Hive Inspection Basics

5 Minute Hive Inspection (95% of my inspections every 10-14 days)

•Have a specific goal (no looking just for looking sakes)

•Pull no more than 2-4 frames

•Look between frames for an idea of bee numbers/drawn frames (overcrowding)

•Brood location on frame and frame number

•Look for evidence of eggs

•General bee health

•Pollen/honey store levels

•Observing droppings on my screened bottom board tray – usually inserted 24hrs before inspection).

Note: I do 2 full inspections per season

•1 in spring to clean up dead winter bees and determine if I will condense down to one brood box)

•1 in late summer after the honey harvest to measure winter readiness

Bottom Board Insert Basics

Used as part of my 5 min inspection or general non-intrusive checks.

Possible Uses of these boards:

•Varroa mite natural drop

•Varroa mite drop after treatment (efficiency)

•Observe hive activity through debris drop

•Fresh wax (white – new comb building)

•Brown cappings (hatching brood)

•Rows/frames of activity (expanding nest)

•Pollen drop – current forage target

•Dead bees and parts

•Ants (do I need to control?)

Figure 1: 2018 Season from Nuc install to end of Winter Prep (Feeding Requirements)