New beek here. Been learning theory for a year, have a local mentor who I’ve done some hands-on sessions with, and completed a course last weekend. Have had my 2 hives for 2 whole weeks and loving it!
Wanted to pick the brains of all you experienced folk about your inspection processes for a general health/ status check (ie not going in with a specific purpose or intent to manipulate things).
What I’ve been doing based on mentor, reading, course:
Look, listen, smell from the outside (general activity levels, behaviour, what are the girls bringing home, number of dead bees near entrance, evidence of chalk brood, pitch of buzzing, any odours)
Check sliding tray of screened bottom board (if it is in) - brood cappings, SHB, ants, chalk brood
Crack lid and inspect under-side of lid and hive mat (if used) - comb build up, mould, SHB, ants
Check tops and seams of frames - burr comb, mould, quantity of bees bubbling out, pests
Lift frames and check for disease (AFB/EFB, chalk brood), pests, brood pattern, presence of eggs, quantity of drone cells, queen cells, stored resources.
Replace everything, clean your gear.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I missing anything? How do you go about it?
Thanks in advance!