Hive Inspection

What does one do in a hive inspection? Mostly, a lot of looking and listening.

Looking for the Queen, brood, signs of disease, signs of swarming, honey production, Queen cells, drone cells, beetles, varroa mites…

Listening for their overall mood, easily reflected in their humming, often gentle and work-related, sometimes irritated and loud.

Whether or not you need to really “do” anything during the hive inspection depends entirely on what you see and hear. Often there’s nothing that needs to be done (except maybe refilling a syrup feeder), but sometimes there are interventions and adjustments to make — and usually, ones best made right away in order to prevent disaster — but you never know it until you take the time to look & listen. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

Hive Inspection, 2022

{Spring is Coming: Bee Install Day}

March 2017, we install my Dad’s first bee colony into his new Top Bar hive.

Note that the queen-box strap had become detached during transport, resulting in the need to scoop the queen-box out of the package by hand.

“Hear the voices, they are humming, change is coming to all… Spring is coming home.” – The Gospel Whiskey Runners

Blessings on your beekeeping, may the rewards be sweet.

{junior beekeeper}

My brave buddy G-man recently helped me out with a beehive inspection – his very first experience beekeeping!

He wasn’t worried one bit, and could already distinguish between the bees “happy buzzing” as opposed to the way an angry wasp sounds. Look how close he is to the bees!


I’m a big fan of teaching kids to appreciate honey bees and love getting to provide an opportunity for them to experience wonder & fascination at this amazing and beautiful species.  There’s an innate sense of accomplishment and pride that develops in the child from knowing they can approach and handle bees, something they’ve seen grown adults run away from.

Many adults have strongly embedded fears of bees, often because they associate them with more aggressive insects and have only the vaguest notion that wasps are a different species entirely. Kids are totally capable of making the distinction between a docile honeybee worker busy gathering nectar, a harmless bumble bee browsing for pollen, and a buzzing angry yellow jacket that wants you out of its territory. Instilling this knowledge at an early age goes a long way towards reversing the social fears that surround buzzing insects.

I’m super proud of my cousin for his interest and willingness to learn. I’m glad to know he is already an advocate & ambassador for the exciting world of beekeeping!