Colony Inspection

Colony Inspection – Weather Conditions & Time of Day to Inspect

An inspection can occur anytime the outside temperature is above 60 degrees. Any colder, and there is a risk of killing brood. We start in the morning about 10:00 a.m. when most of the worker bees are in the field. We stop our inspections about 3:00 p.m. when most of the workers are returning to the hive for the evening. The colonies tend to be more agitated if the barometric pressure is falling. It is best, on days that have a fast approaching weather front, to stay out of the bee yard. We watch the local weather service daily and gauge the possibility of rain so that when a 10 day inspection cycle falls on a predicted rain day, we can adjust our inspection day accordingly.

Colony Inspection – How Often to Inspect

Here is an example of a SMF Inspection Report. One sheet of paper is used for each hive for the entire season. The static information is at the top of the page.

SMF Hive Inspection Report Header

A colony is inspected every 10 days. During the beekeeping year, from Mid May until Mid November, the colonies are inspected approximately 7 times. The following information is recorded at each inspection.

Hive Inspection Report

Colony Inspections – There’s an APP for that!

Beekeeping software is quickly becoming a great tool in the bee yard. Try out the free version of HiveTracks. The software continues to impress us with frequent enhancements and usefulness. It is especially great for quickly uncovering trends within a colony allowing proactive and preventative responses. The professional version will track inventory as well as distinguish between 8 frame and 10 frame equipment.

Colony Inspection – How often do you get stung?

“Jim said that bees won’t sting idiots, but I didn’t believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn’t sting me.” — Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)