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How to Spot Eggs in Your Beehive | Honey Bee Egg-Spotting Tips & Tricks

Jan 20, 2024

Finding eggs in your beehive is tricky. They're so darn small, and they're in these little dark tunnels. What's a beekeeper to do? In this video, I go through a hive and look for eggs. I share with you my process to finding eggs and include a lot of tips along the way.

Scroll down for an egg-spotting quiz!

How to Find Eggs in Your Beehive

  1. First, you need to know what an egg looks like. It is the shape of a grain of rice and white, but considerably smaller. 
  2. Look where eggs are most likely to be found, the brood nest. Although eggs can be found anywhere inside your hive, and you should check all of the frames, pay close attention to the frames in the brood nest. In a Langstroth style beehive, or any hive that is vertical, the bottom of the hive is where the brood usually is. In a top bar or Long Langstroth hive, it will be in the center.
  3. Look next to your larvae. The queen lays in a spiral pattern. Her laying should not be sporadic (if it is then your queen is in trouble). Larvae are fairly easy to spot when they're older. They are a white worm curled up inside the cell and when older, take up the entire cell. Once you find larvae, look next to the larvae and see how the size of the worms get smaller and smaller. If the larvae are not getting smaller, the cells are becoming capped, then you're going in the wrong direction. 
  4. Sine a light or rotate the frame until the sun shines into the cells. When the larvae are too small to see, that's when you want to shine a light or rotate the frame to let the sunlight shine in so you can spot eggs.
  5. If you're not sure if it's an egg, it probably isn't. There have been many times I thought I might have seen an egg, but wasn't sure. Don't count those times as an egg spotting because it probably wasn't an egg. There will be times you think it is an egg, but aren't sure. When you actually see an egg, you will say "Oh, wow! Now THAT is an egg!" 

Big Tip!

The hardest part about finding eggs is seeing them for the first time. If you can shadow a beekeeper, even if just for a day, great! Second best is working on your egg-spotting when you first get your hive and the population is low and there are only a few frames of honeycomb. Make it a priority to look for eggs every time you inspect your hive.

Click here to download my FREE Inside a Beehive Identification Guide.


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