3.1.4. Timing and duration of test
Performance testing of colonies starts with the last autumn inspection following colony establishment (described in section 3.2.4. establishment of test colonies). Colonies will have been uniformly managed and specific requirements noted. Observations may be made in the first year, taking care that the colony is completely made up of progeny of the test queen (about 40 days after colony establishment). Starting from the spring, qualitative behavioural traits are assessed every time all the hives in the apiary are inspected, with a minimum number of 4 evaluations per trait. Behavioural traits should be evaluated under the same environmental conditions, in other words, tests should be performed on the same day for all colonies present in the testing apiary. Testing continues throughout the season. In the autumn of the queen’s second year of life, the test cards are collected and processed for estimation of breeding values.