First inspection of the year

I was feeling more than a little apprehensive about this first inspection. Firstly, I was worried that, due to the recent sting to my face, my bees were a feisty bunch and wouldn't  take it likely having the roof of their home removed. Secondly, when I was in the same position last year I had discovered that my queen was a drone layer, which ultimately led to the death of my colony. But being a bright and warm (13 degrees) lunchtime I decided to bite the bullet and go in.

So, here is a photo account of my first inspection. Great news is that the bees were relatively calm - a lot better than they were at the end of last year. I know it sounds naff but it made me so happy to see them. I love beekeeping :)

 When I took the cover board off I pulled apart some drone brood (drone are boy bees)

The sight that greeted me when both cover boards came off. All seemed pretty calm.

A few queen cells, which I broke off. No larvae in them so probably just play cups but definitely worth keeping an eye on. Don't want the bees swarming off anytime soon.

Lots of sealed worker and drone brood too (the latter are decipherable because they're domed shaped and mostly on the outskirts of the frame)

Close up of the sealed brood on the frames. Biscuit coloured and no perforations, which is a good sign. I didn't spot the queen but she's obviously there.

More brood. Added a super on just in case they needed more space.

I got stung. The poor bee had her stinger stuck in my glove. She died for her efforts. Feel a bit sad about that.

The bee on the left, the one with her bum in the air, that means she's not happy I'm there. In the future, if someone invades my space, I may stick my bum out at them :)

I'm looking at you kid.

I spotted some varroa mites on the drone brood I broke off. Will put an inspection board under the hive to check how many drops I have. If a lot, I might give the MAQS strips a go.


  1. good luck! Looking forward to reading more -- I am a first time beekeeper too! Robyn (seattle, WA) (

  2. I enjoyed reading about your beekeeping and love your photos. Hubby and I are also first-timers :)

  3. Me too, (enjoying the reading and being a "newbee"). I have 4 colonies and 1 which already swarmed and has been meanwhile split as a soon to be colony number 5.


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