I had planned on a Top Bar Hive Inspection at the weekend, but the forecast for the rest of the week is for rain and quite possibly thunderstorms and so I decided to get it done today!

It was to mainly check for two things.

Queen cells

If I spot queen cells then I know that the colony is likely to swarm and then I can prepare myself and my neighbours for that.

Space

When I last opened up the hive on the 27th May to inspect and fit a follower board to create a periscope entrance, I gave them some extra bars taking them up to 14 bars of space, that was an extra 5 bars.

By watching their entrance activity occasionally, I was sure that they were possibly running low on space and so I wanted to make sure that if this was the case, that I would be able to then add some more bars. The hive is 48″ long and holds 31 bars but with a follower board at the rear and one creating a periscope entrance, it is 29 bars.

They had indeed built comb up to the follower board and so I gave them a further 5 bars of space.

Last year’s colony only made it to 14 bars all year!

Health

Also, whilst inspecting, I am checking on the health of the colony.

So looking for varroa, signs of wing deformity and other signs that would let me know there is an issue, but the colony looked in good health and are very productive!

Without any doubt, adding the periscope entrance and creating a darker hive, has meant the colony is so calm and a pleasure to work with!

The beekeeping jacket I am wearing is the Simon the Beekeeper Buzz Work Wear Fencing Jacket that costs £19.99

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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