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Tip of the Month

Bee Health

John looking at frame bees.jpeg

Carrying out your first detailed inspection of the year is important and will help inform your plans for the rest of the year.


Make a plan before you leave home and make sure you have all the kit you are likely to need with you.


Be clear what you are looking for:

•   Queen present & laying?

•   Brood at all stages? Good brood pattern with biscuit-coloured cappings?

•   Bees looking normal & healthy?

•   Acting normally?

•   Can you see pollen coming in?

•   Can you see drones or drone cells on the way?

•   Any sign of disease or varroa mites (be sure to check floor inserts)?

•   Are there enough stores to last the bees to your next inspection?

•   Has the colony got enough room?

•   Check the queen’s mark and renew if indistinct.

•   Add a queen excluder and super when the brood box is filling with new bees & brood, not stores.

•   Replace any dirty, mouldy, or damaged comb with frames of sterilised comb or new foundation or move these dirty frames to the outside of the brood box to replace later.

•   Keep the appropriate records – memories aren’t what they could be…


The National Bee Unit (NBU) produce excellent guides on pests and diseases you should look out for in your hive. This link will take you directly to where you can find them -

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