April 27

QUEENS! QUEENS! QUEENS! Where Are My Queens?

One main reason Beekeepers in early spring and spring can lose their hives is they lose their queen and do not discover it due to lack of Good hive inspections done often enough.  While I have not lost a hive yet this year, I have certainly had issues with my queens.

I am providing the following links for you to use and study to gain understanding of  hive inspections, loss, of your Queen, and how to requeen your hive.  My next lesson will be on hive splits.  Yep, you can save a lot of money and make your own hives if you can gain understanding of how this is done.  I am not an expert, but have my first successful split in my Alexis Apiary.  Watching and learning about your Queen is essential to becoming a good beekeeper.

Beginning Beekeepers:  Lost Queen?  New Queen

Honey Bees When and How to Re Queen a Hive with a new Queen Bee, Queen Replacement

How to tell if hive will accept new mated queen: I demonstrate how

How are queens made reproduced we explain

Bee Hive Inspection – New Queens!


April 25

Gaston County Beekeepers Association Meeting -April 24

Good Evening Fellow Beekeepers and supporters of our beloved honeybees.  I have finally made it to another GCBA meeting and I always like to bring you along with me.   I will be putting my rough notes here for you to enjoy.

Carolina Lavender Farm is here and offering to let us set our hives there.  Interesting, but I am not sure how far away it is.  They have a Facebook page and it might be interesting to read up on them.

Carolina Lavender Farm

Tonight’s Meeting is about good pollinator plants for your gardens and yards.  Before the program begins I recall NC State publish a list of the top 25 native pollinators in North Carolina.  The link is below as well as one for Carolina Pollinator Garden:

Top 25 Native Pollinator Plants for North Carolina

Carolina Pollinator Garden

Ron Thompson is our speaker for tonight and I just now remembered that he presented last year which means I have already taken notes on this session and you can find them in the April or May blog.




April 23

Spring 2018 Has Arrived!

New Hives ready to paint!


Good Morning Bee Team Members and Friends of the Frances Smith Apiary.

We would like to welcome Lena Chatman as our newest Bee Sustainer.   Our current class of Bee Sustainers continuing with us, number of hives, and current hive locations include:

Lena Chatman – 1 new hive at Apiary

Erin and Chris Denison – Establishing 2 new hives at Apiary

Bobby and Melanie Black – 1 STRONG Surviving hive and establishing two more hives – all at home.

Leigh Brinkley – Reestablish a new hive at home

Sean Moore – Establishing new hive at Apiary and a new hive at home

Andy Latham – 1 surviving hive at Apaiary, 2 hives at home

Joe, Irene, and Rachel Pharr – Planning to reestablish their hive at the Apiary with a swarm.

Scott Griffin – 3 hives at Apiary (possibly adding a 4th), , 5  hives at my Alexis Apiary.

If any of this is incorrect , please let me know.  

I will be establishing an evening meeting in my home in the near future.  If you have dates during the week that you cannot come during April 30 to May 11….please let me know via email or text.  This will help me establish our meeting  date.  I may consider the coffee shop as our place to meet as well.  Our major discussion topic will concern the number of failed hives this year and what we can do to give our bees a better chance of survival.

By now you should have completed several hive inspections on your existing bees and cleaned out your failed hives so you can receive your new bees in May.  If you are reestablishing your hive at the Apiary, be sure to clean out and if you took the hive home, bring it back to the Apiary.  If you need a new location, I need to be there to show you what is available.  I am always ready to schedule a joint hive inspection with you.  I walk a new member through the entire process, hands on the first year.  After this I continue to be your mentor as long as you want me to do so.  Just remember to ask when you need help or have a question.  When you are at the Apiary with fellow Beekeepers, help each other and do some “bee talking”!  This is one of the BEST ways to learn.

Chris Denison is designing double hive benches for placement of hives.  We hope to build these soon so that you can begin to make use of them and will make our Apiary more beautiful….more uniform.

Thanks to all!  Bee Sustainers let me know when you have read this blog!