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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.

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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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Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Bee Day Part Three: Topsy Top Bar at Valerie's House

And what's not to love about bee inspections in the Atlanta heat? Wanting even more fun, I went to Valerie's and opened the hive at the end of the day on Sunday. The top bar hive is still confined to the 10 bars they have used from the beginning.

In the middle of the hive, I had tied in some wax to inspire the bees. They aren't using it and it is no longer tied up well - this was the beginning of my inspection. I really went in because I have been feeding them the too-moist honey I harvested a while back. This bar was over the Boardman feed I have resting on two pieces of wood on the hive bottom.

The queen is still laying and the girls are making beautiful comb. There are bees festooning at the bottom of this comb.

Some of their comb is really perfect.

Isn't this pretty - Valerie kept taking pictures!

They have taken all the honey I have given them.  There are no combs of just stored honey in this hive which occupies about 10 bars of the top bar hive.

I left them with two Boardman feeders - one with the last of the moisture rich honey and the other with sugar syrup.  I didn't want to put sugar syrup in until I was sure there would be no honey to harvest from this hive this year.

But aren't their combs lovely?  And I worked them in just a jacket, open toed sandals and no gloves.  These are the calmest bees....from Don at Dixie Bee Supply.  I'm thinking since the hive is so small that I'll move the follower board to the end of the ten bars they are using as winter approaches to give them less space.  There are always bees all over the interior of the top bar box, but the life of the hive is in the bars that they have drawn out and used.

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  1. Those are beautiful combs, I really like how natural they are. Looks like that hive is doing really well. Sounds like your run of bad luck is over, fingers crossed!

  2. Annette3:20 PM


    Do you keep the SBB open all the time on the TBH?? If yes, do you plan on keeping it open all winter as well??

    Thanks for reply
    Annette from Placerville Californa

  3. The SBB is not open on the top bar hive. I closed it up because I couldn't get a hive to stay until I made it darker in there. So it has a screened bottom board but there's a board under it making it more like a solid bottom. I plan to leave it alone like that all winter although I'll probably move the follower board closer to the hive proper.


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