I’ve refined my Warre hive inspection checklist a little:
Warre Hive Inspection Checklist
If Biodynamic, is Day: Flower Fruit Root Leaf
What plants and trees are in bloom in surrounding area?
Are foraging honey bees or native bees observed in surrounding area?
Is water source full and are bees observed at provided water source?
Temperament of hive today:
Sound of Hive (pleasant constant mm or does hive sound weak or distressed or is there sound of virgin piping queen/s?):
Scent of Hive (sweet smelling or any smell of disease?):
Warmth of Hive (touch hand or cheek to hive especially in cool weather to assess warmth):
Observations at the Hive Entrance
Any bearding on the hive?
Any fanning bees:
Any guard bees active:
Orientation flights observed (mid day):
Pollen arriving observed, different colors:
Any presence of male bees at or around entrance:
Excessive number of male bees at entrance – more than 1 in 5 may suggest a laying worker:
Any undertaker bees cleaning the hive:
Estimated or actual traffic per minute at the hive entrance:
Any dead bees or larvae outside hive, if so do any have deformed or K wings or other presence of disease:
Any confused looking bees wandering around entrance as if drunk, (may suggest acute pesticide poisoning):
Signs of animal disturbance such as skunk scratches or any birds such as blue jays eating bees:
Any ants or small hive beetles or other insects seen around hive?
Propolised entrance (usually Autumn):
Yellow Jackets or other bees trying to rob (Autumn):
Male bees evicted (late Summer):
Cleansing flights (Winter):
Observed through the windows:
New comb building observed:
Honey comb (thick comb) observed:
Brood comb (thinner comb) observed:
Developing queen cells seen:
Empty queen cells seen:
Observed on Bottom Board:
Varroa drop count:
Presence of chewed cappings:
Presence of new wax flakes:
Before opening hive, remind yourself to stay calm in mind and body.
If opened the hive:
Added box or boxes from below:
Harvested box of honey from above:
Actions: (such as renewed water source, added mouse guard, sprinkled baking powder around hive to deter ants)
Planned for next visit:
compiled by Judith Moran, 2013