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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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Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Damn, it feels Bad to Bee a Beekeepa'"

With apologies to the Geto Boys, while they thought that "damn, it feels good to be a gangsta," I've been thinking, "Damn, it feels bad to be a beekeepa'." Especially when tragedy strikes.

Today I inspected the hive that looked as if it were being robbed the other day. There are bees buzzing all around the hive and the other night they slept in a clump on the corner of the roof of the hive. Bill Owens wrote me that those bees were probably residents of the hive and couldn't get in because I had mostly blocked the entry, so they spent the night on the corner.

And that's probably true, but when I opened the hive, it had been completely robbed out although there were bees everywhere.

Dead bees on the inner cover (along with hive beetles and a roach)

Typically robbed comb, with ragged edges and absolutely no honey at all.

Dead bees on top of the brood frames.

And a heartbreaking load of dead bees on the bottom board.

I felt sad and sick. I guess the absconded swarm that ended up finding me actually was the core of the old hive and a queen who made it out after the robbers ruined their home. I was proud of those four frames in a medium nuc brave bees. But very sad to lose this hive and the new queen I purchased from Rossman.
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  1. what robs the bee hive? I am so curious... I know nothing about bees and actually am pretty scared of them usually!

  2. Other bees rob out hives when there is a shortage of bee food supplies. We have a drought in Atlanta so the bees are starving and desperate for nectar and since these bees in this hive had a failing queen and tons of honey, they were robbed by other less fortunate bees.

  3. How sad! I am normally afraid of bee's, the yellow jackets in particular! But I leave the honey bee's alone! I realize they are working hard for their queen and we reap the rewards of their efforts. I also remember the gal on "Fried Green Tomatoes" who collected the honey from wild hives, I think. It has been a long time but I admire anyone who handles bee's. You have a ton of wonderful information. Keep up the great work!

  4. Hi, I'm Brazilian, I am 12 years old, and I do not speak much English, I would like to meet people in British blogger because I want to live in Australia when you grow up. Thank you!

  5. Anonymous10:48 PM

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  6. Hi Linda,
    I went through a traumatizing and demoralizing robbing episode this fall as well. Missed the signal of first frost (end of nectar flow) and failed to close up some of the entrances to reduce open access for roving pirate-bees. That's a mistake I won't make again. Thanks for sharing this story...I find the failures difficult to write about, and respect your courage in doing so. My sympathies for your loss and here's to the ongoing uphill climb of getting better at beekeeping with every passing day, week, month, year.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/user/rusticranchfarms
    Hello... I am in Moultrie Georgia and I just found a Honey Bee Killer that just may be CCD Colony Collapse Disorder answers! I noticed a lot of dead bees in my area and I started taking pictures to see them close up and I noticed they all had these fibers piercing them and so do all the Google images I find... so i drove 3 states just to pick plants at the state line and all 3 states had these same fibers on the plants! I made a video about it at http://www.youtube.com/user/rusticranchfarms please take a look and help me find somebody that will research this... I have sent this out and all I get is why does the fiber kill the bee? I am not a researcher... I'm sending it out to researcher for them to research but they want to me to tell them all the details or they just don't want to bother! Everyday I have a pile of bees under my flower bush! I even bought a colony and it was dead in 3 days! Everyone's attention to this is very important! God Bless, Lisa


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