How To Check If You Have A Strong Hive
Assessing the strength of the beehive is one of the most important jobs for the beekeeper. There are different methods and ways you can use to determine exactly how strong your beehive is.
Mentioned here are some of the methods
Any group which has a high population becomes naturally stronger. The same is with the beehives, the more the number of worker bees in the colony, the stronger the beehive is. It will be very clear just from the entrance of the beehive. But since there is a change in several populations of bees in a hive all around the year, sometimes it becomes too strong and at the time, it may become weak as well. One thing to note is, a strong colony has a lot of traffic in the morning, but usually, it reduces as the time proceeds and afternoon arrives. Also, in a cool day, low traffic can be noticed. The best way to judge the population of a hive is to check it by opening the lid. When you will crack the lid, the way to adjudge a hive weak or strong is to check if bees are hanging on it or not. If bees are hanging on the top frames, the hive is strong and if no bees are hanging, it means the obvious - it is weak.
You might see an abundance of honey in the hive and think it as a strong hive. But it is hardly the case every time. Bees have a habit of making honey in the months of summer and spring so they can store it for months. This is why, just because the colony has lots of honey, it does not mean it is strong. There are a lot of hives that have fallen or died, even after having lots of honey.
Going into winter is always a serious issue for the bees and the beekeeper as well. These are the few months where bees die a lot. So if a hive has lots of bees while entering the winter season, it means that it is strong. But if there are less number of bees while going into winter, then it can be considered as a weak hive.
Well maintained combs
· One of the ways to identify if the colony becomes weak is to look at its honeycombs. If they are weak, then the hive is weak as well. When moths and beetles make their way in, they start destroying the honeycombs.
· If the bees are strong and good in numbers, they will be easily able to defend the hive and its honeycombs. But if the moths and beetles are successful in destroying the honeycombs, it simply means one thing, the beehive was weak.
But just the presence of moths and beetles does not mean that the hive is weak, they are also found in strong hives as well. What matters is just that if attacked, will the bees be able to protect the honeycombs!
You need to keep a check on all these things to make sure you have a strong hive.