Welcome - Explore my Blog

I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. 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. 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. (678) 597-8443

Want to Pin this post?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where are the bees?

Bees in winter are deeply involved with each other but not seen except when the temperature is higher than it is today in Atlanta. The front of the hive looks lonely and forlorn. Mostly in the winter, the bees cluster in a ball and keep themselves warm. They are not warming the hive but rather are warming the cluster. They do not relieve themselves in the hive but save up for a warm day when they can fly out and relieve themselves outside the hive.

Right now we've had a number of over 50 degree days and the bees get out and fly so I don't have an entrance reducer on my hives. However, it will be below freezing tonight and probably tomorrow I'll put entrance reducers on my hives to help the bees keep out intruders.

I did open Persephone and gave the hive a bag of syrup to help them with their low supplies. They were not happy to see me (it was 4:30, cold and almost sundown). I only got one slit cut in the bag and will revisit this hive feeder bag tomorrow or the next day to cut slits that are useful for the bees.

I saw a ton of hive beetles in this hive just under the sugar syrup Ziploc. I didn't stay in the hive long enough to kill them but was disgusted with how many there were. Even though this picture is not focused, I thought I'd show you their large numbers - and that's only under the sugar syrup bag......GRRRR.

Posted by Picasa


  1. After a very warm november in NY we were also just talking about building a wind break around our hives to aid in keeping them a bit warmer. we are hoping our first season of bees make it through the winter.

  2. I'm in Alberta, Canada and I'm wrapping the bees up for Winter - they don't get unwrapped until May - but I'm not sure about the pooping part. I now bees normally go outside on a warmer day to relieve themselves, but here there are no warm days and the bees are wrapped up and can not go out until we unwrap in May. So do the bees poop inside? I assume they do but I thought bees don't do that. I'm just curious...I know all beekeepers up here wrap up their bees so I assume its fine but it concerns me as I know bees like to keep their hives very clean.


  3. According to this post (http://apiculture.ncf.ca/Wintering.htm) from a man in Quebec, bees can hold up to half their weight in fecal matter in their body after which, if flying isn't possible, they WILL relieve themselves inside the hive. That's never necessary for them here in the deep South but up where you wrap the hives for winter, I expect that is not an infrequent occurrence.

  4. Oh thats so reassuring to know! Thanks so much!!

  5. Anonymous12:01 PM

    I live near Denver where there's suddenly a huge controversy about bees. A woman with three hives was fined and threatened with jail time. A councilwoman picked up the cause and now it's a big issue today. Some people are trying to get beehives legal in the city, while others are fighting it, saying it would be way too dangerous for people who are allergic to bee stings. They are so mis-informed. Here's a link to the story: http://m.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/nov/17/to-bee-or-not-in-denver/ Vikki www.thorntonwilliamsfamily.blogspot.com


  7. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Argh! Small hive beetles are nasty to deal with. What do you like to use to deal with them pesky bugs?

  8. I just wanted you to know how excited I was to find your blog, I started reading at the beginning the other day, haven't finished yet but what a wealth of information! My husband has always wanted to keep bees, we have recently bought a house and are now looking seriously into starting an apiary. We live about an hour south of Atlanta so your info will be spot on for us here. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and knowledge!



Pin this post


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...