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  • What are your top inspection tips?

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #2503  by Patrick
 28 Mar 2019, 14:06
I know what you mean Adam! Rather similar to self-importantly deciding which queen cell you are going to keep, mark the frame etc then go through the colony again to knock off the other cells and suddenly coming across one that has opened and a virgin apparently already emerged and away whilst you were faffing about! :lol: :lol:
 #2714  by Chrisbarlow
 13 Apr 2019, 21:08
Another good tip is, when inspecting, an indicator if the bees are on a flow is before you lift frames out, if there is new white wax between the frames near the top along the length of the frame then there's something coming in
 #2729  by Sipa
 15 Apr 2019, 10:50
if you grow herbs or lavender, trim any excess to your needs and dry in the hot sun, chop and add to smoker fuel store and mix well.
Makes the smoke smell nice and has a calming effect on bees if you need to use it.

When opening a colony for any reason, only do what is necessary. Don't over fuss or faff about however tempting.
 #2730  by Chrisbarlow
 15 Apr 2019, 11:15
Another one would be when drawing out new frames, don't put them in the bottom box, put them in at least the second box up. Colonies seem to draw frames out much better when not in the bottom box
 #2732  by Sipa
 15 Apr 2019, 11:37
Learn to pickup and hold queens properly, far safer than using one of the many queen catching gadgets.
Had a customer cut a queen in half using one of those gadgets !

Practice on drones, which don't sting. Then workers that do sting which will sharpen your skills before moving onto precious queens.
 #2765  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Apr 2019, 14:43
If you're gonna learn to pick up queens then also learn to mark them. The majority of swarms I see never have marked queens. This indicates to me that people who mark queens are generally better beekeepers.
 #2766  by NigelP
 19 Apr 2019, 19:21
Million ways to "boast" about how you mark and c.lip your queens.
I take the practical way...depends on the circumstances. I don't always have everything exactly to hand :).
So picking up and trapping legs between fingers whilst searching for marking pen and scissors etc is a big no no. Also had a queen fly away whilst practising this stupid method in my book.

Usually use Crown of Thorns to keep her in placed, mark her. Release, trap on comb with fingers and clip. Sometime I get lucky and wing comes through the mesh and can be clipped.
Thornes twist and mark tubes are great, no chance of squashing queen, just need to pick up and insert into tube.
 #2771  by MickBBKA
 20 Apr 2019, 03:14
I broke the middle finger on my left hand and cut the tendons in my thumb also on my left hand many years ago, job related. I have limited movement of both and find it very hard to hold a queen as ' the books ' suggest, this is also the reason I don't do 14X12 as its hard to hold such a large frame, they would probably suit my colonies better but I have to use brood & half. So I have to trap the queen between thumb and forefinger on the comb, hold and clip. I use a crown of thorns to mark her as well as using it to stab my backside through my pocket.

My tip is, never put COT in your arse pocket ;-)
 #2782  by Chrisbarlow
 20 Apr 2019, 21:04
MickBBKA wrote:
20 Apr 2019, 03:14
My tip is, never put COT in your arse pocket ;-)
That's an excellent tip. :lol:
 #2794  by Chrisbarlow
 22 Apr 2019, 13:58
Always have a spare frame or two handy in the car at our apiaries just in case you need to weed out a busted frame or two