Hive Inspection Sheet

Here are a couple of colonies that looked great going into winter, but died rapidly before spring with a small cluster of bees left. Varroa mite infestation is suspected for their demise.
Here are a couple of colonies that looked great going into winter, but died rapidly before spring with a small cluster of bees left and plenty of stored honey. Varroa mite infestation is suspected for their demise. You can see a number of dead bees on the plywood. This picture was taken in January. These colonies where untreated for mites or nosema as part of evaluating potential resistant breeding stock.

Linked here is the hive InspectionSheet I use for evaluating colonies in my stock improvement program. Mites are recorded with a powdered sugar test while Nosema spore measures are recorded on a separate piece of paper. Doing these measures at specific times, allows for calculations of specific interests, such as the change in number of adult bees in spring, or change in mite population growth The numbers of frames of each measure (bees, brood, etc.) is done by generally estimating by looking at the frame.

Sometimes, I will deviate from this inspection sheet by estimating only the number of adult bees, thereby avoiding pulling out every frame to look for brood and stores. This for example can allow for an early estimate of the over-wintered cluster when its still fairly cold.