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The Latest Inspection Disaster


My first hive (first one I inspected in vid) swarmed and I thought it would be important to go in today to see if the new queen could be found or eggs. Didnt’ find either on that hive but the # of bees seemed up. The second hive attacked me and I wound up with 10 or more stings, but did find eggs cells. A storm is in the forecast for this afternoon but storm or no, I will never inspect in the mornings again. In the middle of that 2nd hive I saw 2 cells that were open but looked too small to be queen cells. Sure hope I’m not about to see that one swarm too.


Is this the one that swarmed four days ago?
Far too early to be looking.
Two to three weeks after swarming if conditions are ideal.
The number of bees would seem to be higher because brood has been emerging.

Regarding your second hive. You have eggs, you have a queen.
I wouldn’t think they were yet making swarm preps. They have a lot of comb to draw.
Just a little word about shaking frames. If you are shaking frames to dislodge the bees to examine the comb you have to get all the bees off. You hold the frame half in the hive and shake down rapidly. The bees drop off the frame into the box. If you half heartedly shake the frames outside the hive all you do is make them mad.
Ad another word about looking into a colony with a virgin queen. Don’t do it in the afternoon when she may be out on a mating flight…in fact…don’t look in at all.
As Michael Bush said in your other thread
From the time the hive swarmed until you will probably see a laying queen is likely to be two to four weeks. The old queen usually leaves just after the first queen cell is capped, which means 8 days later you will have a virgin queen. Two weeks fater that she is likely to be laying. So most likely it will be three weeks.

Just my opinion and not trying to be critical…just constructive


Chet, sorry to see you’re having a tough time. I don’t think the time of day was an issue

You might oughta consider slowing your movements down a bit (a lot). You seem real rushed and the bees hate those sudden, jarring movements.

Also consider not shaking the frames before you bring them up to look at them too. Makes 'em angry and can’t spot a queen if you’ve shaken her off the frame.

Remember, only open a hive with a deliberate goal in mind.
If you need to know if you have a queen, look for eggs in the most likely spot rather than hunting her down on every frame.
If you’re worried about swarming, tilt boxes up to look for swarm cells on the bottoms of the frames rather than pulling them all.

If you look up HoneyBeeHoney on Youtube, that fella has the smoothest hive tool movements and method for loosening frames I’ve seen.

Thanks for sharing!


What was the temperature and time of the inspection? For my hives their biggest exodus to go foraging happens when the temp hits 66-75F. This temp has changed slightly as we warm up here and get towards summer, but when it was cooler it was almost clockwork that 70 degrees coincide with my biggest weight dip of the day. This also usually happens here around 7-8am. If you inspected before that time and temperature then you had more bees in the hive then you would if you inspected later in the morning or afternoon.

Also bees are very good weather-ladies. They know a storm is coming and I have heard that they will get more aggressive during these kinds of situations. I would put more stock in the storm then you are.


Hang in there Chet, so many of us here are learning as we go! Really cool of you to share your progress so openly.


Hi Chet, I agree with Bobby, with respect, it’s not the mornings that’s the problem.

I have few tips that I think should help you.

First of all, keep your smoker going. I find if I keep the lid slightly open, with a little bit of breeze & sufficient fuel, it will keep going for you. Then you’ll have it going when you need it.

Sudden bumping & jarring will upset the bees. Be very careful when removing & replacing frames not to kill any bees, especially under the frame lugs & the frame shoulders.

Another thing your doing that will upset the bees is shaking bees off the frames. Try to inspect the frames without shaking bees. You could be shaking the same bee several times. Apart from that, it just upsets the bees.

Getting back to dead bees. Now if you leave any dead bees under the frame lugs or between the frames, apart from the possibility one of them could be the queen, SHB lay eggs in dead or trapped bees.

This is only me, but I find it easier handling frames by hand. Just lift one side up with the hive tool & grab it with one hand & support the other lug with your hive tool & gently take it out. Rest the bottom corner on another frame & then you can grab it with the hand that’s holding the hive tool. The Perfect Pocket Hive Tool is fantastic for that because you can hold it in the palm of your hand while holding the frame.

Another observation I think I saw, I’m not sure, but I think I saw you blow on the bees. Try not to blow or even breathe over the bees. The co2 we breathe out upsets them.

Apart from the bees, there’s a free moviemaker download available, so we can edit & shorten our videos to remove the areas with no activity.


To all those that offered tips and advice I want to shout out a big THANK YOU! The way I see it if I’m not upfront with what I’m doing and you are not brutally honest with your critique I will never improve.


I think you are one of the bravest beekeepers I have ever come across. Kudos to you! :blush: