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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

I saw the QUEEN!

OK, I've been a beekeeper for a year and I've never seen the queen, but today I finally did in Bermuda. The population is burgeoning and I didn't see any wing problems on the bees I looked at. I was thrilled that things looked better. And then.......

I saw the QUEEN. I would never have seen her, but for the fact that there are less bees and she is obviously still my original queen so she has a white dot painted on her back. The marking color for 2006 queens is white. The two new queens I will get with my two nucs this year should have a yellow dot, the marking color for 2007, on their backs.

You, too, can see my queen - sort of blurry but there she is in the bottom of the picture below. Like me, you can recognize her by the dot on her back. Walt Wright says that you don't ever have to see the queen as long as you can see that she is hard at work by seeing eggs and larvae in different stages, but as much as I respect everything of his that I read, I don't care, I was thrilled to meet her at last.

I will be doing a powdered sugar shake at every hive inspection this year. Until my bees are regressed to small cell, the Varroa is vigorously in the picture. I didn't do a count today - thought I would be too discouraged - but I'll start a count record of Varroa on a sticky board starting next weekend. This year instead of the complete mess I made last year, I simply used my flour sifter and sifted sugar over the brood box. Then I took my bee brush and brushed the sugar that landed on top of the frames in between the frames.
Here's how the bees look after the sugar shake. Very ghost-like, huh?
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  1. Anonymous8:22 AM

    You've presented some very useful information. I would like to know more about regressing bees to small cell. I understand there is a process to do this that involves the use of small-cell foundation in the brood box. Thanks.

  2. Next time will be easier to see the queen, even without the dot.
    You have to powder sugar again atleast one more time after 7 days as to clear the cupped brood too.


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