One of the main concerns as a beekeeper is to keep your bee colonies healthy. Throughout the year the health of the hive should be monitored closely, so that diseases and shortcomings can be remedied as soon as possible.
If there are dirty frames that are contaminated with mold or feces after overwintering, they should be replaced with new clean built wax combs. Following the number of bees and looking for abnormalities in bees, brood, smell etc. during every inspection gives you continual information about the bee colony’s health. Observing the flight entrance and the behavior of the worker bees tells you the bees’ foraging ability and harvest at the time.
To avoid spreading infectious diseases and parasites to a new nucleus, you should ensure that your colonies are healthy. This can be done with either a visual inspection or by sampling the bee hives for a laboratory test (for instance, every fourth year). Swarming is a natural way for the bee colony to get rid of diseases and parasites. The swarms can be placed into a hive with new wax foundation frames, so that the colony can completely renewed its comb structure and thus diminish the infection pressure.
Keeping the varroa mite level low in the colonies is one of the key factors in successful beekeeping.