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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.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

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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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Bees: A Little of This, A Little of That

Yesterday I inspected all the hives at home.  Finding lots of little tidbits of interest, I decided to post a hodge-podge of them, so here goes:

I saw a perfectly lovely queen in SOS2.  She was gliding slowly, unfazed by my arrival in the hive, over her creations and paused so that I could take her photo.  Isn't she pretty - I love the golden queens that my bees often raise.

It has (finally) begun to rain in Atlanta - we've now had several days of it.  My garden is green, and the nectar flow may get a last hurrah with the extra push of moisture from the universe.  Below you can see my water source.  It's a plant saucer sitting on an upturned pot.  Inside that plant saucer is another one filled with rocks so that the bees have somewhere to light while taking in the water.

I fall in love with the bees all over again every time I pull a foundationless frame and find that they are creating comb.

Remember the frames that have stood around untouched until the nectar flow began to diminish?  There have been bees all over them for the past few days and now every cell has been ripped open and all the honey robbed out.

The shards of wax cappings on the ground attest to the robbery.  That is a way that you can tell if your hive has been robbed.  In a working hive, the bees are quite conservative with the wax - they reuse the caps of the brood cells, they move wax from one place to the next.  But in a robbery, the bees are not invested and tear the cappings off, dropping them wherever they may fall.

Early in my beekeeping, when I was still using sheets of wax foundation, I put a box of wax foundation frames as a new super on the hive .  Later that day, I stood by the hive and could hear a definite crunching sound.  I even posted on Beemaster about it because it was such a strange sound.  I came to discover that the bees were chewing the wax out of the new frames and taking it to a place in the hive where it was needed!

Imagine hearing crunching coming from your hive!

My bees in these hives have really been collecting nectar.  They've built some pretty fat honey comb as you can see in the photo below.

I'm off to Young Harris tomorrow night and will be teaching "Low Tech Beekeeping" there on Friday afternoon at 1 and at 2 in room 106.  If you are there, be sure to speak to me and introduce yourself as someone who reads this blog.
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  1. I've never heard crunching coming from my hives, although I have seen them "re-purpose" parts of wax foundation I provide for other areas before.

    I think, if I heard them crunching, I might be afraid to peek in on them, but then again, maybe I've seen one too many sci-fi films!

    Show Me The Honey Blog

  2. Wonderful post. We're starting with wax dipped plastic foundation. I wonder if they are stripping the wax off as they grow the colony. Intriguing!

  3. Great pictures. I spot an intruder near the bottom bar of your frame below your queen!! Looks like the one bee next to it is planning on chasing it out of town =)


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