 times)

Offline FloridaGardener

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Inspections during early evening
« on: June 11, 2022, 09:24:26 pm »
At 6pm the day cools and the bees are heading back to the barn to washboard happily on the porch.  For me, the temps and UV dropto a tolerable point also...down to about the temp of a brood nest - hahah. Actually the "feels-like" temp is 88-93F, but "real" temp is 80-85 at 6pm.

Most people say to work bees early in the morning as soon as the foragers leave.  My bees don't really get flying til 7:30 or 8am.
At full dawn (6:30am) it's maybe 80F, rising to 88-90F by 10am.  By 10 am it's hotter than the brood nest with the heat index and neither I nor the bees really want to inspect or be inspected.

So has anyone tried evening inspections 2 hrs before sunset, say 5-7 pm even after most foragers are back for the day?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Inspections during early evening
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2022, 03:16:27 am »
Here is what I try to do when schedule and workloads are aligned.

Early morning, before 10am:
 - hive inspections.  Mornings are better time for inspections because the bees are calm, settled, not moving around much, and they have the hive organized from their overnight labours. You are looking at the nest as they want it to be.

After 10am, midday, and afternoons: 
- throwing boxes around. Supering, harvesting, core busy work that goes on all around the apiaries. Stay out of the nests.
- repairing / preparing equipment for the upcoming work tasks, yard maintenance - grass cutting and weed whacking

Evenings, after 6pm:
 - mating nucs and small nuc colonies. Placing cells, grafting, box checks, looking for VQ`s, spotting mating sign, and eyeing for first eggs
 - Loading and hive moves between locations

I try not to do nest inspections middle of day and especially not end/eve of the day.  Here is why.  My location is prolific for incoming resources (nectar/pollen).  If I look mid or late day it is a disorganized mess in there. It is like the fridge exploded. Stuff is shoved wherever and however there was a cell-spot. I cannot get a decent sense of what their true habits are in the flurry of the day.  Give them overnight to cleanup and organize the cupboards. Also, nearing end of the day is a really bad time for inspecting, for me, because that is when the main mass of the hive bees are coming in.  They starting to work at their night duties of organizing the mess they made and moving resources through the hive. They are also moving to their night frame to settle for the night. This is when the opened hive becomes a crawly boily drippy mess of bees bubbling up and over and dripping everywhere. They are trying to go upstairs, but the upper levels are missing because that beekeeper took the hive apart. As they try to go up, the bees get pushed and shoved up over the edges of the box(es).

Mornings are by far the best, the earlier the better. In the morning the beekeeper can actually see and get an accurate read on what the real status of the hive is. The bees are settled and it is a pleasant experience for both parties. The other times of the day/eve are very transitional periods, at least in my boxes.
Sunrise is 4:15am tomorrow morning.  I like to be in the bees with a lit smoker by about 6 am.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2022, 01:22:25 pm by TheHoneyPump »
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Inspections during early evening
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2022, 02:38:24 pm »
I've done inspections at all hours of the day.  When the weather is really hot I try to start at sunrise.  Sometimes I go until just before sunset and on occasion after sunset.  I've even done it in the dark.  I don't recommend it in the dark.  Any other time is fine as long as the bees are tolerating it.  Evening is a bit harder because everyone is going back home, but early morning they are all still home...  Some hives tolerate this better than others.
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