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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, March 11, 2014

Bees at Tom's - Bustling, Bursting at the Seams

Jeff and I checked on the two hives we installed in OCTOBER - remember when I bought the two hives at an auction for our bee club?  Well, I had no idea how they would do during the winter when they were installed in the hive so late in the year.

We fed these bees going into winter - we gave them five feedings of bee tea.  I think that is about 2 quarts per feeding per hive.  I didn't think we had a choice with the hives newly established at a time when NOTHING is blooming.

These hives were doing great.  The front hive was bustling and busy.  The frames were built out - all ten of them.  These bees are in a deep box with a solid bottom board.  (So far my bees that did the best over the winter are on solid bottom boards).  They overwintered in just that one box with an inner cover and a feeder over the hole in the inner cover with a surround box.  Because both hives had run out of space, they were storing both honey and drone brood in the space between the box and the inner cover on top of the frames.

The second (back) hive had not fully built out - they had a couple of plastic foundation frames on one side that they had not touched.  We still put a new box on that hive as well because about eight of the frames were built out and spring is coming fast.

We saw eggs and young larvae in both boxes but did not see the queen.  I was a little disappointed about that.  In addition to Gail and Ella (Tom's wife and daughter who both took the MABA short course in January), the neighbors and their children were all watching the process.  We didn't see any drones yet, but we saw drone brood.

We put a new box on each of these hives.  The new boxes each had foundationless frames with one solid built-out comb in the center of each new box.  These bees are bringing in nectar and raising brood, so we won't need to feed them.

We do need to add a slatted rack to each of these hives and will on our next visit.

A slideshow of what we saw and recorded is below.  I didn't take as many photos as usual because I was sort of teaching as I went. The first eight photos I took; Tom Phillips in whose yard these hives live, took the rest.


  1. You put a slatted rack above the screened bottom board?

  2. Yes, you put a slatted rack above the screened bottom board and we keep forgetting to take them over there. Jeff is putting two new boxes on those hives tomorrow and we still haven't put on the slatted racks. We will before adding any more boxes....I hope I remember!


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