Folks, I found a 2010 thread on this subject, but it wasn’t very specific, so I’ll post this.
I had a hive swarm on 6/8, and I wanted to know if it had been able to get a queen raised, mated, and back to the hive. The hive is a double deep configuration. I decided to inspect.
I started by inspecting and removing 5 frames from the top deep and setting them in a deep I brought down for the task. I then inspected the next 5 and separated the second deep and sat it on the ground, on its side. I didn’t find the queen. I found a lot of capped honey, curing honey, many many drones, and workers…no queen.
I then moved down to the lower deep, frame by frame, finding about the same I found up top, with some capped brood, but many drones. I could not find the queen.
The bees got really surly about half way in, and started to try to tag me. I used more smoke, but the bees from the top deep were most of the problem. They were furious, and loud.
Thoroughly drenched with sweat, and very aggravated at not finding my queen, I started to reassemble my mess. I crushed many bees getting the second deep back on. I could not get them off the edges of the boxes. It was a total mess.
I’ve never had a problem finding my queens before, but I’ve never had so many drones to wade through. They constantly drew my eye. So, I can’t say for sure that I’m queenless, but I could not find her. So, I broke my hive apart, crushed a lot of bees, and still know no more than I did. I’m disgusted.
How does one do a double-deep inspection without this type of mess? More specifically, how do you keep the top deep bees calm while you inspect? Thanks for any advise.