Welcome - Explore my Blog

I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I began my 11th year of beekeeping in April 2016. Now there are about 1275 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.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. (678) 597-8443

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hornets from Hell

When I went to Rabun County to harvest honey at the beginning of August, I found a dead European hornet on the hive landing.  I have since learned that the beekeepers in N.  Georgia are having quite a time with the European hornet and the baldfaced hornet.  It looks to me as if the bees balled the hornet and then dragged her body out onto the landing.



I searched for the answer to how the bees might have killed the hornet.  I found this wonderful video on National Geographic about the ways bees kill the giant hornet in Japan.  But I imagine it's just what happened to the hornet in my hive.

If you'd like to see it, here it is.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Harvesting Sourwood Honey in the Mountains



On Thursday and Friday, my four year old granddaughter and I went to the mountains to harvest whatever sourwood honey might be on the hives we have at Robin and Mary's farm in Rabun County.   When we arrived, the first thing I saw was this dead European hornet on the landing board of the hive.  The bees must have balled it and killed it - go bees - the European hornet takes live bees to feed their young - GRRR.
                                                                                 
Rain was threatening so I went quickly to work to take the capped frames of honey off of the hives.  This is Rabun County so I left them lots of honey so that they might make it through the winter and only harvested one super from the largest hive.  The smaller hive appeared to have swarmed and requeened and didn't have surplus honey for me.



The capped honey was just beautiful and I gave Robin a cut-comb square along with some liquid honey as a thank you for letting us have hives on his farm.

I put the harvest into a nuc box, covered it with a towel and when the box was full, transported it to the car where I had an empty super waiting.

Robin, who kept bees early in his life, put on a veil to watch and help.  

The way the hives look below is how we left them.  There is a goldenrod flow as August begins to wane so I may add a box to each to accommodate the fall flow, but now we have harvested from the blue hive and consolidated the yellow hive so that both may do well for the remaining days of summer.


Robin and Mary have a beautiful garden in which these hives reside:


Mary and Lark are standing in front of her zinnias and cosmos.

Lark and I went to my mountain house to crush and strain the honey before dinner.  Lark was quite the honey harvester and was seriously good at doing this.



She is using the little pestle in these photos, but it wasn't long before she switched to the big crusher that Bear made for me and was crushing in high style!

The next morning we bottled the honey right after breakfast.  Lark was good at this too and we had quite the assembly line going. 




And the honey was DELICIOUS - yummy sourwood probably mixed with tulip poplar - a different taste than we get in Atlanta.



Monday, August 04, 2014

Bee Fun Crossword Puzzle by Linda T

Recently I created a crossword puzzle about bees, using an app on my iPad.  I put it in the August edition of Spilling the Honey, the GBA Newsletter, but I thought I'd also put it up here for you all to try and enjoy.  The easiest way to work it is online at this link.

If you get stuck on anything, email me and I'll send you the filled in puzzle (the answers!)



Have fun!

BTW, this is my 1200th post on this blog since it began in 2006.  Since beekeeping has been such an exciting puzzle for me, to post a puzzle on what happens to be the 1200th post is kind of cool!

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