The way you inspect your hive doesn't change much from visit to visit. Beekeepers always follow procedures and look for specific items. A few visits to the hive and you'll be able to focus on the astonishing discoveries that await you.
Removing the initial hive frame
Always remove the first frame or wall frame when inspecting the hive. It's the frame nearest the wall. Whose? It matters not. Your first frame is determined by the hive's side. How to proceed:
- Insert your hive tool's curved end between the first and second frames, near the frame's top bar.
- Separate the frames by twisting the tool.
- Rep at the other end of the top bar.
- Pick up the first frame by the end bars.
After removing the first frame, gently place it on the ground, vertically against the hive. It's fine with bees. It'll be alright. For temporary storage, utilize a frame rest (available at various beekeeping supply stores).
Check this useful guide: How to Get Rid of Bees Without Harming Them in Your Neighborhood
Getting through the hive
Loosen frame two and slide it into the empty slot where frame one was. That allows you to remove the frame without damaging any bees. Return the frame to the hive, near to (but not touching) the wall. Don't place it on the ground.
Follow this procedure for all ten frames, inserting the next to be inspected into the open slot. After inspecting a frame, always return it snugly against the previous frame. Keep an eye on the frames as they progressively merge.
Inspection of beehive frames
It's critical to hold and check each frame correctly. Assume the sun is behind you, shining over your shoulder and onto the frame. The sun illuminates deep inside the cells, making eggs and larvae easier to observe.
Here's how to see at both sides of the frame:
When to smoke more
- Hold the frame by the top bar's tabs.
- Verticalize the frame.
- Turn the frame like a book page.
- Return it to the horizontal position to see the other side of the frame.
After a few minutes of inspection, you may observe the bees have all lined up between the top bars like racehorses. Their small heads line the frames. Aren't they cute? They spy on you. Then give the girls a couple more puffs of smoke to disperse them so you may continue inspecting.
Knowing what to check for in your hive
When you visit your hive, keep in mind the things you must always watch for. Almost all inspections seek to assess colony health and output. The specifics of what you're looking for change with the season.
Looking for the queen
When you visit your hive, search for signs that the queen is alive and laying eggs.
Instead of looking for the queen, look for eggs. Finding the eggs is far easier than finding a queen in a hive of 60,000 bees. On a sunny day, look for eggs.
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