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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.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

And What of the Bees?

I've been focused on the wax block for so long that some of you may be wondering if I have forgotten the bees. I am going to do an inspection and powdered sugar shake tomorrow. I have not inspected the bees in a couple of weeks.

Here's the good news:
At Young Harris this year a number of speakers, Kim Flottum and Ross Conrad, for example, gave talks about how important splits in mid summer are to reduce the varroa mite issue. When you do a split and force the hive to make a new queen, brood rearing is disrupted.

In my hives, the hive I requeened a few weeks ago was in the middle of an interrupted brood cycle. I haven't checked to see if the new queen is laying or if she is established in the hive beyond removing her empty queen cage.

However simply by being queenless long enough to interrupt the rearing of brood, that hive is much less likely to have a varroa problem. Without eggs being laid and brood being capped and growing, there is no place for the varroa mite to lay her eggs or for young varroa to grow and thrive. The Devorah hive is highly likely to have a very low varroa count as a result.

I will check all the hives in the morning to see what's what and I'll report to you about how the requeened hive is doing, how the combined hive is doing and how the other three are doing.

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