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Inspections - Best Time of Day?


I had been assuming mornings were best.
Coolest part of day. Calm bees.

Now I read middle of day is best. Good portion of bees out of the hive foraging.
Then I read that the bees are really anxious at night (and on into early morning?) if disturbed then.

What to do?


So far I’ve been doing it in the morning between 8 and 11am. Most of depends on when the wind is suppose to pick up as I want to try and avoid inspections during the windy (20mph or so, lots of sand and dirt) part of the day. Might not be right, but so far they have been OK with me doing it at these times.


I’m sure everybody has a time they think is better than others but when I do an inspection it takes me a good 3/4 of a day to get it all done. I do agree though that if more bees are out foraging you might not have to deal with many but that isn’t always true either. For me when it’s time to do an inspection and as long as I can get into my yards I’ll go. I don’t worry to much about weather other than a heavy downpour or hail, then I won’t open up boxes.


I inspect my bees when it’s most comfortable for me. Early morning or late afternoon when I don’t have the sun cooking me in my bee suit. On one site I get early morning sun & shade after 2.00pm, I always go there in the afternoons. If it’s a quick visit, I go there in the mornings.


I try to time mine to when it will be less intrusive to the bees, so I usually do it mid-afternoon. Yes, it is certainly less comfortable for me, but I seem to disturb them less and I have to deal with fewer bees on the frames.


In my limited experience the highest number of bees leave the hive when the day is 70-80 degrees for me that is usually around 7-8:30am except in summer when we wish it would get that low even at midnight… I would say 90% of the time I inspect it’s around 85-95 degrees out, and usually around 9-10am


Inspections are best done when the bees are happy. The more they are flying the happier they are… but that’s from the point of view of the bees happiness. From the point of view of the heat, it’s better to inspect when it’s 80 or 90 out than when it’s 100. And that’s from the point of view of overheating the combs… but from the point of view of overheating the beekeeper, 70 or 80 would be nicer…


That makes me think 80 and hopefully a lot of bees is perfect. Otherwise 80 still seems like a magic number looking at all of those temp options (and considering how quickly days can from 90 to 100 while inspecting in some places).


Personally (Even though I’ve only done the 1st week and 2nd week inspections) I do it late afternoon. The wife isn’t here until then and she wants to see…that and I can’t run that Canon Rebel camera while I’m in the hive. Since we don’t belong to anything like youtube, I don’t really do videos except for us or friends…so I can have her take stills of what we might want.


I bought myself one of those ventilated suits. I tell you JeffH, it’s the best and worth the money if your going to be in your suit for the better part of a day.


Hi Tony, yeah, I’ve got one.