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Let Me Have It - Today's Inspection


I’m all ears, in fact they are just above the noose I’m putting around my neck making this video public. I am still just very nervous around these hives and have not done well on anything, including running the camera. I did not see eggs in the cells but many cells had uncapped liquid. I think the queen fell on the ground but I put her back. I eliminated 3 queen cells and was surprised there were only 3. That’s the first hive and the only one to make it on the video. I started a 2nd hive 4/9 or this past sat and wasn’t able to find the queen that day or today but both of these hives seemed to be growing in # of bees and seemed to be doing well. I tried to repay them for my upsetting them by rewarding them ea with a new bottle of sugar water. I hate to ask for comments on this but if you have any good or bad let er rip.


I thoroughly enjoyed your video. I especially loved your colorful commentary (“Is that the Queen? I just dropped it, Ohh God!”).

I think I am going to learn a lot from people’s constructive criticism and praise of your inspection.

From one new beekeeper to another, thank-you for posting this!


Hi Chet & congratulations. I have a couple of tips/observations. It looks like you smoked them before you started the video, if not, it’s a good idea to smoke them prior to opening the hive.

When lifting the super off when there’s no QX, it’s a good idea to lift & twist at the same time to avoid lifting the bottom frames & risk killing the queen.

Another tip is to have some pieces of wood say, 3/4 of an inch wide sitting on the hive stand to rest the frames on so you don’t kill so many bees when you rest the frames down.

Those gloves can be very awkward when starting out. A good alternative would be rubber kitchen gloves (especially pink:)). I use them quite often. The bees will get the odd sting through them, but it comes out quick, thus the pain isn’t as bad as on bare skin.

I noticed you removed a queen cup. I never worry about them unless I see an egg or larval food in them. It’s always a good idea to look inside them to see if there is any egg or larvae in them.

Good luck with everything, cheers for now.


Well Chet, all I can say is, I admire you greatly.

Let’s take a closer look, and I have to start by saying I think you did brilliantly, but I want to help you to do even more brilliantly!

OK, so time 0:50 on the video, you are taking the roof and inner cover off. I don’t see any smoke use. Maybe you did use smoke, but if you didn’t, I sure as heck would. Otherwise, it was perfect, even down to inverting the inner cover when you put into the roof - fabulously well done!

Next, around 1:47 in the video, you notice lower deeps lifting up with your medium box. Nice job! That is really hard to deal with, and you did just fine. However at about 2:30 in your video, there are a ton of bees on the top bars, I would have smoked them at that point, just 3 or 4 puffs. Others may differ, but I need to stay under my neighbors’ radars, and calm bees help with that.

At around 3:25 in your video, you have a beautiful shot of a plastic frame. To me, it looks like there are 4 or 5 queen supercedure cells on there. I may wrong - it is hard to be sure without a closer look, but if so, your current queen may need replacing pretty soon.

Otherwise, thank you for baring your beekeeping soul so that we can all learn. Brave and wise man. Nice job!



Hi Dawn, I saw what you saw at 3:25 & to me it looks like the bees are building brace comb at right angles to the frame, possibly because the gap between the frames could be too big or the bees don’t want to build worker comb onto the plastic. However, I can see some freshly drawn comb on that side of the frame as well.


I thought about that too, but that is why I said I would like a closer look. We agree yet again @JeffH, please tell Wilma that she picked the right guy! :smile:


Listen to Jeff and Dawn. I would smoke them, then that lot would be pussy cats. I would also lose those gloves, they make you clumsy. If you really want to wear gloves then some well fitted kitchen gloves are an option. Great first solo effort.



@JeffH prefers PINK… Must be an Aussie thing… :smiling_imp:

As a female beekeeper, I subscribe partly to “pink stinks” - no gender assignments, and I am happy that beekeeping fits that concept.

I had an argument with a solar panel installer today. I told him that our roofer was installing 2x3" rafters to insulate our roof. He told me that was impossible, all beams are 2x4". It was a good thing he wasn’t in front of me, because I am a Brown belt in karate. Anyhow, the beams are now installed and they are 2x3" (nominal, of course that is not the actual, but we are all beekeepers, so we know that our hives are made from “One by something… planks, which means ~7/8” actual by… no?..)


Years ago I had a kind of bee milk run. I used to go from one site to another & sometimes I didn’t bother taking my pink gloves off. I wonder what other motorists thought.

My smoker sometimes works best on the back of my truck. I guess it depends which way it’s facing. I’ve been informed more than once about the smoke/fire on the back of my truck.

Brown belt karate, I’ll agree with you every time Dawn:)


Over 30 years ago, I lived in Brixton, London during the riots:

I could have run and tried to hide, but as the IRA were bombing at the same time, the best thing was to learn how to defend myself. So I trained in karate for 3 years. I wasn’t great, but I tried hard, and if you didn’t know, I could certainly protect myself. Does that make me more of a beekeeper? Well, no, not really, but I certainly think about threats and what I can do actively to dissuade those threats…


PS, we can get all sizes of timber. Generally 3x2 is near accurate if it’s rough sawn. We can get 3x2 for example, dressed, which means it started off as 3x2, so by the time they dress it, taking away all the rough saw marks it’s actually less than 3x2. The same as a 1inch plank (dressed) finishes up to be 7/8th of an inch.


Sorry Chet, your thread got hijacked. My fault. I am shutting up now… :blush:


Hi Jeff, I’m currently looking for a 4 frame nuc and queen for my flow hive. I’ve tried a number of bee keepers in my area and haven’t had much luck getting a response. I was wondering if you can help? I live in Ewingsdale Byron Bay however my parents live in noosa so it’s no problem to come up there to collect if you can help out. I’m looking to set the hive on my property and use the honey at home and in my restaurant. Thanks Zack


Question from a newbie observer…

This is the first time I have seen someone take multuple frames out if the box (and leave them out) during an inspection. Normally, I see people take 1 frame out and leave it out, but the rest they inspect and then put back after inspecting it .

What are the experts opinions on this observation?


Light the smoker Chet; it’ll be better for you and the bees.

Nice job!


I leave the first frame out


I feel much better now. On the smoker, I went to a whole lot of trouble having that thing going good and forgot to use it at first but did remember it a little after I started. I am a BBQ junkie and I use a smoke generator (nothing but a piece of screen wire) over a charcoal chimney full of newspaper to ignite my wood pellets (I have a pellet smoker / grill and keep 20 lb bags of pellet). Pellets are good as they are not apt to go out for a very long time.


Stop at a feed store and pick up a bag of pine shavings. It makes awesome smoker fuel.


I only take out one and leave it out, and I try to take an edge frame without much brood on it. The reasons are just what you might suspect. First, I don’t want to lose bees from the hive if they fall off the frame (especially the queen). Second, I don’t want to squish bees when I set the frame down. Third, if there is brood in the frame, I don’t want it to get chilled and possibly establish chalkbrood in the hive. If it is a very warm day, the brood will probably be fine. Otherwise, I try to be quick and don’t leave a frame of brood out of the hive.

Just my 2 cents. :blush:


Hi Zac, no problem at all, give us a ring to discuss it. Let me know if you can’t find my number, cheers