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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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Monday, May 08, 2017

Nevertheless, She Persisted!

The other day I looked out of my window and saw this on the front of a hive:

This looks like maybe 1 1/2 cups of bees - tiny swarm. It's probably a secondary swarm with a virgin queen. So I decided that I would try to capture them and brushed them into my swarm box, topping them with a ventilated hive top. But many of them flew right back to the hive front. 

I brushed again and this time, the bees started signaling that the queen was in the swarm box.

I held the swarm box up to the side of the hive and the bees systematically moved into the box.

So I carried this teacup swarm over to a waiting hive box and shook them in. In minutes the queen had led them all back to the swarm box. So now, I turned the swarm box upside down over the open topped hive box. I didn't take a photo, but the bees found their way out of the box and many flew back to the hive box.

This time, I brushed them into a cardboard nuc box and turned the nuc box on its side in front of the hive, assuming that the queen was in the upside down swarm box. I left it overnight.

The next morning all the bees were clumped in the inside corner of the cardboard nuc box. OK, your highness, I thought. My hive box isn't good enough for you...and you and your retinue are in the cardboard nuc so I'll just add frames and let you settle in there. 

So I did just that - put five frames into the nuc box and put the top on it. I opened the entry and set it on top of the hive box I wanted them to live in and left them overnight. 


I could see bees flying in and out of the entry - some went down into the hive box and some into the nuc box. I covered what had been covered with a hive drape with the inner cover. I thought, maybe now I've convinced the queen that this is a good place.

But this morning there was a swirling of bees. Not huge because she is not leading a huge swarm - just about 1 1/2 cups of bees - but she persisted nevertheless and the tiny group was taking off.

I waved "Bye" and wished her well. I hope they find a home they like better than my apiary.

PS, for a tiny in-joke, as I posted this, Blogger noted that this is my 1300th post and it's funny to me that having kept up this blog for twelve years, the 1300th post is titled "Nevertheless, she persisted!"


  1. Love this tale of woe...and persistence. I'm not sure which "she" you are writing about...I think both of you persisted! And I love your gentle approach and equally gentle humor. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maybe this flightiness is a quality of teacup swarms?? I had one fly in one evening a few years ago and in spite of my putting them in a nuc box with a frame of open brood, they had left when I checked on them the next day. Big swarms don't seem to do this. Congratulations on the 1300, the 12 years and the persistence Linda! I love your blog, and hearing about beekeeping way down south!

  3. I think we've all had that persistent queen . . . and lost her! Thank you for persisting to 1300!!

  4. Isn't beekeeping full of fun and good stories!


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