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How often can you open the viewing windows?


#1

Hi flow friends,
Recently installed my first flow super on top of my exiting hive which was a 8 frame super brood box and another 8 frame smaller box on top of that (medium super i think it’s called). When we added the flow super we did also use an queen be excluder between brood and the flow

My question is how often is it recommended opening of the viewing windows can be done. I fairly certain the bee’s swarmed off today and I have not much idea why as they had heaps of room still and maybe thinking i’ve been peeping into there home a little too often…

Cheers


#2

I don’t think your bees swarmed because you peeped too often. Rather than peep through the viewing window, it’s best to do brood inspections, so you can monitor the health of the brood as well as observe whether the colony (during swarm season) is preparing to swarm, or not.

Giving a colony an extra box with more room isn’t a quick swarm prevention fix. It’s best to get into the brood & open it up. Give them more work to do within the brood. That will, in most cases cause a colony to postpone the swarming urge. Note the word “postpone”.


#3

Thanks JeffH,

When we added the flow a fortnight ago we did get into the brood boxes to check them over and they where quite impressively full of brood and a little cranky i thought (both the super and medium super).

I also had wondered if possible that my bees had a fight with a swam from next door. next door has 2 hives both 4 super boxes high and last I checked 2 days ago he had bees well and truly piled up all over the boxes…

Just had a look down in the flow box and looks a lot more roomy in there now but still now work on the frames i could see. lol what can you do when they are gone.

Once again thanks Jeffh


#4

You are welcome.

No, they wouldn’t have fought with the bees next door. Next doors bees could be getting ready to swarm also. Each colony does it’s own thing irrespective of what’s going on around it.

During swarm season, while doing brood inspections, we need to look for signs that the colony is preparing to swarm. Look for queen cups that are being lengthened. Look under every extended queen cup for eggs or larvae. The presence of eggs or larvae in queen cups/cells indicates that a colony is preparing to swarm.

If we see extended queen cups with no eggs, then it’s time to open the brood up by moving some frames of brood out & replace them with fresh foundation. You can use them in the same hive or use them to bolster a weaker colony. Or you can remove them, with bees to start a new colony.


#5

Interesting Jeffh,

Cheers, will give a good going over…


#6

I peep in the windows of my observation hive just about every other day- and they have never swarmed yet. But I did do swarm prevention urgently in early spring when they looked like they were about to. I removed frames of brood and frames of honey and replaced them with fresh frames of foundation to keep the bees busy, give the queen more room, and reduce the bee numbers.
In fact- peeping in the window can help prevent swarming- if you see swarm signs and do something about it.


#7

Peeping in the window wont indicate signs of swarming. It will only indicate bee activity in the honey super. Sadly, from my observations, there is no short cut. We need to physically remove the honey super before doing a brood inspection.

Having said that, whenever I do go to that trouble, I’ll generally make room in the brood to postpone the swarm urge for a while.


#8

Looking in the viewing window seems to me to give an indication as to the numbers of bees in the hive. If there are few bees up in the Flow super when it is warm, the colony is probably not strong. The converse is true in that if there are a lot of bees packing out the Flow super, the colony is strong.


#9

thanks all so much

checked it out the other day rite through all the frames (found 4 Queen cells). loads of empty cells as they buggered off on me. hey seem to be e all happy again and all working back on the flow super.

Too be honest should have seen the signs coming as everything mentioned i noticed but figured it was a little odd but it was hot really hot and also working on the flow frame really well.

Thanks again