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Conflicting Info


#1

I have a very strong desire to succeed in beekeeping but find it frustrating to no end with the fact that every single subject seems to offer different views and advice on how to do things. The one that concerns me most at the moment is hive inspection for swarm control. I have even read opinions that stated never enter your hive and if they swarm don’t worry about it and this opinion was followed by many that agreed with it. It makes you just want to quit but I’m not going to and right now I plan to inspect the best I can every 7 days or so.


#2

The trouble is there are many ways to keep bees.
How often you go into the brood box depends on the season and the state of your bees.
During the swarming season here in the UK I look into my boxes every 7 days. The reason for that is once bees make swarm queen cells and cap them the bees usually swarm. By the time they have got that far the only thing that usually stops them is the weather.
Eggs hatch into larvae at 3 days and if they are destined to be queens are capped at 8.5/9 days. You can spot queen cells at 2 days so you can see that 7 day inspections should enable you to practice some sort of swarm control to prevent you losing half your bees.
One of the attractions of the Flow, I’m sure, is Cedar talking about just having to look into the brood box twice a year. A godsend for somebody who thinks beekeeping is that simple. How he gets away with it I haven’t a clue. Perhaps I misunderstood.
Don’t get disheartened. Take a lead from your fellow association beekeepers. See what they do. Try to get a personal mentor. You’ll find your own method to suit once you have a little experience.The flow is just a method of extraction.


#3

Welcome to beekeeping. Ask a question of 10 beekeepers and you will get 15 different answers. A lot of it comes down to personal goals. Some people keep bees to keep bees, some people keep bees to get honey, some people consider themselves a partner with the bees, some people exercise dominion over the bees. What ever your personal approach is will dictate your approach to beekeeping. Bees are very resilient despite all the news about the bees dying, they can adapt around individual practices. Beekeepers can be successful using techniques that others find to be “terrible”, or “incorrect”. And because they are successful they attribute it to their technique and not to the bees surviving anyway. So really you have to decide for yourself what kind of beekeeper you want to be, and why you want to keep them and then start to tailor your practices towards other beekeepers using similar techniques and philosophies.


#4

I look into my brood nest when I have to. That is during swarm season and intermitently at other times. If I see evidence of the queen and the laying pattern is good then I leave it alone and just make sure there is room for them to expand into. As for letting swarms just go, its the best way to get a new hive as the bees are set up to build BUT you have to be there to catch them and they upset the neighbours in urban settings. Another thing about letting them swarm is it sounds all warm and fuzzy but most swarms don’t find a place to hive and die in the wild.

In answer to your question, you have to inspect enough to know what is going on in your hives but not be too intrusive. Its down to personal preference and local conditions.

Cheers
Rob.


#5

Hi Chet, the best advice I can give is: study up on bee culture. Learn about what bees do in the wild & try to apply that knowledge to your beekeeping based on the climate you keep your bees in.

Get into bees, absolutely. Study them, do inspections, even if it sets your bees back a few days every time you do one. Learn to read the brood. Make mistakes, learn by them.

Find a couple of experienced mentors, especially if they are successful with their own bees.

Sometimes you can simply read TOO MUCH on online forums.


#6

I have found that the correct answers lie in my own bee yard and under the inner cover of my hives.


#7

Don’t quit mate! Just don’t spend so much time on the forum and youtube… Reading is great and you can learn a lot, but probably best to buy a decent bee keeping manual/book. Also, go into your hive often so you get to know it and become comfortable working with bees. It’s great fun and quite the experience to develop these skills, but it won’t happen over night…


#8

I think bee keeping is like raising children…everyone wants to do it the ‘right’ way but which definitive experts guide should you use…all of them! :confused: I agree with @Sting don’t give up on them just get amongst it and enjoy the experiences and challenges. :grin:


#9

I’m just glad people are sharing here. Used to be when you asked a questions the standard answer was “Join a local bee club and ask them.” Good advice but not helpful when they only meet once a month and while you are at work. :slight_smile:


#10

…but find it frustrating to no end with the fact that every single subject seems to offer different views and advice on how to do things.

If there are a lot of very distinct opinions on a subject then it usually doesn’t matter which one you pick other than your own philosophy and goals.

The one that concerns me most at the moment is hive inspection for swarm control. I have even read opinions that stated never enter your hive and if they swarm don’t worry about it and this opinion was followed by many that agreed with it.

If you want to make any honey, you need to control swarming. But most of swarm control is only in a span of a month or so. The rest is just giving them enough room by adding supers.

It makes you just want to quit but I’m not going to and right now I plan to inspect the best I can every 7 days or so.

As a beginner you probably need to do this to learn. As an experienced beekeeping you will get so you don’t need to be in the hive so much.


#11

What I found useful is to find a beekeeping philosophy that appeals to you

  • do you want to stick with what commercial beekeepers do?
  • are you comfortable using chemicals?
  • does natural beekeeping sound more up your ally?

find one that you most agree with and that fits your life and then start out following most of that and use the information from that section of beekeepers to be your first guide.

You should keep an open mind as I don’t think there is just one way to skin this cat :slight_smile: I find that a more natural approach is what interests me the most and I will try and go into that direction as much as possible but that doesn’t mean I will disregard all other options.


#12

The mentoring is excellent advice. I am concerned that Flow sometimes makes beekeeping seem too simple - it is not. But it’s not a Mars mission either. The Complete Idiots Guide to Beekeeping and a local mentor will be most helpful. Best wishes.


#13

Welcome to beekeeping.

In a room of 10 beekeepers, you will have 11 different opinions.

What you will likely come to find is that you form your own opinions over time based on what works best for you (you’re on your own journey). Beekeeping clubs struggle with this problem because members become opinionated quickly and decide there is only one ‘right way’, when the reality is that different things work for different people. The widespread adoption of global Internet forums has really exacerbated the issue of conflicting opinions because you are now getting information from locations all round the world with wildly different beekeeping conditions (and environments). The key is to take it all in, and act on what seems practical for your hives/location… and accept there is some value in the local knowledge from other beekeepers in your area that you can’t get online.


#14

The mentoring is excellent advice. I am concerned that Flow sometimes makes beekeeping seem too simple - it is not. But it’s not a Mars mission either. The Complete Idiots Guide to Beekeeping and a local mentor will be most helpful. Best wishes.