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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. 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. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's time to Name the Hives

When I got home from the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute, I inspected the beehives. My main concern was to determine if the swarm hive and the apparently queenless hive yet had queens. When I checked both hives had tiny larvae and I saw eggs in the apparently queenless hive.

So all the hives are growing appropriately and now it's time to give them names.

From left to right on the deck we have Bermuda, Mellona, Aristaeus2, and Hyron.
  • Bermuda is my oldest hive, starting the third year of survival. The original hive boxes for Bermuda were painted a pale pink, so the name referred to the sands of Bermuda. This is my only hive with such a simple reason for her name.
  • Mellona is next. Mellona is the Roman goddess of bees. Mellona is in her second year. She tends to make wonderful honey, but is slower in production than Bermuda
  • Aristaeus2 is named for the Greek god Aristaeus who lost all of his bees to disease. Proteus advised him to sacrifice a number of animals, go away for a time. When he returned, he found swarms of bees in the sacrificed carcasses. His bees were never sick again. This was a small swarm and has managed to get started well, although they have a tendency to build burr comb.
  • Hyron, according to Wikipedia, is the Cretan word for swarm of bees. Since this was my first swarm that I collected this year, I decided it deserved the name.

This hive below is the nuc that arrived queenless (or apparently so). The supplier gave me a new queen who was released but disappeared and there still was no laying activity in the hive five days later.
I believe this hive had a virgin queen from the beginning and she is now laying well.
  • So I have named this hive Persephone since Persephone disappeared into the underworld for half the year but represented fertility when she was in the world during spring and summer.

    This little hive I have named Melissa, who in Greek mythology, saved Zeus' life by feeding him milk and honey. I hope this enthusiastic hive will make lots of honey to feed me and themselves.

    Finally, I have named this last hive Devorah, the Jewish poet and prophet, whose name in Hebrew means "bee." I did have this spelled Deborah, but a good friend of mine said the correct alliteration is Devorah.
"Hebrew scholars offer other possible Semitic origins of devorah,the modern Hebrew word for bee. They consider ancient cognates like the Aramaic for bee, debarta, and its Syriac cousin, deboritha, as well as the Hebrew word for honey, debash. There is another shoresh (three-letter word root) brought forth for consideration: the Mandaic Aramaic dibra 'back, tail, hence 'bee's stinger' (?) to be compared with the Arabic dubr 'backside, tail.'" I found this quote here.

I think since this hive is closest to my neighbor's yard and in full view and since this hive is directly beside the path the yard guys have to walk on to work in my yard, Devorah seems like a gentle name for a hive which at the moment appears to have a gentle feel. But with the sting of the bee implied in the origin of the name, we can also expect Devorah to keep the hive safe.

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  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Lovely names. ;)

  2. Anonymous8:45 PM


    I just love these names and you put me to shame as my hives are named #1, #2, #3. I may have to do something about this.

    I am enjoying your blog more and more. I melted beeswax using your instructions for the inexpensive solar wax melter that works like a charm. Thanks so much for this informative site and I love you Linda for sharing all your knowledge.

    Take Care
    Annette from Placerville California

  3. I am looking for names for my existing hives but I want something witty?


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