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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 Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bee House Calls

My father was a doctor in Natchez, a small town in Mississippi.  When I was a little girl, he often went on house calls to take care of patients in their homes.  This generally happened at the end of the work day, and he often took us with him.  "Us" at that time consisted of my mother, my brother and me.

While Randy and I mostly bickered in the back seat, I actually remember it as fun.  Often to break up the evening in the car, Daddy would stop at the Dairy Queen, one of two "fast food" establishments in Natchez, the other being the Monmouth, an old-fashioned drive-in with trays that hooked to your car window.  We only went to the Dairy Queen (now the Malt Shop) for dipped cones - Yummmm - nothing better on a hot Natchez night.

Today I made house calls on my bees at other houses.  First I went to the Stonehurst Place Inn where I manage three hives.  In the first hive, there was plenty of honey and on the frame closest to the side of the box, I saw Her Majesty.  You can see her as well - isn't she gorgeous with such a long golden body!



I was both thrilled to see her and to see that the hive was not eating up all of their honey and seemed fine.



The second small (only two medium boxes) hive also had recently drawn comb in the top box.  They were happily storing nectar.  I didn't see the queen, but felt good about this colony.






The third hive was difficult.  It's a mean hive and I put on my gloves before opening it and smoked them both at the entry and at the hole in the inner cover.  I did not get stung today, but that's a first for me when visiting the Stonehurst Place hives.  I didn't go down far enough to see if the queen were laying.  The hive was calm and I wasn't worried about that.

They had plenty of honey - probably we can take another box off of this hive.  However, under the cover I saw plenty of hive beetles.















Between the Stonehurst Place and Sebastian's house (my second house call) in childhood style, I stopped by the King of Pops' stand on the corner of North and Boulevard and bought a blueberry lemongrass popsicle - nothing better (except all the other popsicles he makes which are equally scrumptious).  You should try the chocolate sea salt - WOW.... but I couldn't afford those calories today and blueberry lemongrass was so good that I'll get it again.

Sebastian and Christina have a lovely garden plot just to one side of the hives.  Their cucumbers are healthy and I'm sure the bees are enjoying the blooms!




These bees were in a different state than my bees in Va Highlands.  The hives both had stored honey and brood and eggs, but the yellow hive had no honey in the corners of the brood frames.  I only saw three full frames of honey in that hive.

The blue hive had a ten frame inner cover and hive top, so I replaced those with the appropriate 8 frame sized inner cover and telescoping top.

I told Sebastian we would harvest a frame of honey from one of these hives (probably the blue one since it is hived in a ten frame box and probably has more stores).  But we won't get a box of honey from either of these hives since they aren't gathering nectar like my Va High hives that are only a few miles away.



I left the blue hive with the appropriate top wear!


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