Welcome - Explore my Blog

I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 16th year of beekeeping in April 2021. 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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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Pesticide kill at the Morningside Community Garden

 I posted this on Next Door in my neighborhood. I don't think it will have impact, but at least I get the opportunity to complain about the people who disregard the importance of pollinators.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Installing Bees at SPARK Elementary in Atlanta, Georgia

 On Saturday, I installed two nucs of bees with Megan McCloskey, the science and nature person at SPARK, on the rooftop garden. We've had bees there for six or so years, but the hives died when we couldn't take care of them during COVID when we weren't allowed in the school. It was great to put bees back there again. They won't produce honey this year but maybe we can get them up and running well enough to make it through the winter.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Yelp Event about Urban Beekeeper - Join Me

 Yelp sponsors "Events" on a local and a national level. The events coordinator for Atlanta spoke with the president of my local bee club, Metro Atlanta Beekeepers, and they decided that it would be fun and a good thing for bees and beekeeping to offer an event about beekeeping to help educate the public about the honey bee. 

Before I knew it, I had a phone call with Christina Venditti, the events coordinator for the Atlanta Yelp, and we decided I would present an urban beekeeping educational event that she would advertise nationwide on Yelp. 

So if you know someone who would like to learn more about the honey bee, here's the link for the virtual event that is happening on April 28 at 6:30 PM. I'll present a talk with slides on the honey bee and it should be both fun and educational.

See you on the 28th!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Capture and Installation of a Swarm

 This one was a piece of cake - easiest swarm ever. The bees were docile and easy to reach. What a gift! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Trying to establish Queen Castle Nucs is a Challenge

 This inspection was full of problems (including a bad mic in the first segment resulting in cutting some of the video). Here it is nonetheless, because all beekeepers have not the greatest days sometimes, so I'm glad to share.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Easter Sunday Hive Inspection

 While kids were scampering through yards looking for Easter eggs, I was inspecting the hives at the community garden. I began beekeeping on Easter Sunday in 2006. Seems just right that I am inspecting hives in 2021 on Easter Sunday!

Lots of interesting events during this inspection. We move frames with queen cells to a queen castle and deal with a queenless (apparently) top bar hive at the very end with an interesting solution to the issue. Enjoy!

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.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

First 2021 Virtual Hive Inspection Done March 5 - 14, 2021

 I presented my first virtual hive inspection of the year to the MABA bee registrants last night. While you don't get the benefit of the Q&A or the discussions, here it is, if you would like to watch it.

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