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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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Friday, March 04, 2011

A Look at Blue Heron and I Miss the Smell of the Bee Hive

When I had the table at the science fair at Montgomery, I drove around for a couple of days with bee equipment in the back of my car.  I had a nuc with old comb in it; some honeycomb; some drawn frames out loose in the car.  Even my grandson, when he rode in my car a couple of days after the fair said, "Oh, Grandma, your car smells just like the bee hive!"

I miss that smell that goes with bee season, but spring is bursting out all over in Atlanta.  The flowering trees like cherries and pears are beginning to bloom.  Tiny red blossoms from the red maple are blowing down on the streets.

I went to Blue Heron and opened the hive for the first time.  I didn't do a deep inspection but did look at each box.  The top box was a surround for a baggie feeder and a Boardman (inside the hive).  The sugar syrup had not been touched.  The bees had not needed it despite our harsh winter.



I removed the empty box, put the sugar syrup baggie into a bucket, and removed the Boardman.  Of course that means for a couple of days until I took it out of my car, the car had that warm wonderful bee hive smell!

The top box had a little honey stored but the box below it was completely full of capped honey - and heavy as could be.  The bees were still living in the bottom 8 frame deep.  There was lots of capped brood and although you can't see it since my camera was operating at less than optimal, the open cells are full of brood.



I only pulled up two frames but felt great about the capped brood and larvae.



Concerns about this hive that must be addressed:
1. The full honey super above the brood box means that the queen is honey bound.  I need to checkerboard with empty frames or at least move the full box up to the top and switch the mostly empty top box with the second box.
2.  The honey box needs to be marked since that honey was made with "bee tea" and I don't want to harvest honey that isn't informed by nectar, but is condensed sugar syrup.
3.  This hive is doing well and I need to consider the possibility that it will swarm (thus the need to checkerboard).

Julia and I will inspect it and try to address all of the above issues.
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2 comments:

  1. I never stop learning from your blog. Thanks for taking the time to share with everyone. Even us non-beekeepers!

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  2. Linda,
    Both of my hives died this winter- it was cold in upstate NY. There is plenty of capped honey - I think they could not break cluster to move around to get to it. My question is how do i clean out the hive properly and can I leave the capped honey in the hive for the new packages I ordered to use as start up food? Thank you for any help - none of the books really address this.
    Barby in NY

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