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Signs When Not To Open A Beehive (Be Careful)





Be Careful Signs When Not To Open A Beehive

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Beekeepers are required to inspect beehives often. But inspecting hives when the circumstances are absolutely not bee-friendly, might be harmful and even kill your bees.

So, you must be concerned about the “signs when not to open a beehive”. Under such signs, for example, the atmosphere is too cold or too hot, too windy, rain and storm and so on, you should avoid approaching a beehive.

Throughout this post, I am going to discuss with you all the situations when you should not open your hive. Also, when you can safely inspect your hive.




Why Not To Open A Beehive Under Bad Situations?

For beehive inspection, timing is very important. If you choose the wrong timing, this will create trouble for bees. Because bees won’t like to show up in bad situations.

I know you are trying to care for bees. But they don’t want your help when they don’t need any help.

Suppose you are busy with your personal important task. You don’t want to go outside, or you don’t want to interact with an outsider. If someone tries to interact with you by showing wellness to you, will you like this? In a general sense, definitely not!

Bees are absolutely the same. They won’t like to get interrupted when they don’t need any help or are busy with their task.

But when you are doing nothing and someone tries to treat you with something well, you definitely be pleased with them. Bees will also appreciate your help when they are ready to accept it.

This is why choosing the right timing for hive inspection is the first step in approaching a hive inspection. If you are trying to inspect the hive under situations when things are not in the bee’s way, bees definitely not going to take that positively.

Inspecting the hive repeatedly under bad situations will force them to leave the current hive. This is why you should not open a beehive in bad situations. 

Now let’s dig deep into the signs when you should not open a beehive. Do not inspect the hive under those situations.




When Not To Open A Beehive?

There are so many circumstances you must keep in mind and avoid opening your beehive. Otherwise, it could be too costly for your bees. Opening your beehive under the worst conditions can kill your bees.

Also, opening a beehive very rapidly results in swarms flying away. So, keep in mind the conditions when you should avoid opening your beehive.


When Not To Open A Beehive



Following are the signs if you see any of these never try to open your hive.

  1. Too Warm: If the atmosphere is too hot, above 35º Celcius, you should try to avoid opening your hive.
  2. Too cold: If the weather is too cold, below 20º Celcius don’t open the hive.
  3. Bad Weather: If the weather is cloudy, foggy, cold, and very windy don’t open the hive.
  4. During Natural Calamities: If there are any natural calamities like storms, rain, drizzle, snowfall, lightning, etc don’t even think of opening the beehive.
  5. During Aggressive Season: If you find your bees are aggressive you must avoid opening the beehive. Winter and fall is the worst season for bees. That’s why you might have seen bees become more aggressive during fall.
  6. When A New Queen Is Introduced: Sometimes you need to introduce a new queen in a hive to requeen a queenless hive. First, the queen came in a cage and was introduced to the hive. The bees need some time to accept the queen. So, you should avoid hive inspection for at least 2 weeks after introducing the queen to the hive.
  7. Inspect Less: Opening your beehive very often can make a disturbance to the colony. As a result, there would be a high chance of swarming away.
  8. At Night: Don’t open the hive at night or late evening.
  9. Early Morning: Avoid opening the hive in the early morning.

Different types of bees have different circumstances, they don’t like to be interrupted.

The above-mentioned signs are common for all types of bee colonies. And if you see any of these signs don’t try to open the beehive.




What Happens If You Open A Beehive At Night?

Bees are least active at night. They usually go out for foraging and collecting bee pollen during the day. Then they return to their hive during daylight. 
At night they usually stay hanging inside the hive. Though some bees can see at night, honey bees can’t see at night. So, they are resting before the daylight appears.
Under such a situation, if you open a beehive, bees might treat you as a danger to them. This will make them anxious. If you do the same repeatedly, this might encourage them to swarm away.

This is why I do not prefer hive inspection during the night. Some beekeepers might disagree with me.I heard some beekeepers open their hives and extract honey at night. 


But in my case, I have opened the hive for a few nights. Bees can’t see me clearly at night. As a result, they can’t sting me too.

But when the torchlight falls on them they become mad. Because they like sunlight, not any other artificial light source. They get disturbed and try to fly away from the hive.

While I am coming home from inspection at night I see that I got a lot of bees clinging to my bee suites. So, you can understand how annoying this can be for the bees if you try to open your beehive at night.




When Should You Open The Entrance To Your Beehive?

The answer is simple! You can open a beehive on a nice chill warm sunny day.

Other times instead of the above-mentioned time when you should not inspect your beehive, are the safe times to inspect your beehive. 


When to open the hive entrance


When the temperature is between 22º Celcius to 35º Celcius. Also, there are several circumstances you should consider before opening the hive like weather, temperature, hive conditions, etc.




What Is The Lowest Temperature To Open A Beehive?

The lowest temperature to open a beehive from my personal experience is 20º Celcius. Maintaining a minimum temperature while opening the hive entrance is must necessary.

Because in very cold temperatures bees can lose the moisture inside the hive. Which can make a serious problem for the bees.


When To Open A Beehive?




How Often Should You Open A Beehive?

First of all, bees do not like interruptions very often. There are several factors depending on which you can identify the perfect frequency of hive inspection.

  • As a beginner, you might open the hive to inspect your bees more often than an experienced one.
  • But with time you will become an expert and you will know by yourself how often you should open the hive entrance.
  • I suggest you open the hive once a week or two weeks and not more than that.
  • But if you find your bees are in trouble or if they got attacked by a harmful disease, then you can do more than that as required.

Always try to inspect a hive only when bees need you. Don’t overdo it. Because bees don’t like to be disturbed very often.




What Is The Right Time Of The Day For Opening A Beehive?

I would recommend you open the beehive in the late morning to the early afternoon. The best time for inspecting a beehive is 11 am to 2 pm on a warm and sunny day when the temperature is within 22° to 35º Celcius.

By observing situations of your beehive you will be able to identify the best time to inspect a beehive. Make sure the bees in good mood and the weather condition is nice and warm.




How Often Should You Open Your Hive In The Winter?

The early fall to the winter is the worst period of time for bees. That’s why you must be careful about hive inspection in winter. I suggest you inspect your beehive not more than once per month in winter.

The same thing goes for the fall season.

In the winter the atmosphere becomes very cold. Bees require more energy to maintain a certain hive moisture.

So, if you open the hive entrance on a cold day that could be very dangerous for them. 

So, don’t inspect your hive very often in winter.

You can make a beehive moisture board or beehive quilt board to protect your bees from cold and help the colony to maintain moisture at a certain level.




Frequently Asked Questions


At what temperature is it safe to open a beehive?

The Ideal temperature for hive inspection is between 70º F to 95º F. You can inspect your hive when the weather temperature is within this range. It is always preferred to inspect the hive during the daytime.

Can you inspect a hive too often?

No, too often hive inspection causes unwanted disturbance for bees. Bees do not like unwanted disturbance. If you do so, your bees probably gonna swarm away.

Is it OK to harvest honey at night?

It is preferred not to harvest honey at night. But some beekeepers like to harvest honey at night. If you can do it without creating much disturbance for them you can go for it. I personally don’t like to harvest honey at night as it would disturb them.





Inspection of hives very often and under the wrong circumstances can be deadly for your bees. So, keep in mind the above-mentioned signs when not to open your beehive and try to follow them.

Making a healthy colony will lead you to be a successful beekeeper.






  1. A method for mining combined data from in-hive sensors, weather, and apiary inspections to forecast the health status of honey bee colonies. Authors: Antonio Rafael Braga, Danielo G. Gomes.


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