Spring brood inspections

Hi All,

During Spring I have been doing brood inspections every 7 days (one at 10) mainly for convenience of the weekend. I am interested in feedback if 7 is a little too often and whether I can stretch to 14 days, mainly again to fit with weekends. Inspections are fairly intrusive to the hive and I would prefer to leave it longer if it doesn’t run to too much risk. The particular hive is only new from a nuc in late August, however, is quite strong with the Flow super being on for just over two weeks now and filling. last two inspections there has been 2 and 3 queen cups but but look more like play cups than anything else. Thanks for your thoughts Brent

Hi @BC1956,

I think it would be easier if you could define the purpose of you inspections. Because, depending on personal goals, in some cases every 14 days could be too often or every 7 could be too rare.

Hi @ABB, just a general inspection, however was being a bit cautious as a few queen cups, it could be being a little paranoid though.

Thank you @BC1956. I am not a fan of inspections as swarm-preventing measure. It is reactive approach.

Weekly inspections give you a chance to catch unsealed cups but it does not remove the problem. When you see cells, colony already is in swarm mode. You need to be ready to act quick and still be ready to fail. As swarm season passes you may stretch the time between inspection even more than 14 days.

Have you considered a proactive approach? Increasing volume available for nest, giving them frames to build, splitting? It is disrupting too, but at least one does it once a year and continues to enjoy live further instead of being paranoid. Still not fail-proof though…

Cheers @ABB. I was thinking about adding a WSP, but it is just trying to reconise the need due to inexperience, or whether they are just building play cups at this stage.

Ok, I see. Then, inspect away! :slight_smile: I believe there is a value in often inspection. It is self-education. Yes, it is disruptive, but how else can we learn? Yes, you may get a reduced quantity of produce from your hive. In worse case scenario you may lose a hive, but it is better than doing something year after year without understanding what is actually happening.

If you want to avoid swarming and your strategy is to do an artificial swarm as soon as you see that the colony is in swarm mode (charged queen cells), then you should do inspections every 7 days in spring.

Other methods such as premptive splitting or adding extra space may reduce the desire to swarm or delay it, but in my view do not do away with the need to inspect regularly as no method is foolproof.
And never rely on breaking down queen cells. That simply doesnt work.


Thanks for the input @ABB & @JimM, will just keep an eye on them for the moment I think from the landing board and inspections. Cheers