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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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Thursday, March 02, 2023

A Swarm on a Mailbox - Never an Easy Collection

 On Monday, I was called to collect a swarm from a mailbox in a neighborhood near mine. It's never easy to collect a swarm from an unmoving landing spot. Some difficult ones I've had in the past included a swarm on a I-beam; a swarm on a chain link fence; and a swarm on a bench. I don't ever like being violent with bees but a gentle shake into a collection box is much easier than trying to seduce the bees away from the solid item they've chosen to land on.

This mailbox, while quite accessible, was a challenge. I took a nuc box filled with drawn comb frames to use to gather the bees. I haven't done this before and it wasn't easy but as time passed (a lot of time - I was there over an hour!) I got better at sort of scooting the drawn frame up under the bees, sliding from the bottom up. In the very end, I had to brush the last of the bees into a scoop but that probably amounted to only about three hundred or so bees. 

Then when I arrived at the community garden to install the hive, I used a method I saw on a Cotswold, England beekeeper's YouTube channel. It was a miracle to watch the bees march into the hive. They looked like a school of fish made of bees as they flowed into the entrance. 

Now we have two hives of bees at the community garden, ready to grow and be a part of the MABA hive inspection program. My first inspection is on March 12!

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