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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
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Bee Day Part Two: The Blue Heron

Sunday morning after inspecting the Rabun County hive, I drove back to Atlanta for an inspection at the Blue Heron at 2 PM. Noah, Julia's son, led the inspection and did a really great job. We had a small group of beekeepers for this inspection, which made it easy to move around the hives and to be a part of it.

Noah is about to open the first hive and is explaining about the smoker and our foundationless frames.

He takes the ventilated hive cover off of the first hive.

There were a few hive beetles on the inner cover and we smashed them with our hive tools. This hive had been chock full of hive beetles, but the numbers have significantly diminished since we put the nematodes all around the hives at Blue Heron.

There's no nectar so the bees have no resources for building wax. But to be sure they wouldn't fill the empty space with wax when Julia and I took two frames out of this hive this past Monday for my nuc, we filled the space with newspaper. We would not have left the hive like this, but I didn't bring shallow frames with me when we took the frames. I only had mediums.

Noah is showing the participants the brood and eggs in this frame.

When we moved to my hive, I wanted to try using hive drapes as I had in Rabun County that morning.

In this hive, even though it faces east, the bees are putting the brood, the honey, etc at the back of the hive.  This probably means that the sun hits the back of the hive first in the morning.  Bees like to let the natural forces heat the hive so they don't have to work so hard.  The queen in this hive is laying well despite the lack of nectar resources available.

Finally we moved the the third hive at Blue Heron where Noah decided to try the hive drapes as he worked on it.  All of the Blue Heron hives are light and have very little stored honey.  We are worried about them and put sugar syrup or honey on my hive and the hive below.  The first hive we looked at has stored honey so we didn't put food on it.

This is the first Blue Heron inspection when we didn't see the queen.  These hives all feel a little fragile to us because they are so light on stores and we didn't want to disturb them as much as we would have needed to to see the queen.  So we looked but we didn't find Her Majesty in any hive.

At the end of the inspection Noah and Julia shared with us some delicious creamed honey they had made after the three of us took Keith Fielder's workshop at Young Harris.
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  1. I like all the paintings on the hives :) After I read through I had to go back and look at all the pictures closer.

  2. Julia is an artist and has expressed herself beautifully on all of her hives both at Blue Heron and at her house.

  3. Yeah, they're very cool :)

  4. Linda i notice you are wearing what appears to be Blue Nitrile Latex type gloves. Are the bees able to sting through these, apparently not, are they indeed Blue Nitrile Rubber Gloves by chance?

    I was thinking about some other option available without using the heavier canvas cotton gloves. I have never worn gloves but after this past week here in August my healthy, thriving hive put up a pesty little fight against me.

    Boy have they changed since earlier in the season, needless to say my hands are swollen....LOL

    I might need to consider some other options when moving boxes of honey supers around this late in the game, I was trying to administer a hive brood box check.

    I never really was able to comb through it thoroughly like i wanted. I might be onto something now with these type of gloves.

    Yes indeed., Chris

  5. This year I am mostly working without gloves but when I wear them I prefer the nitrile ones. The bees can sting through them, but not as easily and I feel more confident with them on if the hive is angry and I want some protection without the clumsiness of the leather gloves.


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