Bee population

  • Check each hive box (or super) from the top and bottom (you do not need to take out individual combs) immediately after opening the hive to estimate how many spaces between combs are populated with bees.
  • Add up the total number of combs covered with bees. Fully covered spaces between combs count as 1. Partially covered ones are counted proportionately in quarters of a comb (0.25, 0.5, 0.75).
  • Seasonal differences in the average density of bees in the cluster do not need to be recorded as the data are mainly used to compare colonies to one another. They are not meant to be an absolute measure of the number of bees.