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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. 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.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. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Hive Inspection March 29 and 30, 2021

 In our second virtual hive inspection this year at the Morningside Community Garden, we saw the queen!!!

I do have a video clip of my falling and rolling down the hill, but I'm not going to share it!

A number of issues came up in our discussion as we viewed this inspection last night. Here they are:

1. Marking queens: It's great to mark your queens and if you can, you should for several reasons. 

First, it's much easier to find her if she is marked. She does move a different slow regal way than the rest of the bees and she's 1/3 longer than workers, but she is very, very hard to find and marking her helps.

Second: There is a marking code for the color on the back of the queen. It determines the year she was born so marking your queen helps you know how old she is. 

Third: There's lots of equipment you can get to help you mark a queen. Some items are the queen clip, the queen muff, and there are even queen marking kits.

The color for 2021 queens is white. Last year's color was blue.

2. Walt Wright devised the idea of checkerboarding. 

3. Australian beekeeper on how to prevent swarming in your beehive. Remember his seasons are the opposite of ours in North America.


  1. Why didn't you go through and crush all the queen cells? Or would that not prevent them from swarming?

  2. Hi Esther, I would never crush a queen cell. What I did do is make splits from both of those colonies as soon as I could, using the queen cell frames to hurry the split along. I left each hive with a frame with numerous queen cells on it so that they would not be left queenless. In one hive I saw the queen but you still don't cut the queen cells because the bees might be planning to swarm the next day and if I have destroyed or removed all of their queen cells, I have killed the colony because they will not have their queen who left with the hive and they would not have the insurance they have created to make sure the hive has a queen post the swarm. It is the biological imperative of the hive to have the drive to split into two colonies in the spring to perpetuate bees so I try to discourage them from swarming but never feel like it is my right to destroy the queen cells.

  3. I should have said "they will not have their queen who left with the SWARM..."


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