first inspection

posted Apr 22, 2018, 12:52 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Apr 27, 2018, 12:24 AM by Unknown user ]
Q:  it is April and spring is late in the West of Ireland!  Is it too early to make a first inspection? ~ Ivan McGee, Dromore West, 20th April 2018

A:  Ideally, inspections should only be carried out when the ambient temperature reaches 15 degrees but you can even briefly check hives in winter when the temperature rises over 10.  We have a simple thermometer affixed to each of our apiaries to indicate this, or you can google the local temperature on your phone.  However, it is important to understand the health of your colonies so a very quick inspection should now be made - look for signs of eggs & capped brood for indications that your queens are healthy and active then close the hive but wait for warmer temperatures before a full and detailed search.