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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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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blue Heron Inspection April 23 2011

Julia and I have conducted the second inspection at Blue Heron.  It happened on Saturday April 23.  We arrived to find that the city work trucks were occupying the space where we usually park so everyone at the inspection helped carry stuff from the BH parking lot to the community garden area.

We have three hives at the Blue Heron.  Julia has an active hive, installed from a package we picked up from Don in Lula, Georgia.  My hive over wintered and I split it on April 8.  At that time there was no queen in the hive - the hive appeared to have swarmed.  This is only 15 days after the split and each half of the split got a frame with several queen cells on it.

We didn't see signs of a laying queen in either side of the split - probably she is still in the mating phase.  We did see the opened queen cell in one hive and the bees were extremely calm in the other half of the split, so we thought the queen existed but wasn't working yet.

Julia took lots of pictures, so you can see what we did.  In the middle of looking through the second half of the split I dropped a hive tool that fell completely through the hive, through the slatted rack to the screened bottom board.  This upset the bees (duh???) and they were not happy after that.  I have worried ever since that the falling hive tool killed the queen.  Gosh, I hope not, but to be sure I'll take a frame of brood and eggs from a hive at home over to them in the next couple of days.

Here's the slide show:


  1. Anonymous12:10 PM

    I forgot to mention: those were great shots of opened queen cells! I hope all goes well with the new queens and their happy hives. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Linda, Please thank Julia for the excellent slide show. It showed all the steps of your inspection so clearly. I loved seeing you share your bees and teaching your group.

    I hope you will comment on a couple of things: the new commercial drape cloth-- better than a dishtowel? worth the money? And did you do a powdered sugar dusting at the end? How did that go? I bought an Italian sugar duster like that a couple of years ago and used it just once, at the bottom hive entrance as you did-- and I have never had so many riled up bees come at me. (Maybe I need to work on building finess with it!)
    Thanks again for another very interesting post.

  3. Thanks, Penny. The commercial drape - for these hives I don't really like it. The space in the forced opening is too wide. With flour sacking dishtowels, you can only expose one frame at a time. In south Georgia in the fields, though, the weight of the metal frame on the commercial one actually keeps the cloth from blowing off as you are working on the hive (happens to the towels)

    I haven't put captions on the slide show pictures which I will, but meanwhile, yes, we used my new Dustructor to do a powdered sugar shake on 1/2 of the split. I like using a sifter because I can see how much sugar I have shaken. This new method addresses Jennifer Berry's point - that the sugar is best administered from the bottom - so I plan to make myself learn to like it.


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