Opening your hive
Beekeepers shouldn’t open their hives to satisfy their curiosity but only when they need to achieve a specific task and ideally not too early in the morning so that bees have time to wake up and leave. Be sure to only visit them when necessary, as an excess in visiting your hive can lead to a strong disturbance of your colonies. Also, be careful to open your hives when the weather allows you to, meaning that certain conditions are required and others must be avoided (strong wind, heavy rain, heavy snow…).
To open your hive:
1- Use your smoker at the hive’s entrance, and the hives’ around it, to warn your bees of your arrival.
2- Remove the roof from the hive and place it next to your hive so that it will not be an inconvenience for the remaining time of your visit.
3- Remove the frame inner cover and immediately use your smoker on top of the hive for about 30 secondes.
4- Place your frame inner cover on the side of your hive with the roof and make sure the queen is not on it. To prevent hurting your bees, sharply hit the side of the frame inner cover with your hand above the open hive to make the bees fall inside.
Closing an hive
When visiting your apiary, hives should only be left open for a short among of time at once, as the goal is not to disturb the colony. Otherwise bees will start getting aggressive and you will risk getting your hive plunder by other colonies. Also, you should never leave your hive open or close it in a rush, as both steps require precautionary measures.
To close your hive:
1- Place the frame and the frame inner cover back in/on the hive, carefully enough not to hurt your bees, and remember to use your smoker sparingly throughout this step.
2- Then, you can proceed to put the roof back on your hive, yet again this step requires careful and slow movements so that you won’t hit the sides of the hive with the roof.
3- If you live in a windy region, remember to place a heavy rock on your hive’s roof so that it won’t fly away and expose it to high humidity levels.