Brood Frame Inspection
When YOU inspect brood frames, what do YOU look for?
I look for eggs and larvae. You want to see the laying pattern, it should be a concentric pattern with few empty cells and with the same age brood in adjacent cells. That is you want eggs next to eggs, unsealed brood next to unsealed brood etc. Also, look to see that the larva are pearly white, not yellow or brown. White larvae are healthy while discolored ones indicate a disease.
You'll often see a narrow band of honey near the top of the frames, brood underneath this with some bee bread on the perimeter.
A brood frame? Or the whole broodnest? I'll choose the whole broodnest ok?
I look for pollen and open nectar stores above and to the the sides of the broodnest, and make sure the larva is not drying (I get some nasty dearths here in late summer).
I look for eggs, which tells me the queen was there or not within the last three days.
I look at the pattern, how solid it is, both for larva and for sealed brood. Spotty larva and sealed could indicate excessive same sex aleels (spelling?). Solid larva but spotty sealed could indicate good hygienics with varroa mites, or could indicate excessive hygienics (such as with VSH x VSH queens).
I look for varroa mites!
I look to see if the queen has enough room to lay eggs and/or look to see if the queen is laying enough according to the amount of nurse bees present in the hive.
In looking for Varroa, I'm also looking for deformed wings, the general look and appearance of the health of the young bees and drones.