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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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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Learning to inspect your beehive in the time of the coronavirus

Since we are supposed to stay at home, it's difficult for new beekeepers to learn what to do in a hive inspection and how to inspect your beehives. I am the chair of the hive inspection program for the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers and have now done two inspections by video to show to the inspection groups in a Zoom meeting.

It's not as good as the hands-on, in-person version of our hive inspection program, but it's better than not getting to go. I had the first of my three inspections in person. The hives being used for this program are in a community garden in Atlanta. One hive is a swarm that I caught in Inman Park on March 11.

The swarm was on a hurricane fence and very challenging to capture since on the other side of the fence was a dense hedge of azaleas and neglect. Here's the swarm:

I put it into a hive at the community garden.

The other hive at the community garden is a nuc hive that was installed on March 21.

I did not film the March 21 inspection. We were still allowed to gather in person, but twelve people were signed up for the inspection. I asked them to divide and come one week apart. So six people came in person to this inspection. For the sake of social distancing and protection, I also asked them to put on their jackets and veils at their cars and come to the inspection with gloves and protective gear already on.

So the second inspection was on March 29 with the other six people and by then we were unable to gather in any size group in the city of Atlanta. So we had that one virtually. When I filmed at the community garden, the wind was blowing and it was hard to hear. But I will post it here anyway. I plan to post my inspections every week to help new beekeepers unable to attend inspections in person.

Then I did a second inspection on April 3, 2020. This time the wind was less bad but in the noonday sun, I couldn't see through my veil to see what was being seen by the camera on the individual frames. So this one you can hear but can't see the detail as well. I urge you to pause the video in both to see the frames better. Maybe for my next video, I can combine what I have learned from the first two and do a better job! 

It's hard to be the camera person AND the hive inspector, but that's what we do in the time of the coronavirus!


  1. I've been watching you for about ten years now! I'm a bee lover and advocate. I'm trying to get my local parks and groundskeepers aware of the importance of not using chemicals and weed killers. Do you have any advice, other than calling the local reps and officials? Thank you!!

  2. If they insist on using chemicals and weed killers, push for them to do it at night. Most won't because they have to pay overtime, but it allows you the opportunity to emphasize that pollinators will be killed more frequently when they spray in the day time.

  3. Hi Linda,
    This is my first time on your blog. I'm looking forward to perusing. Thank you! I am a top bar beek so my combs do not have frames. In reference to comb building, you mentioned, "if they are going to use it for brood, they don't attach it at the bottom." Interesting. Do you find this to be universally true? Why don't they attach the comb to the bottom of the frames? Thanks so much!

  4. It has been universally true in my hives. I think because they want to be able to move under the comb and brood isn't heavy. They anchor the honey filled comb on all four sides, I imagine because it is heavy.


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