3 Times When Not to Open a Beehive!

3 Times When Not to Open a Beehive!

Opening the beehive at the wrong time can have devastating results. You might end up umm….swelling your whole face! 

That’s why there are proper times and frequencies of opening the hives. 

So, when not to open a beehive?

Opening the hives at the right schedule is important. From late winter to spring, you can open it every 7-10 days. On the other hand, from late spring to late summer it’s different. Then you should check on the bees every 3-4 weeks. But when it’s early fall to summer, you shouldn’t open the hives. 

There are more details to the opening schedule of the beehive. I’ve detailed information about it for each season.

Doesn’t it sound interesting and crucial? If yes, then let’s just take our shot to the next door-

When isn’t the Right Time to Open the Beehive?

Bees are really sensitive. But it is important to check on the bees ever so often. Checking makes sure your bees are all okay and produces honey efficiently. 

But the right care for the bees is a must need. Bees can be stressed if you disturb them. That can even kill the queen bee. And if the queen bee dies, there will be no new bees. 

This can be very harmful and chaotic for your hive. Because a queen bee can mate frequently; almost twice a week. According to some sources the queen bee mates until it collects more than 70 million sperms.

Hence, if you want to be a successful beekeeper, you need to do timely inspections. Also, inspection methods are different in each time period of the year. And there are times when you should not inspect your bees.

Regardless of the time, you should always use a hive gripper while inspecting. It’ll help you lift the frames out from the hive easily. Therefore, your inspection will be more convenient for you. So, buy one for yourself today-

I bought the above-mentioned grippers for myself when I started beekeeping. And I’ve been using them for more than a year now. Yes, that’s how long-lasting these tools are! 

Now, below you will find how to inspect beehives during different time periods. 

Late Winter to Spring

So, when to open bee hives in spring?

In late winter to spring bees create moisture in the hive. This increases the humidity inside. So, it can cause condensation inside the hive, which will cause the death of the bees. 

The cold condensation may drip onto the bees and make them sick. 

Therefore, you need to check on the bees every 7 to 10 days. Look for any overcrowded place. Also, the queen might develop cells. In that case, use a queen excluder frame for its safety.

You might need to divide the hive if the bees require more space. Or you might need to combine two or more hives. 

That’s why during these periods routine checkups of hives are necessary. Because if the hive is not in a healthy state, the bees might die. 

Late Spring to Late Summer

In the late spring to late summer, the honey flow is at its peak. So, you might think the checkups to the hive should be more frequent. But no! Frequent checkups to the hive might stop the flow of honey.

During this time checking on the hive every 3 to 4 weeks is the most optimal. Because this long period of no disturbance allows the bees to produce more honey. 

By 3 weeks, the amount of honey you can collect is substantial. So, you will be earning more. 

Summer hive inspections are the best. You don’t need to worry about the high temperatures. But in the afternoon you should give some shade to your beehive. So you can use a sun sail on your beehive to give it the required shade.

Looking for a sunshade sail but no luck in finding a good one? Fear not! You can easily choose one instantly from my recommendation list below-

Moreover, during summer you have to make sure the bees have enough food for the upcoming winter. 

You see, bees and other insects don’t work in the winter. They store foods in the summer which they survive on in the winter. You can also help the bees by feeding the syrup using a bee feeder.

If you don’t know how to feed the bees watch the following video-

However, providing food in the winter is a bad idea. The cold weather can really hurt your bees. 

By any chance, if the queen dies, you’ll lose all your bees. Because a queen can lay a lot of eggs in a day

Early Fall to Summer

Early fall to summer is the time when you let the bees by themselves. In this time period, the bees don’t require any inspections. Also, you should not open the hives to check if they have enough food or not. 

If you really want to check, you can weigh the full hive. Lift the hive from a corner really carefully. See if it is light or heavy. If heavy, the bees have more than enough food which will last them. 

A beehive needs the right amount of heat. So if you’re asking about bee hive temperature Fahrenheit then it’s 93-95° Fahrenheit. 

But what temperature is too hot for bees? The temperature is 113°F. 

Nevertheless, during winter use a beehive wrap. It’ll ensure your hive doesn’t lose too much heat. Also, save it from harsh, cold wind.

I’ve the following cozy wraps at my home for winter. These are lightweight and reusable as well. Take a look-

Finding the perfect balance between too much inspection and too few is important. Both of the cases will cause harm to the bees. If you don’t inspect ever so often, there might be too much swarming of bees. 

On the other hand, too much inspection can put pressure on the bees. So check at the right rate, at the right time. The temperature to open beehives needs to be at an optimal level. 

That’s all the frequencies of checkups of the beehives. It is best to have a beehive inspection schedule.

Why is Opening a Beehive Important?

There is a misconception that checking on the bees is not good for them. But that is not true. Bees are really sensitive. Too much or too little of anything is not good for them. 

Still checking on the bees properly is really important. 

It is best to check on the bees at the right time. So, what is the best time of day to inspect a beehive? It is between 11 am to 2 pm. 

While opening the hive you might see that bees are crawling out of the hive. A general reason for that happening is, the queen might have fallen out of the hive. In that case, find the queen and put it in the hive again. 

An easy way to find the queen is to see where all the other bees go. Usually, other bees cover the queen bee to protect her. So if you see a big clump of bees in the ground, they might be there. 

What Do You Need to Open the Beehive Safely?

Being a beekeeper is not that easy. You need a lot of equipment to get close to them. If you don’t have the right tools, you can get hurt. You can also harm the bees. 

Below I’ve given the list of tools you need. Also, how to use them.

Protection Suit

A protection tool is a must-have when it comes to beekeeping. There are suits available in the market which will cover you from toe to head. And zips up so that no bee gets inside. 

If you are thinking of buying one, check out the below-listed ones.

These are some really good protection suits for beekeepers. Put these on before you meet your buzzing friends.

Smoker

Bees don’t want humans around their homes. So using smoke can make them calm. Smoke makes it difficult for them to communicate with each other. 

Using a smoking machine is really convenient. But make sure the smoke is not harmful to the bees. And with this fact in mind you can surely depend on the following smokers-

However, choose the fuel for the smoker very carefully. Otherwise, you might end up killing the bees.

Brush

One of the major purposes of opening a hive is cleaning it. And brushes come in handy when it comes to cleaning. 

You see, bees can bring dust particles and dished their skin. This can make the inside of the hub really dirty. 

There are specific beehive scraper available that are meant to be used for hive cleaning. 

Crowbar

Crowbars are needed when it comes to opening the hive. There are doors and trays which you can put on. But sometimes it can get stuck. A crowbar can pull the door apart.

Some durable and corrosion-free crowbars are mentioned below for your convenience-

Using an ordinary crowbar can be an option. But usually, they are not stainless steel. So they can have rust. Use specific beehive crowbars. They are meant to be used on beehives. 

FAQs

What to look out for in a routine check?

In a routine check of the hive, you look out at all the elements of the hive. The elements are; queen, brood pattern, swarming signs, pollen, or honey. Other than that, you should check if the bees have any diseases or pests. 

Why does my honey smell bad?

The honey could smell bad when it’s fermented. In this case, your bees might be sick. Or the smell might be from a different type of flower which your bees used. 

Why are my bees not producing honey?

One of the reasons might be that there aren’t enough bees. Another one could be that there might not be enough pollen or nectar. Or maybe the hive is not healthy anymore. 

Endnote

That is everything you need to know about, when not to open a beehive. Beekeeping is not as simple as it seems.

Bees are really sensitive. Simple changes can affect them. It’s better to take care of them the right way. 

Have fun with your buzzy friends!

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