Welcome - Explore my Blog

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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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.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Time to Bait Hives with SWARM LURE

 Yesterday I baited every empty hive I have in hopes that this year bees will find me, as they do most years. Here's the recipe for almost-never-fail swarm lure:

1 square inch cube of beeswas

1/4 cup olive oil

15 - 20 drops of lemongrass oil.

Put the oil in a glass container and drop in the beeswax cube:

I make the lure in the container that I will put in my hive tool kit.

If it needs stirring, I use a tongue depressor or a chopstick.

Let it cool a bit before adding the lemongrass oil so it doesn't immediately evaporate. I have my container sitting on a piece of marble which cools it off quickly. After 3 - 4 minutes, then I add the lemongrass oil.

Now smear it on the hive at the upper edge of the entrance, around the inner cover, and on the tops of a few frames. 

And wait for scout bees to find your hive and entice their sisters to move in!

Here's how to apply the swarm lure for greatest effectiveness.

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