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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. 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.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Picking up Bees from Don (aka Fatbeeman)

Today Julia and I drove to Lula, Ga to pick up bees from Don. She was getting a package for Blue Heron and picking up another for a friend. I was picking up 10 packages for Linda T's Bees in South Georgia and getting two packages for another friend.

When we arrived, Don was shaking a package into a nuc. He is using an empty medium nuc box as a funnel to help contain the bees as they are shaken.

Now he is taking the cork out of the candy end of the queen cage. He wedges the queen cage, screen wire down, in between two frames and leaves her for the bees to release. (The man in the white shirt just got stung right in the middle of his forehead).

Now Don is closing up the nuc before taking us to his basement to pick out our packages.

It's always fun to see Don in action. (The white-shirted man is trying to scrape the stinger off of his forehead!)

All told we were picking up fourteen packages in the back of my Subaru.  It's important that the bees not overheat in transit so Don nailed them apart using pieces of wood to keep the packages separate and to keep them upright.

With the car all ready to roll, I got Julia to take my picture with Don.

We drove back to Atlanta with a car full of bees and only a few loose in the car at the back window.


  1. Great pictures - thanks for sharing!
    I always enjoy posts about the FatBeeMan.

  2. Anna in Atlanta10:43 PM

    Don thinks you're the BEES' KNEES!!! What a great day.

  3. I have a Subaru, too! It's the car that keeps beekeepers keepin' on!

  4. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Good picture - Agreeable beekeepers.

  5. Anonymous1:27 AM

    With so much knowledge about bees, it's a shame he didn't understand that one of his queens hadn't been mated well and needed replacing. That was a great example of bad customer service, and to a long time patron of his business. I'm new to beekeeping, and am nervous about buying bees from this man. How would he treat a new beekeeper in your situation?

  6. He was lovely to me when I first met him - took me all through his hives and explained everything, but something changed and I now find him to be sexist and demeaning. I will not ever do business with him again, but I don't buy bees any more - I make my own splits from my survivor hives. Depends on if you are female or male. If you are a woman, you can count on his not treating you well, or at least that's my experience.


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