Embarking on another hive inspection adventure, I delved into the bustling world of "Gage" and "Gracie." These two remarkable hives have been thriving, each with its unique story to tell. Join me as we explore the recent developments and discoveries in these bee colonies, showcasing their strength and the steps taken to ensure their well-being.

Gage Hive: A Royal Abode of Activity

Gage, my steadfast hive, welcomed me with signs of vigor and prosperity. A delightful encounter with the queen confirmed their status as "queenright." The hive proudly displayed around 4 frames of capped brood, adorned with impeccable brood patterns—a promising sign of a thriving colony. Moreover, the hive's strategic storage was evident, with 3 outer frames dedicated to pollen reserves and an additional 4 frames bejeweled with the gleam of capped honey. The deep super, a treasure trove of capped honey, beckoned for attention. To avoid potential honey congestion within the brood box, a decision was made to introduce another super, allowing the colony's growth to continue unhindered.

Gage Hive mite count circled
Gage Hive mite count circled 18-Aug-2023

Mite Matters: A Delicate Balance

A critical aspect of hive health, the mite count revealed that Gage was well below the 3% threshold for treatment. An alcohol wash on approximately 300 bees indicated only about 5 varroa mites—a testament to the hive's robust state. With a plan to conduct a follow-up mite test in the coming weeks, Gage's resilience was commendable, reflecting careful management and vigilance.

honeybee hive frame with stores of honey and pollen at the edges of the frame.
Gracie Hive resource frame

Gracie Hive: A Queenly Enigma

Turning my attention to Gracie, an intriguing chapter unfolded. The hive displayed undeniable strength, characterized by 3 frames adorned with capped brood and a few frames delicately cradling milk brood—a promising indicator of a viable queen presence. While the queen herself remained elusive during this inspection, I did spot frames with eggs, a clear sign that she had indeed paid a visit.

Mite Monitoring Strategy: An Unveiled Plan

Since the queen eluded my search in the Gracie hive, I opted not to perform an alcohol wash for varroa mites during this inspection. However, a plan is in motion to locate the queen in the upcoming week or two, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of mite infestation in both hives. My suspicion that Gracie might harbor more mites than Gage gained weight as I discovered a few deceased mites on the bottom screen board. To determine the optimal mite testing schedule, I plan to consult my local beekeeping club for their insights and recommendations.

frame of bees with dark nectar in the hexagon cells.
Nectar flowing in the Gracie Hive, Aug 2023


As I closed the chapter on this hive inspection, the tales of Gage and Gracie resonated deeply. Their journey to health and vitality is a reminder of the intricate world within a beehive. The industriousness of these colonies, coupled with strategic management techniques, fuels my enthusiasm for nurturing their growth. Join me in the next chapter of their story, where the bees continue to amaze with their resilience and unwavering spirit.