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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. 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. 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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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Swarm for Chastain Conservancy

Our hives at the Chastain Conservancy are teaching hives for the MABA hive inspection program.  We have been sad that Noah's hive and my hive died over the winter.  The club has an investment in making sure the hives are thriving so the commitment is that swarm calls go first to the teaching hives and then when they are going strong, the club members can get the swarm.

Gina called me on Friday morning to tell me about the swarm that I could go collect, but I had my grandchildren.  Julia was willing to go over and get the swarm.  My friends are just wonderful.  Gina went and collected the swarm.  Julia went to Gina's and got the swarm.  She took it to Chastain Conservancy and installed it into my hive at the Chastain Conservancy.

Below is a slideshow of the installation.  Not only did Julia install the swarm, she also took the time to take a complete photo record for this blog.  What a dear friend!

The hive inspection program that we manage over there for MABA begins on March 23.  Julia and I both try to be at the inspections we schedule for Chastain whether we are the leader that day or not.  I'll be there on the 23rd although it is her inspection.  She will do another on April 27.  Then in May and June, it's my turn.

Click on the slideshow to see the photos full sized with captions.


  1. Wow, it's exciting to hear about how far along hives are in other climates when ours are still waking up. When does your swarm season typically start (is this early or normal)?

  2. Thanks to Julia for the slideshow! That was a whopping swarm and so exciting in February--about 4 weeks early for Atlanta area?

    I was going to congratulate you on a wonderful strong start for a new hive till I read in your next post that they absconded. I guess we can reread Tom Seeley's Honeybee Democracy but we may never figure out what motivates swarms to move. It looked like Julia set up the ideal new home-- volume, location, entrance defensibility; so much for the general rules!

  3. Hi Jeff, This is really early. In my good hives, I have only seen one drone so far. Maybe the old queen leaves and knows enough drone cells are going that there will be drones for the virgin queen in cell that she leaves behind. Swarm season in Atlanta is typically late March through May.
    Penny, Tom Seeley is going to be here in May to speak to our MABA bee club and then to teach at Young Harris - I'm so excited to hear him talk in person. He's going to teach about "Honey Bees in the Wild," "Bees and Mites in the Forest," "Decision Making in the Bee colony," and "The Benefits of Polyandry" on Friday and Saturday. I'm teaching too and feel so lucky that I am free every time he is speaking. I don't know what he will talk to our bee club about on Wednesday night, but you can be sure I'll be there taking pictures and notes.


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