There are two things I am better at this year than I was last year (my first). First, I am much slower and deliberate in my movements which keeps the bees calmer. Second, I am getting very good at spotting the queen even in the large colonies you will find at this time of the year. Both these skills were demonstrated to me during this afternoon's inspection of Bee Glad... .
The weather was perfect for an inspection. The sun was out, there was a slight breeze and the temperature, I estimate, was in the mid 70s. The bees were actively foraging, storing a great deal of their nectar in the top box. I would guess that they are a behind a bit compared with last year's bees.
I found the queen in the second box, seemingly searching for a place to lay. (She was walking around on a non-drawn out part of a plastic frame.) She looks healthy, and active, and her brood pattern, in all three boxes indicates that as well.
I also pulled a green drone frame full of capped brood in the second box, and replaced it with a drawn drone frame. I ended my inspection by dusting the bees with powered sugar.
And again, no stings!