Today I completed my first hive inspection. My goal was to find the queen and look for brood or proof of a laying queen. I saw the queen go into the hive with the installation. Overall, I feel quite comfortable she was still in there somewhere. However, with a new hive, losing the queen would be tremendous set-back. So I need to make sure she is there.
Hive inspections through the year will look the same in process. However, the reason for hive inspections will vary. The main reasons to do an inspections are listed below.
The purpose of hive inspections 1) Check for a laying queen 2) Check for brood disease 3) Check for swarming signs 4) Check honey stores 5) Learn to recognize brood pattern 6) Learn to recognize drone vs worker brood
I was able to find my queen and she is laying well. I was excited to see brood cells which means she’s laying. We are good shape to start the season. I was pretty lucky to have honey frames from my husband’s hive to “jump start” mine.
Here are a few pictures from my inspection.
That was my inspection today. I’ll probably check it again in a week to make sure we’re doing well. If the bees continue to grow well, I’m hoping to add an additional box in the next couple of weeks.
My husband and I have kept bees for about 5 years, give or take some. Mostly my husband has been managing our hives. He did most of the management the last several years. Although, I picked-up pieces of information, I did not actually manage any of the hives. Well, until today that is.
I received and installed my first package of bees into a new hive today. It was a bit cold and rainy today which made the installation process easier and more difficult. The temperature was around 40 degrees. Since the temperature was low, I did not spray them with sugar water. The cold also meant they were clumped together pretty tightly which made it more difficult to get them shook out of the package container.
It was a bit unnerving to have the bees on my veil. I didn’t like seeing them so close to my face. I was quite nervous about touching them as well. I know as I manage the bees more my comfort level will increase. However, since it was cold and we didn’t want the bees to freeze, my husband did jump in and help me out a bit. He also got a bit of a laugh out of my response to the bees on my veil/touching them.
Here are a few pictures from the installation.
I plan on my beekeeping adventures to be a blog series. So stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.