Looking at exterior – hefting the hive (perhaps non-Langstroth – bee haver/hosting) Looking at top/in top box & between boxes Removing frames (inspecting/managing )
Veil – always Bee tight protective clothing sleeve/pant leg tie - downs Gloves (None here) Boots FIND YOUR INDIVIDUAL COMFORT LEVEL What
Smoker/spray Hive tool Other aids Never open a colony without a functioning smoker/sugar spray, hive tool & a Secure veil. Beekeepers should feel comfortable in what they wear and use in their inspections -- concentrate on what they are seeing and doing rather than worrying about being stung.
Smoker a tool Practice makes perfect It’s the smart use – not the fuel that makes it a useful tool Ditto hive tool indispensable tool that (1) tends to disperse bees, driving them away from the hands (2) causes some of the bees to take flight but stimulates others to gorge on honey and (3) masks odors, which helps counter the alarm chemical
timely (when needed not excessively) when properly dressed warm dry, windless days middle of day 10 AM- 2 PM during nectar flow (bees busy) when colonies smaller in size in supers only (summer) to accomplish some purpose
Stand at side of colony Open < 5 – 10 minutes avoid robbing – if likely use manipulating cloth to cover exposed frames consider tools like frame lifter ‘listen’ to bees
Hold frame securely – view other side by flip of frame Hold frame comfortably over open colony Note gloves – simple household chore gloves chore gloves
Properly dressed, smoking functioning properly, a reason to inspect?
For a reason – some intensively care for colonies others extensively spring & fall basic insp + X times to control swarming to super to harvest to overwinter successfully to control pests including mites
Sealed brood Healthy brood Capped honey cells Eggs Queen cups/no cells Condition of cells Condition of frames Change from last insp Management needed
What if there are NO EGGS present □ no queen present □ new virgin/newly mated queen present – not laying eggs yet □ look on another frame – this one filled with cells of mostly capped brood □ end of season or drought conditions or pollen resources no longer available □ bees preparing to abscond (or swarm) X
What if no pollen evident? □ no young brood to stimulate pollen foraging □ numbers of cells filled with fresh nectar □ no space – look on another frame especially frame at edge of brood sphere □ pollen dearth or drought or heat spell □ bees preparing to abscond (or swarm) X