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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.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Top Bar Topsy is Alive and Well - at least for now

It's 55 in Atlanta today (according to my car) and Valerie called with delight to report that the bees are flying out of Topsy, the top bar hive at her house. When warm temperatures arrive, the bees come out to relieve themselves and to carry out the waste from the queen. If it stays warm (which is not the case predicted), they will do some housecleaning, but temperatures are predicted to fall to the upper 30s tonight.

Yesterday I stopped by Valerie and Jeff's house to check on the bees. Topsy was quiet, still and appeared dead - felt cold, could hear nothing - but I still crossed my fingers that our so far so cold winter had not resulted in their starvation.

Today they are alive. Bee killing weather is possible for the next couple of months - our bees in Atlanta often starve with suddenly cold weather in February or March.

I'm hoping for a very sunny Groundhog Day!

Oops, upon re-thinking this, I realize that what I want is a very cloudy Groundhog Day so that he doesn't see his shadow so that spring will be on its way.
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  1. Anonymous9:44 PM

    I don't even know the last time it got above freezing here I'm so envious of your winters. The bees still seem to be flinging their dead sisters out the front of the hive because I saw a handful of dead bees on top of Friday's snow.

  2. But if dead bees are being flung out of the hive, someone is alive in there doing the flinging!

  3. I love your new blog look!

    I couldn't agree more that now is the time to worry about your bees. I have set up a community feeder so they can have access to syrup on day nice enough to fly. 5 hives suck down about a quart of thick syrup on days 50 or above.

  4. You and me both hope Groundhog's Day is a very sunny one!!

  5. It is so warm and hot over here in Australia and where we live it never ever snows so it is fascinating to hear of your winter adventures. Also groundhog day is something I've only heard of in the movies! I have linked to you on my blog in a list of beekeepers blogs on the right hand side - scroll down http://thebeeshouse.blogspot.com/
    Good Luck this winter with mother nature.


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