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Mean hive has morphed into how often should you inspect the brood nest. Every frame.

I am aware that some philosophies, such as warre barre really recommend to never open the brood nest to conserve scent, heat, etc..

I am also aware that "most" people recommend weekly inspections to newbeeks.




I'll start, I try to check every frame every week to ten days during the spring. Looking for swarm cells, adding space as needed.


Mid summer I check every two or three weeks. No real rhyme or reason except that I "feel" this allows me to monitor hive well being, and to check that the dry season hasn't depleted their stores.

Fall I check every two weeks to see if they have adequate stores.

(this is my third spring)
 

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For the sake of the bees, I figure a spring and fall check is good to make sure they are queenright going into the flow and not ready to swarm and queenright going into winter. In between I just go by how the hive is doing. In other words growing, or shrinking, loud, or quite. Happily working or not. And of course looking in the top to see if they need supers.

For the sake of learning about the bees, you may need to get into them more often.
 

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Following Michael's advice, for newbies, if you have more than one hive, alternate hives that you inspect each week to minimize disruption. Of course what you're doing makes a difference. I have two sets of six hives I've been into twice this week, as I've made splits and introduced queens. But normally I try to get into them thoroughly only twice a year. The rest of the time its watching the entrance, and checking the top box/top of the top box only, as I add or remove boxes/supers.

Learn to watch the entrance, you can learn a lot by watching the bees enter and depart.
 

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As a relatively new Beek I've tried to check the girls at least 2 times in the spring ( being from central Ontario that means once in April and in May, weather depending, it bloody well snowed last night!) Also, just to keep abreast of what's going on once every 6 weeks or so during the summer months and once in the fall. Not sure if this is too much, not enough or just right. Seems to be working. I also do quick looks weekly ie.. walk around outside, observe comings and goings and peek in top of brood chambers.
 

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Intresting answers, since alot of the books say to inspect every 10 days max. I'm guessing 2 inspections a year mean you don't mind throwing a swarm from time to time.
 

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I'm sorry, but I keep bees for my pleasure, not theirs. It may be less than optimal for my bees, but I inspect almost every frame of most of my hives and nucs, almost every day (365 days of the year). Exceptions are only when my other scheduled activities keep me from having the time to inspect the hives.

Since I raise queens and grow nucs, my frequent inspections have allowed me to a surprising discovery -- about one out of twenty of my virgin queens have become mated/laying queens in less than seven days after emerging. But I only noticed this, this Spring, it didn't seem to be happening through the Winter - though queens were still growing, mating and laying, during the Winter I didn't notice any that were laying that soon after emerging.
 

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This time of year, 12-14 days works well. When we are past swarm season, it can be stretched out to 17, fall even more. The 12-14 works well in that when you find a queenless hive, give them eggs. The next trip, should be "see cell". After that "queen not clipped" meaning she is laying. The 12-14 also works well for the timing of drone brood. It will be most all capped in 12-14 days. This is way more than the average commercial in our area, but we feel we catch bad things a lot quicker.

Roland Diehnelt
Linden Apiary, Est. 1852
 

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After my problem last summer and inspecting over 800 5'+ tall colonies I will inspect all brood frames for AFB and EFB mid april once.

After that I inspect(check on) my hives every 10-14 days. I won't pull brood frames unless I think there is a queen issue. I will tip up honey supers until I get down to brood and scan the bottom of the frames for swarm cells. If I find swarm cells I will make nucs with the deep brood frames or if I am to busy I let them swarm because once I see capped cells it's to late. If I find a hive that is just having eggs layed in the swarm cups I will try to give them a frame of foundation in the center of the broodnest and take a honey or pollen frame from the outside.

You don't have to pull frames to check for swarm cells. If they have swarm cells they will be between the 2 brood chambers( I run 1 1/2 story) or just tip the bottom box up on the bottom board and scan the bottom bars.

By the time the main flow arrives(July) I just make rounds to my yards to keep ahead with empty supers. If I find a hive that is not producing like the rest then I will inspect to determine the problem.

After the honey crop is removed and the hives have a couple weeks without the supers on I will again pull a few brood frames for a quick AFB check and to see if the queen is still laying good. Then I apply meds, mite control, and feed.
 

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Spring (since I have only really had one;) ) I inspected late apr. because I knew they had a ton of stores going in and had seen them flying so I didn't do as recommend. I did peek down through the inner cover a couple times to get an idea of where the bees were (they appeared not to have really made use of the 2nd chamber last winter).
Now that we are supposed to be starting the season (currently dandelion and apple) I try to check once a week though I am usually to busy to do it every 7 days. Once summer is really here I will try to keep to 7 days to 10 days.
But this is not every frame inspection. I will go through every brood frame off and on. I can get an idea of the stores by just pulling a few.

Last inspection showed they are preparring to swarm (no haven't gotten swarm prevention working yet) so tomorrow I will try to make a split and in about 2 weeks recombine (if the new queen is good I will keep her).
 

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we do a full hive inspection every 4-6 weeks. Gotta look at them to know whats going on and if they're having problems.
 
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