Good practices in hives review
Methodology and tips for a good hive review
It seems obvious but we will say it: to check the hives you always have to go with the complete protective equipment for the beekeeper (beekeeper suit, beekeeper mask with protective veil, beekeeping gloves, leggings and closed footwear and appropriate to the ground).
The main tools to be used will be the smoker, the box lifter and the spatula (also called lever, wedge or scraper).
When checking the hives, we will always put ourselves on the side of the hive to review. It is important not to get in front of the entrance of the hive (piquera) because we will be preventing the normal entry and exit of bees. In fact, being "bothering" the bees hindering their normal fluidity of the hive, the bees will become more defensive and irritable and this will make it difficult for us to review the apiary's hives.
Before reviewing the hive, we will smoke smoothly and continuously for 3 or 4 times in the hive at the hive where we will do the review. It is important that the smoke is white and fresh (do not smoke hot, as it would disturb and irritate the bees). It is also advisable to smoke the hives next to the hive that we are going to review, so that the bees are more docile and calm. In another blog post we talk about what combinations of herbs and plants we can use as a smoker's fuel.
Once we remove the top cover of the hive (roof of the hive) we will place it on the floor. It is advisable to place it on the floor up, since in the case that the hive has rises, we can use the hive cover as a support on the floor.
We will proceed to lift the lid with the beekeeper's spatula, and we will smoke smoothly and regularly in the space that we have opened. We will continue to smoke until we have fully opened the lid. The lid will be placed on the floor next to the hive and placed upwards.
With the beekeeper's spatula we will loosen the pictures and take them out firmly but carefully and without sudden movements. We will review each of the pictures of the hive and always remembering to smoke in a smooth and continuous way. Special attention must be paid not to smoke directly on the combs.
In this review of the hives we can check the status of the queen, the quality of the queen's posture, we will also check if there are diseases in the bees or in their young, we will check the amount of reserves they have of honey and pollen, we will check if Bees need or not food supplements in the form of syrups or protein pancakes. We will also value harvesting the honey and pollen from the hive or not. Depending on the space that the breeding chamber has, we will also assess the possibility of setting up or half rises.
All the revisions that we make in the hives, we will write them down in the registration form that we have to have for each one of our hives. The registration forms will inform us of the state of the hives in each of the reviews that we have done over time, and will allow us to have a more professional control of our apiary.
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