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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to do a Basic Hive Inspection

I ran a table at the short course yesterday in Atlanta and had this slide show running as a continuous loop. Many participants wanted to know if they had access to this after the course, so I searched to find a way to upload PowerPoint slides.

I hope all of you will find this useful. It's a YouTube video/slide show


  1. Anonymous9:26 AM

    "windows movie maker" .... hmmm well I use Ubuntu and cannot figure out how to play this. I am not sure how the Mac users will cope .... A powerpoint presentation would be easy though ...

  2. I'm uploading it to Google video in just a moment and you can more easily view it. It's not possible to upload a PowerPoint presentation to blogger.

  3. OK I've found a way to upload PowerPoint, but it is not the same color as on my computer and some titles got cut off, but hey, at least it's there!

  4. Hi Linda,
    nice pics. Do you use foundation in your frames?

  5. Anonymous6:31 AM

    That's really helpful. I am a novice bee-keeper in Manchester England and this is the best guide to inspection I've found! CeeBee

  6. I am a new beekeeper in North Carolina and this presentation was great with great step by step processes. Thanks a bunch for posting this!

  7. Wow - so helpful. Thank you.

    One question: You say to add a hive body whenever 8 of ten frames has drawn comb. Is there any limit to the number of hive bodies you'd put on a hive, then? How do you know when enough is enough?

  8. The bees let you know when enough is enough. To get through the winter in a medium box hive with 8 frame boxes, you need to leave the bees three medium boxes. Bees can get through the winter in much of the country with one deep and one medium 10 frame box. You harvest honey if the bees fill more boxes than that - and of course, you can't have so many boxes on the hive that you can't lift the top box off - so there are all kinds of reasons that will guide how many boxes you put on the hive.

  9. Anonymous5:22 PM

    Great info. I am a new beekeper and am not yet sure of what I am seeing in the hive. Very helpful! Thanks!

  10. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Thank you for making this available! I'm new to beekeeping and am looking through everything on the web. This is one of my favorite finds. (I'll have my 13 year old daughter, who was also trained, certified, and licensed with me, watch this. I know she'll find it just as helpful!)

    PS. I can't figure out the posting profile options...sorry to use Anonymous. =/

  11. Susan Berla, Louisville KY1:49 PM

    Thanks for great video Linda--you are right--you can read books al day long, but nothing replaces a great visual. 2011 was my first summer beekeeping and I think I had everything that could possibly happen, happen--had 1 hive. They were doing great, I added a super too late, they swarmed, 1/2 the hive went to a tree 50 feet up with no safe way to reach them--built several sheets of comb up there and spent about 3 weeks on the outside of a branch. Weeks later I saw a new/old? queen FLY AWAY from a frame I was holding when I inspected my hive again but she must have come back or had a replacement because they seemed to recover by August. 2 days ago in February I inspected on a very warm day and there were only a few bees left in the hive, no queen, alas it was the end of the line for them. I froze the super of honey they left behind for this year's new hive. Ate one frame with the kids. Fantastic honey. Can't wait for a new year! WOndering what will happen next.

  12. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Linda, Great job on the video! My son and I are starting beekeeping together and will be opening the hive today to make sure the queen got out of her cage OK. The video is very helpful. We don't plan to look beyond the frame we hung her on. I have been corresponding with you on the beekeeping forum regarding slatted boards and screens and your comments have been insightful. Thank you.


  13. any ideas please?? newly installed NUC as of last Saturday. the weather is great and i have been in one time since to replace feeder baggy. every time my fiance and i are in the yard..we get ..bumped..not just a fly by..but a hard landing and kind of agressive stance.
    is this something to be concerned about or do we just need to let them settle in?
    install and short visit were both done barehanded with no issue..thanks Linda!!

  14. Joyce, Bees are all kinds of temperaments. It's the guard bees' job to protect their home. I wouldn't worry about the bumping - I assume you are wearing a veil. They are just letting you know they are aware and would prefer that you left. The keys to a good inspection include to move slowly, not to drop anything in or on the hive or frames, and to help the bees keep calm - for me that usually means puffing smoke at the door at the beginning and using hive drapes. Bees also are more likely to head bump if you inspect at the end of the day rather than in the middle of the day when the foragers are away or when bad weather is threatening. Hope that helps.

    1. thanks Linda for the quick response. yes i do wear a veil when i am working on the hive and have not had any issue with them. the bumping occurs at least thirty feet from the hive area and yesterday in my driveway as i was walking to my car. if you say not to worry i trust your judgement. guess i have got to get used to them as much as they have to get used to living in CT :)

  15. just wanted to let you know that it seems it one just one cranky bee...she is gone and now there is peace..i just put on my second brood box! sorry about the bad weather down that a way

  16. Anonymous8:28 PM

    Outstanding site, Linda. I'm new to beekeeping and was wondering: would application of lime around beehives (which are on blocks sited on dirt) help in basic sanitation around hives? Since dead bees fall in the area, and I've seen ants and a roach on the bee
    "pedestals", it seems maybe it could help. Or would it be detrimental to the bees themselves?
    Thx for any feedback. Keep up the nice work!
    Mitch in eastern NC

  17. Thank you,very nice video


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