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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I began my 12th year of beekeeping in April 2017. Now there are almost 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. 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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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ground Control to Major Tom......

I went over to Tom's on Monday morning to see how the hive was doing. I knew it had made it through the winter because Tom and his family reported seeing flying bees (and I had stopped by earlier), but I had not yet been inside the hive.

Monday was the day.  As I popped the top, an angry queenless roar began and I felt worried.  I took the hive down to the bottom box.  Some honey in the second box and in the bottom box. In the bottom box, I found tons of dark brown capped brood (dark biscuit), meaning the bees were about to emerge.

I searched on both sides of every frame and could find no uncapped brood and no eggs, despite there being plenty of room.

It's early in Atlanta for a swarm, but there have been some. All I could determine was that Tom's hive had looked out and said, "Take your protein pills and put your helmet on....The stars look very different today," and swarmed last week while he and his family were on vacation.

The only explanation for this hive bursting at the seam with bees and only capped brood is that they had swarmed; the queen had emerged and had gotten rid of any other competing queens; and she was off on her mating flight. Perhaps she was unsuccessful - got eaten by a bird or didn't find any available drones aloft.

Thus the queenless roar.

I put the hive (which I had intended to split) back together and left to think. As I drove home I decided to get a frame of eggs and brood from the daughter hive that is in my backyard and bring it over to Tom's on Thursday (my next free day). On Thursday I made a split from the daughter hive to put in Tom's second hive (a 2014 Buster's Bees hive that did not make it through the winter).

My office got busy on Thursday, so Jeff decided to help me do this on Friday. Atlanta was cold and windy on Friday morning, so instead we put the nuc box with the split and an extra frame of brood for the queenless hive on top of its new quarters.  I planned to return when the temperatures rose in the afternoon.

Around 3:30 I arrived at Tom's and opened the "queenless" hive. Now they were calm. No roar; no angry bees head bumping me. I looked through the bottom box and there they were, right in my face: eggs, newly laid, and young, young brood. In the five days since I had been there, the queen must have successfully returned and began her new job.

HOORAY!

And I installed the nuc in the other hive. So we have had two very cold nights, last night and tonight, so the new nuc may not make it. I'll give it more bees next week.

Sorry about the lack of photos - left my camera at my house......

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