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My first hive inspection, Armidale NSW, Australia

Conducted my first inspection today.
I had five brood frames inserted into my eight frame hive on 7/12/17.

The two empty frames on the outside edges are full of honey (I was not expecting so much honey…) All six frames in the middle of the hive, appear to have a mixture of brood, pollen and honey.

I did not get to see the queen, but there seems to be plenty of activity in the hive.

I set up the camera to film the inspection, but the lighting is not clear enough to see anything, so that’s an unfortunate mistake. I will have to learn camera placement too :laughing:

I was very nervous and overly cautious, I hope on my next inspection, I will be more confident and also have a better understanding of what I’m looking at. I also really hope I get to meet my Queen :honeybee:

I am so in love with them already, I purchased my hive in the initial crowd funding phase, but life had not given me an opportunity to get started until now.

I will try to get some images from my video to post.

Cheers - Annie :honeybee:


Well done, the fun begins. I have only been a beek for 12 months, now have flow and a horizontal hive. I thought I actually saw a queen yesterday ( would be my first official sighting) during inspection. Forgot my queen marker and by the time I returned with marker she had absconded!!
The joys of beekeeping

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Photo 1: Hive on delivery day, the bees were organised by my husband as a birthday surprise, they arrived during the night and I woke to find the hive buzzing the morning of my birthday :heart_eyes:

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These were the best screen shots I could get from my video, the camera is sitting on a fence post, and I really forgot about it once I opened the hive. My husband has suggested wearing a go-pro for my next inspection…any advice on better video/photo tips greatly appreciated (I had my phone to take some photos, but couldn’t press the screen with the gloves on!!!)



Thanks @Jeffm it puts my mind at ease hearing that after 12 months, you are only meeting your Queen for the first time. I was a little disheartened today not to meet her… I must remember to have a marker with me too, had not thought of that today, so thanks for the tip :smile:

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Hi Annie,

I would not attempt to mark a queen personally without heaps of trialling first - say on drones or something. I’d worry that I might damage her. I think there is some sort of special container and method. Last time I inspected one of my hives, the queen flew off the frame and landed on the ground away from the hive. I’m not sure how common that is, but she seemed very flighty and nervous.


Hi Dan, after seeing the odd young queen getting balled & killed by workers while the colony is under stress, I seriously wonder if the young queens are nervous & fearful of their lives. Not so much running & hiding from us, but running quickly so that the workers don’t get a chance to ball her. Something I’ve been thinking about lately, every time I see a young nervous queen.

Food for thought, I think.


Thanks for the advice @Dan2 , I did watch a few videos on marking the queen and I definitely don’t feel confident in catching her if I do see her, not yet anyway.
I hope she hasn’t flown away or fallen on the ground. If this were the case, will she go back on her own? (Hopefully not a stupid question, I’m sure I’ll be throwing lots of those around :laughing:)


I really don’t know, but wondered myself. Perhaps it depends on how far she might fly? A mated queen has been out and back before. In my case, I saw where she landed and she crawled up onto my gloved hand and I placed her back in the hive.

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interesting Jeff. She was a young supercedure queen, laying well but young nevertheless.

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Hi Dan, another thing happened the other afternoon. I moved a colony into another bloke’s box to get picked up last night. I didn’t notice the queen on any of the frames. I couldn’t see her in the empty box after a quick look.

What I normally do is put the lid on the new box, then rest the old box on the lid for the bees to go into the new box. This time they didn’t go down, so I removed the lid & rested the box over the frames, containing brood etc. Then the bees started to vacate the old box into the new box. So I put the lid on the new box & sit the old box back onto the lid for the rest of the bees to go down to the new box entrance where there was lots of scent fanning.

Yesterday morning I grabbed the empty (I thought) brood box to transfer a colony from a nuc box into it when I noticed a tiny cluster of bees in one corner. That tiny little cluster contained the queen. I was amazed that she remained in that box & didn’t go down to the new box where the vast majority of bees went, where all of the brood was.

That kind of answers the question as to whether a queen flies back to a colony if she falls off a frame or some other misfortune.

Admittedly she stayed with the old box, however there was plenty of scent fanning that afternoon & the next morning to entice her back.

That was a lesson learned.


Hi Annie,
Welcome to the newbee club. I got my first colony in June and have , I think , just about driven JeffH and his wife Wilma mad with my newbee questions and anxieties. :laughing:
In 6 short months a gamut of incredibly interesting things have happened in my hive . I am on to my second queen ! I knew something was afoot in there, I couldn’t find the old queen and despite there being brood etc there didn’t seem to be as much. I worried myself in tona frenzy,
reread every article, book, blog and forum. Desperate to avoid anything going awry . Down the hill comes JeffH for a look see and finds a brand new fat queen !
The benefit of being able to call on the expertise of a mentor.


Thanks for the encouragement @Bean19.
I know what you mean by anxieties… I sit with my hive every morning with a cuppa, and check on them in the evening (Like a new mother, I am wasting wonderful hours watching them!).
Yesterday in the morning my husband was at the hive, big hairy oaf, and stirred them up, he had a couple fly at him and get stuck in his beard (I told him they must have thought he was a hairy bear coming to steal their honey :laughing: ). I worried all day about them being stirred up; what if they tell the Queen there is a bear and leave… :roll_eyes:. Last night, I did my usual goodnight ritual, only much later in the evening… and not a bee to be seen :hushed: panic set in and I went inside and read everything I could find on why bees flee the hive…Hairy husbands was not mentioned, but my mind did not rest easy!
I am however happy to report that this morning, the hive is well, alive and buzzing :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:

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Hiya Annie, seeing you spend so much time “At the hive entrance” and I havnt seen this link on the forum for a while, here’s some reading for ya. :flushed:

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Thank you @skeggley, I will save this one for sure. I hope that as I learn more, I will worry less :laughing:

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Not very informative, but here is my edited video.
Will have to practice the ‘fine’ art of documenting my future inspections :slight_smile:

First hive inspection.

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LOL :smile:pleased to hear I’m not alone with my worries.
Do you know any local beekeepers where you are ? It’s wonderful watching
them go through their hives (and mine as the case has been), they are just
so calm, confident and patient or at least that’s been my experience.
I will watch out for your next lot of photo’s. I take my hubby up to the
hive with me as the photographer , it’s kind of like my photo log of what’s
going on in there. If I see something amazing (or puzzling) I can go back
and look in my own time then.

Happy New Year.