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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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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

ANOTHER Swarm at Tom's

This morning I got a call from Tom - the second hive had swarmed!  He sent me these photos:

See it on the right, hanging from the cherry laurel.  About two cats, I'd say.  Here it is up close:

It was hanging on the same cherry laurel that the first swarm had chosen only this one picked a branch lower to the ground and about a foot closer to the hives!

Jeff met me and we put a sheet under the swarm.  I brought a plastic banker's box,
 a ventilated hive top cover and straps.

First I sprayed the swarm with sugar syrup.

It was close enough to the ground that we didn't need a ladder.  We just shook the branch and the bees fell into the banker's box.  We put the ventilated hive cover on it but the bees were accumulating on top of the screen.  Then we covered the screen with two hive drapes to give some closure to the feel of the box.

Over about 20 minutes, during which Gail, Tom's wife and a graduate of the short course, made us tea and brought it to us outside - how luscious - and what luxury - who gets tea during a swarm capture!!!

The bees were emitting nasanov at the entry to the box.

We strapped the banker's box and the ventilated cover together and I drove home.  I had to be at my office at 12:15 to meet an appointment and when I arrived at my house, it was 12:00.  I never even went into the house.  I went to the backyard, grabbed a bottom board, a slatted rack and a box of frames.  I put two drawn comb frames in the center and put the box together on stacked stones (had no cinder blocks).

I took an empty super to be a funnel and poured the bees into the hive.  Then I put the frames into the hive box.  I got a third box with frames in it and gradually put the frames from it into the empty hive box.  I threw an inner cover on the box and the telescoping cover.

I jumped into the car and drove to my office and got there at 12:20.  (My office is 5 minutes from my house).  Fastest install I have ever done.  I hope the bees do well.

I don't think I can put any more bees in my backyard.  I think six, even though one is weak and pitiful, is enough for a neighborhood where there are at least five beekeepers each within a block of my house.  The next two hives go into Jeff's yard.  I'm picking up two nucs from Buster's Bees on Friday night and we'll put them over there.  I have two more nucs coming that will go to the Morningside Community Garden.  

Then I have three nucs coming that I have not a clue where I will put them!  (I was pretty pessimistic at bee ordering time that I would have any hives survive the winter.)  Maybe I'll buy an electric fence ($$$$$$$$$) and put them in the mountains.

When I came home at 2:30, my yard was aswarm with bees.  All of the hives were sending out hoards of bees to gather and forage on the warm mid-April afternoon.  The new hive was orienting and working hard to claim their location.  It's going to be a good bee year!


  1. I'm amazed at how many hives you have in your neighbourhood! Do you know how many your fellow beekeepers have?

  2. Most have only a couple of hives. One about a block from me has 10 at least.

  3. I'm lucky to live in an intown neighborhood in Atlanta (Virginia Highlands) where despite houses being relatively small and close together, people have chickens and bees all over the place. There are probably more beekeepers than the five I mentioned - those are just five I know.

  4. oğulunuz hayırlı olsun.çayıda içtiniz :) afiyet olsun.sizin orda mahallede sınırlı miktarda arı olması gerekiyor anladığım kadarıyla.


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