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Really need to check hives so often?

I have my Flow frames on and they are getting filled and heavy. The question is do I really need to keep checking the hive during this time? My understanding is that are not so likely to swarm at this time.

All input welcome.


How often do you usually check/inspect ? I’ve reduced my personal inspections from weekly to every other … Often my looks are actually looking down thru the frames now unless I need more detailed check.

Many are adding a shallow or medium over the Flow-super for various reasons. Plus it give you reserve space should the colony need it these last couple or three months we have left before cold Wx returns.

I like to do a sugar shake varroa mite check of my hive(s) each month to know where we are with that issue. August n October I’m told are the most important checks n rechecks. As bee population decrease the might ratio can rapidly reverse causing problems. I try to use envirmentally friendly checks, methods n treatments to reduce stress on my colonies.

Just my thots n 2-cents worth.


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When is the swarming season in your area? That’s when you need to check weekly.
Here in the UK you can expect swarming between Early April through to end of July, depending on location and type of bee. You’ll get to know your bees with experience. Also, splits need looking in less often after the initial manoeuvres.
I won’t look into mine now until the end of August to check if they need feeding. I treat for varroa by sublimation and that requires no invasion of the brood nest at all.

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What is "sublimation ? You have me on that one !:smile::+1:

Sublimation is the process where some solids turn directly into a gas without passing through the liquid state. Like ice cubes “evaporating” in the freezer.

Plastic frames “off-gassing” is sublimation as well.


So I am guessing the process is the hot iron a beekeeper puts crystals in n vaporizes/gasses the hive ?? I was a beekeeper back in the pre mite ages n now returning. I’m having to learn a new set of terms n ideas. Thanks for the notes !


Hmm, I’m guessing from what you wrote … And I’m new to this varroa stuff. You do not inspect/sugar shake for mites … You just periodically gas your hive ? How do you know the process was effective or does this always just WORK ? Hopefully I’m understanding your method(s) here.

I’ve been doing a powder sugar roll/shake monthly to know how the mite count is. I am only guessing you don’t do this, correct ? I figure the only dumb question is the one I fear asking then pay for it later…

Thankz Dee n others on here !


I’m not entirely sure if the hot iron is necessary for the medication to be gassified, or if it’s just used to create a convection current to circulate the air through the hive.

My understanding is:
Evaporation is a cooling process. Since the temperature of the ice cube doesn’t change, it’s not the right term.
Vaporization adds heat to the achieve the gaseous state, like heating incense oils.
Atomization is making the particles small enough to be suspended in air, like a mister or humidifier.
Sublimation just happens. The Pine Tree car/air fresheners don’t stink because they’re drying out, they just stink because of sublimation.

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Hi Jerry,

As a retired doctor, I find myself unable to do a test if I am not going to treat the results. So I don’t do the sugar test unless I am at a good time for treating. With honey supers on, I am not going to treat, so I won’t test. I would test in early spring, then again before putting the honey supers on and finally after the supers have come off around August. I may test at other times if I am concerned for some reason. Having spotted a bee with what I thought was DWV (only one), I would like to test soon, but I have to persuade my hubby that it is a good idea! :blush:

In your case, you are learning to do mite counts, so I can see that it is valuable to you to test more often, but you shouldn’t really need to test monthly unless you are worried about something.

Hi Dawn,

Nah ! I’m guessing the testing in not truely necessary each month but as you mentioned, I’m learning this new stuff, recording my finding, and will have monthly data to compare year to year. Not sure if that’s good or bad. Maybe I’m just “Nosie” ! :smile: or a data/info nut ! :sunglasses:. Ta ta … Jerry . Pages of data sheets I’ll turn in for a College Research bee study here in Washington state. The other is my personal bee data log.

Very impressively detailed. :wink: I am ashamed of how quick my notes are by comparison! :blush:

I check the colony mite loads three times a year routinely with a sugar roll; in early Spring once the bees get foraging properly, in the Summer when the first supers go on and in the Autumn when they come off. I use a Varrox vaporiser to sublimate Oxalic acid, applying is from underneath the mesh floor. I don’t “just treat” but I have never been varroa-free so there is always the Autumn treatment to do after the supers come off. One year I had to treat one colony with supers on so I used MAQS. I always grab an opportunity to treat a brood-less colony (a split or a swarm) with the Varrox without checking the mite load.
I always monitor drop after treatment. This year the mite loads are low for some reason

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I like to check every 10 days to 2 weeks. Circumstances this season have led be to become a very bad beekeeper and I haven’t been in some hives since April. I like to stay on top of things but this season I’m just putting out fires instead of preventing them. Even still, this has been a record honey harvesting year.

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