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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.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

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.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Swarm is Making Queen Cells!

I inspected all the hives this morning - just a perfunctory check to determine which hives (if any) needed new supers. I started with Mellona. The first picture is the beautiful honey being stored on 7/11 foundation and being capped in this picture. This hive is such a workhorse. They had filled every frame in this super and I added another with 7/11 foundation for more chunk honey or crush and strain if I wish.

I then checked Bermuda who is beginning to move into the third box. They have a way to go yet, though. I removed two frames of 7/11 that I had put into that box last week. The frames hadn't been touched by the bees and I needed it in the box I added to Mellona. I pushed the 8 frames together and will add two more with starter strips of SC before I go to work in the morning.

Proteus continues to make creative comb, although now the bees are staying inside the boundaries of the frame. The second picture is one of the combs created by Proteus from a crush and strain comb from last year. You can see the remnants of last year's comb on the bottom bar of the frame.

A friend of mine who is deeply into mythology and ritual suggested that I have a name-changing ritual to take Proteus and change its name to something that doesn't include shape-changing (as done by the god for whom Proteus is named!) Then perhaps the hive would improve its comb-building ability!

Finally I checked on my tiny swarm hive. On Saturday, the 12th, I gave them two frames from Bermuda with eggs and very young brood. If they were able to start queen cells from the eggs, that should be evident by now, nine days later. I was thrilled to find open queen cups on one frame and one prominent and very big queen cell along with a couple of others that were smaller. You can see it in the lower left of the third picture. Also you can see the opened queen cups to the right.

I'm so excited that these girls are on the right track. I moved the five frames to a nuc box where they will stay until they get bigger. I've been feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup and will continue that in the nuc box. I also plan to add another frame of capped/emerging brood to increase their numbers.

In the last picture you can see the tiny nuc hive, rather dwarfed by the towering Mellona that now has four (4) honey supers on it!
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  1. Aunt Linda T ~

    Even though I don't comment on your blog (you may have noticed that I'm frequently writing "to" Dylan), I am checking it often!

    Remember when (for 4 years) I used to say to you, "I'm talking about Ryan, my boyfriend" and you'd say, "Yes, I know he's your boyfriend ~ you've been together for 4 years!" Well, I figure if I keep writing to Dylan as a. his cousin and b. his #1 fan, he will have no problem remembering it by the time he's oh, 4 or 5. :)

    Really and truly...I absoluely love your blog.


    ps--feel free to omit this from your comment section ~ it's not the most professional beekeeping commentary!

  2. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Totally cool blog. I have two questions: are those slotted racks between the bottom boards and the bottom brood chambers? Also, what happened to the foundation on the frame with sporadic comb?

  3. I keep slatted racks on my hives. It's very hot in Atlanta and the slatted racks give the bees a place inside the hive to hang out rather than on the front of the hive in a beard. I think it helps with hive ventilation along with propping the top cover.

    On most of my frames I am using starter strips of foundation in the effort to move to natural cell size in my hives. The frame in the picture on this post is one left from last year. Experienced beekeepers assure me that all the bees need to build comb is a starter and that the cells left on the frame when I cut the comb out or use crush and strain to harvest can be that starter strip for the bees.

  4. Anonymous3:58 PM


    I was wondering what you had under your telescoping cover. Is it just an inner cover with the hole open? You don't find that the bees go into that opening? Just curious, as I just purchased these all season inner covers from honey run apiaries, which gives great ventilation, but I am always curious what other beekeepers do for good ventilation.

    Thank you
    Annette from Placerville

  5. Under my telescoping cover, I have an inner cover which has an open hole. I keep the telescoping cover propped open during the spring and summer with a stick about as thick as my thumb.

    Bees do go into that opening but I think as per Michael Bush's writings that it is good for them to have another entrance....and a top one at that. The only bees who go in there are ones who live in the hive - the hive doesn't really defend that entrance although there are always five or six bees sitting on the inner cover.


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