Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Inspections, the good ol? days.  (Read 424 times)

Offline Skeggley

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Inspections, the good ol? days.
« on: October 04, 2019, 08:03:39 pm »
Hi guys, just a question for the beekeepers who kept bees back in the good old days pre varroa and SHB. Without these pests how often were the brood inspections? I?d imagine much less frequent, possibly never.
Thanks.

Offline Ben Framed

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
  • North Mississippi
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 10:17:59 pm »
Hi guys, just a question for the beekeepers who kept bees back in the good old days pre varroa and SHB. Without these pests how often were the brood inspections? I?d imagine much less frequent, possibly never.
Thanks.

Since no one from the good ole days has answered, I will say that I would like to have known the pleasure of keeping bees without these pest.  Shame that we have to deal with these now. I look forward to the day that a REAL solution will be achieved, especially for the SHB. I have heard of a product now available here in the America. I look forward to hearing keepers that I know report on this device. I have yet to use it but look forward to doing so next season. Its called the guardian. Heard of it?
Phillip

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 10711
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 07:48:31 am »
Skeggley,
My father and my father in law kept bees back in the 80s and 90s.
Wh n I started in 2010, per the books I was reading I was inspecting the bees every week.  When my father came to visit, I went out to do an inspection and it was my fourth one. He jumped all over me. Said I was causing problems doing them. When he kept them, he installed the bees and then removed the honey. He only inspected when he saw something that did not look right.
My father in law told me when I started that he used to average-20 pounds of honey. He kept 20 hives. He told me that with all of the new problems, that I would bee lucky to average 60 pounds per hive. He was right.
Jim Altmiller

Online The15thMember

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 566
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 04:42:16 pm »
People who used to keep bees in gums obviously couldn't really do brood inspections ever, and they used to keep bees pretty successfully like that.  I remember reading about this in the Foxfire books.  They'd just pop open the top of the gum to get to the honeycomb without ever disturbing the brood nest. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline TheHoneyPump

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 581
  • Work Hard. Play Harder.
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 06:15:39 pm »
Regardless of the pests and diseases, the natural seasonal cycle of the honey bee colony has endured.  Meaning when they brood, when they do not, when they mass forage, when they swarm, when they slow down, when the cluster tight and go near dormant etc etc.  From the ages of old:  10 to 14 day inspection cycle in the spring to manage population size and curb swarming.  Zero inspections through the honey flow.  One, maybe two, inspection in the fall after the honey came off and just before feeding/wrapping for winter.  Perhaps 5 inspections total over the course of a year.
Now due to all the challenges, add shorter inspections of 5 to 7 days in spring, and add 1 late summer check on mite load.  No change in fall inspection frequency.  Once, maybe twice.
Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz

Online Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17362
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 09:04:25 am »
>Without these pests how often were the brood inspections?

How often I do brood inspections has more to do with my current goals.  When queen rearing they are often.  In outyards they tend to be two or three times a year.  That's now.  In the 70s it was about the same.  I opened the hive more often out of curiosity than management.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Ben Framed

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
  • North Mississippi
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2019, 10:32:13 pm »
>Without these pests how often were the brood inspections?

How often I do brood inspections has more to do with my current goals.  When queen rearing they are often.  In outyards they tend to be two or three times a year.  That's now.  In the 70s it was about the same.  I opened the hive more often out of curiosity than management.
Regardless of the pests and diseases, the natural seasonal cycle of the honey bee colony has endured.  Meaning when they brood, when they do not, when they mass forage, when they swarm, when they slow down, when the cluster tight and go near dormant etc etc.  From the ages of old:  10 to 14 day inspection cycle in the spring to manage population size and curb swarming.  Zero inspections through the honey flow.  One, maybe two, inspection in the fall after the honey came off and just before feeding/wrapping for winter.  Perhaps 5 inspections total over the course of a year.
Now due to all the challenges, add shorter inspections of 5 to 7 days in spring, and add 1 late summer check on mite load.  No change in fall inspection frequency.  Once, maybe twice.

Thanks men, are yall allowing for the problem of the SHB in this layout?  I am thinking HP does not have this pest. What about you Mr Bush?
Phillip

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 10711
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2019, 06:54:06 am »
I think I have killed more SHBs than most when I put oil in my oil trays. In 30 days every hive would have thousands of them dead in the oil and they would stink and I had to wash them out.
Now I just kill them when I see them but I rarely do anything else to manage them. I let the bees control them. They only wreck havoc on a weak hive that has too much space.
Jim Altmiller

Online Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17362
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 08:25:59 am »
Small hive beetles have never been much of an issue here unless the hive gets queenless and dwindles.  It would be helpful if I got into all of the outyard bees more often, but I don't have time.  Small hive beetles don't kill hives though.  They just make a mess of the ones that are dying.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Ben Framed

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
  • North Mississippi
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 09:38:02 am »
I agree that a strong well established hive does a pretty good job of keeping them intact. But to a keeper interested in late summer and fall splits, they can be a thorn in the side. It just seems to take more resources to make late summer splits in SHB territory, one had better watch these new splits very carefully, which  takes time and careful management.

Online Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17362
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 01:17:47 pm »
Certainly losses were very low back in the "golden age of beekeeping".  You put them in a box and tried to keep them from swarming...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Skeggley

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 12:23:59 am »
Thanks guys, pretty much in line with my practices, a couple of inspections springtime for swarm prevention then just entrance and weight checks then they're on their own.
Yeah pretty hard to lose a colony here but I still manage...

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 10711
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2019, 12:30:30 am »
I agree that a strong well established hive does a pretty good job of keeping them intact. But to a keeper interested in late summer and fall splits, they can be a thorn in the side. It just seems to take more resources to make late summer splits in SHB territory, one had better watch these new splits very carefully, which  takes time and careful management.
Phillip,
Bee careful with all of those inspections, As I have mentioned several times before that I have learned from my observation hive, that after the inspection, the SHBs have free run of the hive for 2 to 3 days while the bees are fixing up anything you messed up in the hive.
I have not tried opening the hive and carefully putting everything back with zero damage as you can do with a new Nuc but I suspect that it would reduce the time it takes for the bees to make repairs and get back to SHB guard duty and egg removal.
Jim Altmiller

Online Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17362
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Inspections, the good ol? days.
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 08:13:54 am »
>As I have mentioned several times before that I have learned from my observation hive, that after the inspection, the SHBs have free run of the hive for 2 to 3 days while the bees are fixing up anything you messed up in the hive.

That's why I cringe whenever someone tells me they open the hive just to kill small hive beetles.  They think they are helping the bees.  They are not.  They are just releasing all the corraled small hive beetles to run around the hive again.  Also inspections can set off robbing.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin