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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. 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.

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

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's a Beautiful Day in my Neighborhood....

It's swarm season and all of us beekeepers cross our fingers that we will get a swarm call - it's an adventure: driving to an unknown address, evaluating the bee situation and rescuing the swarm.  Then you drive back home, bees in the car, and install the bees in your own backyard or bee yard.

Free bees - the best!

But, no.....even better is what happened to me today.

I had two hives that died or absconded before the winter began.  One was the two-year-old Sebastian hive that we moved to my backyard from the professor's yard at the beginning of last year's bee season.  I guess I kept hoping it hadn't really happened so I never took the hive apart.

I've noticed a number - I should say a growing number - of scout bees exploring that hive.  It is four boxes high with a swarm trap entrance.  I've also seen scout bees exploring the hive next to it which is also empty with good comb and two full boxes of honey.  The Sebastian hive also has unharvested honey in it.

Tonight I got home around 7:30 and went out to the backyard to see the bees. I heard a pretty loud bee buzz/hum which is not my usual experience back there at this time of day. Suddenly I looked over at the Sebastian hive and there were orienting bees coming in and out of the entry.

I believe a swarm has moved in and that's even better than going on a swarm call. Free bees and no time or effort spent to get them! I didn't have to sing "Won't you be my neighbor?" throw my shoes around, change my jacket for a sweater or anything!

I guess the best swarm trap of all is an available, empty hive with healthy drawn comb.

These two photos don't begin to convey what a beautiful day it was in my neighborhood today!  So excited about these bees who have decided that they want to bee my neighbor!

I so wish I had been home and noticed the tornado of bees moving in....


  1. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Third time attempting to comment.

    I vaguely recall that I learned of your blog when you were mentioned favorably by JPthebeeman on YouTube. So when I caught up with all his videos, I came here to fill that empty bee space. Over the winter I read all your archives and have now, alas, caught up with you as well.
    You are remarkably interesting and educational. I especially appreciate how you're willing to write about all the things that go wrong. And it's wonderful how patient and polite you are with commenter's questions, even when they ask things you've already written about. I wish I could find someone living in my climate who had a blog exactly like yours.

    I had my first two beehives in 2014. Westhive produced honey, but died over the winter. I think when they started downsizing for winter, the varroa overran them. I didn't do any treatments. This hive had no screened bottom board, but we've converted the solid bb to a screened one, ready for some new bees. The other hive had a screened bb all along.
    Southhive died twice in the spring. The first time she may have swarmed and I was too ignorant to notice. They went through a period of what looked to me like 100% drone brood, but then they recovered or requeened or something. Just about the time they were going good again, they had The Bear Event. After which they had no queen and NO brood. I gave them a frame of brood from Westhive and they requeened themselves again. As of yesterday they were Not Dead Yet. (Here in Connecticut we are not yet through the winter.)
    Anyhoo, I have a third hive all ready to go, but only one package on order. If Southhive stays good, I'll attempt a split to fill the third hive. If I knew what I know now, I would have started on eight frame mediums instead of ten frame deeps. I already know the deeps are too heavy, and I'm not getting any younger. I don't need to go buying all new equipment, and three hives is certainly more than I need, but at some point I may go through the trouble of switching.

    This is probably more than you needed to know, but you make yourself sound so friendly and interesting that I just wanted to share. Please continue to write about bees. Write faster!

    Granny Roberta

  2. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I'm surprised the honey wasn't robbed out by other bees before these new neighbors moved in.

  3. Me too (surprised the honey was not robbed out) but we have nectar flowing - it's not the nectar flow but the bees are bringing in nectar every day, and we have had a lot of cold, cold periods when the bees had already come out to fly this spring, so that may have prevented it.



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