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Timing of first inspections


Northern Hemisphere, Western North Carolina mountains

I started my first hive with a package 2 days ago. No foundation, pretty much following this video Beginner Beekeeping Ep 4 Part 2 - Installing a package with Michael Bush. It’s been quite entertaining getting to know them.

I’ve read that inspecting is important, but also that it sets them back a bit. When should I do the first inspection? How often thereafter?


You queen was caged? Did you release her, or is she still in the cage? If she is still caged, you need to inspect after 3-5 days to ensure she has been released. If she hasn’t, you either need to release her, or you need to make it much easier for the bees to do that - lots of info on that on this forum if you use the search function. So that is your first inspection. At the same time, assess the frames - how many drawn, how much nectar/pollen stored, how many eggs/larvae (if the queen is loose) etc. that will decide when you go in again. It may be as little as one week later. It probably shouldn’t be longer than 2 weeks - you will want to make sure that frames are being drawn out straight, no bridge comb, and enough food.


I did release the queen. I guess I’ll do the first inspection once they have been in a week.


I’ve no experience with package bees. Is it safe to release the queen when you install them?
I suppose it depends on how long they have been in transit.
Can somebody tell me?
Packages are becoming more common here in the UK and it seems a good way to start of with a clean colony…but only if I could collect them myself. A bit like a shook swarm with a new queen.


I am sure I have seen @Michael_Bush discussing doing it both ways - waiting a few days, and releasing immediately. His Flow video suggests waiting, if I recall correctly. However, his article on this page talks about releasing right away:

As he installs new bees almost entirely from packages rather than nuclei, he should have a lot of experience with the method! :smile:


The day of the video we installed four or five packages. Two were direct released and the others the queen was left int he cage on the bottom (which I don’t recommend unless you are certain the nights won’t fall to 50 F). One of them swarmed to the trees. It was one with the queen still in the cage…