How does one know if there is trouble in the hive? Every seasoned beekeeper will tell you that routine hive inspections are a must. That could be as simple as walking quietly by and observing hive behavior. So, what are you to look for? Well, a reduction in bee activity is a possible sign of swarming. Or, it could be that they are in trouble. Either way it would be an indicator to go into that hive and inspect.
Another thing you can look for is fighting and/or bees going in and out at a rapid pace for about 10 to 15 minutes. This could mean there in rubbing going on; the stronger hives may sometimes rub from the weaker ones.
Remember there is no way to tell how well your hive is really doing without an internal inspection. Many a beekeepers have opened their hive to disappointment. Check your hives! Are there to many drones, is there a queen in the hive, what about the brood display, and if you suspect a swarm is there a queen cell present? These are just some of the things to look for when inspecting.
If your bees die it could have been lots of factors, so don’t always blame yourself or the bees. For instance, some weather conditions can negatively impact honey bees. Sickness can be a problem, and hive infestation by a number of predators. When there is no queen the bees can make another under normal conditions. However, if the hive is too weak or it is during inclement weather mating is not possible; thus, requeening maybe your only option. Doing so may just save your hive (a new mated queen). Also, if you use a hive tool in an infected hive Do Not use it in other uninfected hives!
Note: If you are a beekeeper you will experience a dead hive or two, there is absolutely nothing you can do about that. Still, you will be able to save many with proper inspections.
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