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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 03, 2012

Another Bee Day - at Jeff and Valerie's House

Today I went to Jeff and Valerie's house to check the hives there.  I started with Five Alive.  Look at the beautiful wax they are drawing.  This is the last frame in the box so it is drawn out the least.

The hive was full in every frame except the outside frame, so I decided it needed a new box.  I put the new box under the top box and took two frames of brood out of that box to make a ladder in the new box.  (A ladder allows the bees passage to start drawing wax from the top bar.) When I took out a full frame, I replaced it with a foundationless frame with a wax strip as in the photo below.

This is what Five Alive looked like when I closed it up - and it's only April 3!

I then went to what we've called the swarm hive but is now Lenox Pointe 2 because we moved the queen by accident into that hive.

They aren't going crazy and aren't building up as fast as other hives, but they are storing lovely honey.

And they are equipped with a laying queen.

If you enlarge the photo below you can also see eggs.

Then I went to the original Lenox Pointe - remember the queen was only laying drones.  Well, that was just how she started - now she is laying beautiful brood - you can also see larvae in the photo below.

Her frames are arranged just so - with honey in the corners, pollen next, and capped brood.

Last but not at all least, I opened Colony Square.  The top box is a full box of honey and I know they need a new box.  Instead of going into the hive (because I knew I couldn't lift the fifty pound full box to position six (over my head), I opened it and added a new box above the top box.  I didn't make a ladder with their own frames, but did have two fully drawn frames that I put in the center of the new box to provide ladder facility.

And this is what Colony Square looked like when I left.

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  1. Great news about Lenox Pointe Linda. Glad she's not a drone layer! And you were right after all! Exellent!

  2. Thanks, Gerry, I try to remember the old maxim: "Act in haste, repent in leisure." And I've found that most quick decisions I've made in beekeeping have been wrong! That's why I keep the Richard Taylor quote on the sidebar.....

  3. Hi, Linda.
    How great that all those hives are thriving and growing.
    For those too tall hives, here's what works for me: portable aluminum scaffolds next to the hives. They're about 24" x 48" with folding legs that can be secured when open. One end has ladder steps to climb up. They also work well to hold equipment taken off the hive during inspection. I think Home Depot carries them; I permanently leave them next to the hives and they are not showing any sign of weathering. But I have to admit they don't look like pretty accessories if you have a landscaped yard.

  4. Beth in Pensacola4:26 PM

    Hi Linda,
    I've really been enjoying your blog since finding it recently. I notice that several of your hives are in shadier areas. Do you not have worse SHB problems with them in the shade? We've been being told that our hives need to be out in the sun to keep the SHB population down, but dang, it's hot to try to work them come June-August.

  5. I have SHB like everyone else in Hotlanta, but in fact the strong colonies keep the SHB corralled and they aren't really a problem. Just like the wax moth, the SHB doesn't kill a strong colony or ruin its honey, instead they reflect a weak hive who can't defend itself....so the SHB becomes opportunistic of the weak, as does the wax moth. There may be more SHB in the shade - everyone says so - but I saw them equally in hives in shade or sun last year.

    1. Maybe we will experiment with moving one in the shade this spring and see how it fares compared to the others. We have pecan trees, so shade is not an issue in the fall and winter Our SHB population is more prevalent in the fall and winter, when the bee population is down, of course, but it sure seems like the bees and beekeeper would like thing a little better in the shade.


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