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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.

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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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Monday, August 23, 2021

ANOTHER pesticide kill!

 What a year! As you know, I am the beekeeper at SPARK elementary school (Springdale Park Elementary School - part of the Atlanta public schools. I've kept hives at SPARK since the summer of 2017 so this is my fifth year. We've done inspections there (Meghan M., the science person at the school) and I - you can see the hive installations this year by clicking here. And you can see an inspection of these hives here.

This week Meghan texted me that there were dead bees all over the rooftop garden at the school where we have the hives.

The sidewalks were lined with thousands of dead bees. On the ground level bees and other pollinators (bumblebees and lady bugs) were also dying. Many were lying in pools of their own feces.

I urged her to report this to the Department of Agriculture in Georgia. They will send out an inspector. 

As we talked and as she asked desperately about what might have happened, she found out that the school system's landscapers were at the school the day before from 9 - 11. She texted "No one at the school sprayed for anything. The landscapers were here yesterday but they are contractors. We don't know if they did something." 

The bees fell dead right out of their flight paths. 

The next day, one of the hives had a huge pile of dead bees in front of it. These girls managed to get back home, but died and were dragged out of the hive. This pile does not include the thousands dead on the sidewalks.

on the front edge of this photo, you can see yellow diarrhea...

Of course, when Meghan called the Department of Ag, they said if APS (the Atlanta Public Schools) had done the spraying, contractor or not, they can't issue a citation to APS for APS. They said if a neighbor had sprayed, then they could issue a citation and send out an investigator, but could not cite APS for something APS did, nor could they investigate.

However the Dept of Ag will report this to EPA.

I am heart sick. I was out of town when this happened and the first day I can go look at the hives is Wednesday. It will be amazing if these two hives can now make it through the winter, so short on bee resources as they now are.


  1. Linda I also wonder if the school was fumigated ahead of the students returning to classes...whether the landscapers sprayed something, or someone else sprayed something, as bad as these things are for bees and other insects, what on earth are they doing to the kids???!!!

  2. School started on August 5 and this happened just last week, so not pre-school fumigation. But the parents have been complaining throughout APS (Atlanta Public Schools) about the students getting bitten by mosquitoes. I would not be surprised if APS ordered the landscapers to spray. And, of course, we are powerless in the face of that.

  3. Turns out that APS did order the spraying so the Dept of Ag couldn't do an investigation because we couldn't complain from the school about something ordered by the school system. So we combined the hives and one does still have a queen.


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