Welcome to our Honeybee photo page.  Please scroll down for photos from our Honeybee Garden and 'Yarden' as we have planted our property with trees and shrubs to provide honeybee forage.  For photos focusing on the Organic Amazonian Dark Earth - Terra Preta Vegetables, click on the 'Garden' button on the left.

Above, the colonies. Victoria, Francesca, Celeste and Elanor in May 2012.  Francesca is a Carniolan Queen from California, installed 2011.  Victoria and Celeste are Italian Queens from Georgia, installed 2012 and Elanor is a Cordovan Italian Queen, installed 2012.  The Cordovans are golden and absolutely gorgeous.  The California packages, obtained from Koehnen & Sons, arrive overnight UPS, with almost no loss whatsoever.  There were perhaps 20 dead bees.  It is expensive, but worth the cost for gentle bees and genetic diversity. Photo DML 05/20/12
Above, the customized Freeman Small Hive Beetle Trap for 8 frame equipment, wedded to an altered Brushy Mountain 8 Frame Hive stand, in order to fit into our particular set-up.  The Small Hive Beetle is here, and shows no sign of leaving.  One colony, Elanor, appeared to be most bothered by them and I installed a Hood trap, while waiting for the Freeman trap to arrive.  The Hood trap has two disadvantages. First, one must disturb the colony to maintain and check the trap, Second and most critically, the bees immediately began to propolize the trap entrance, making it useless.  The Freeman trap,  on the other hand, is maintained from outside the colony by pulling out the tray.  I am using soapy water laced with apple cider vinegar.  Despite heat indices at 108F, the bees seem to be fine with a closed bottom, perhaps that is due to the shade they enjoy all afternoon.  I am happy to report that both beetle and larvae have perished in the trap, victims of the soapy soup.  All colonies will be sporting these as de rigueur equipment. Click Here for the step by step Freeman SHB trap customizing and installation photos.   Photo 06/30/12 dml

The colonies from left to right: Queen Victoria, Queen Francesca, Queen Celeste and Queen Latifa  photo DML 2007

Above, the colonies. with three supers each, April, 2009 photo DML
Above, clover blossoms with sweet nectar.  This is a wetter spring than last year and we hope the nectars are more abundant.  The drought last year had a negative impact on honey and bees.  The honeybees are not the only lovers of clover...see below.  Photo 04/29/12 DML
Above, a young bunny munches clover blossoms, we assume he brushes the honeybees off with his whiskers.  Photo 04/30/12 HEL
Above, Lucas, age 12, places the smoker on the work stand.  Lucas is interested in becoming a beekeeper, and this is his first visit to a beeyard.  Our photographer, Lucas's mom, Norma Jean is a Kindergarten teacher.  She has invited me several times to give a program on Honey Bees and beekeeping to her class, which is always a pleasure. photos, Norma Jean, June 2011

Above, we take a look in the Hive Top Feeder.  This is a new colony of Carniolan bees from Northern California.  I show Lucas the honeycomb 'ladder' the bees have built to travel to and from the feeder. June 2011

Above, Lucas, at right, and I examine the progress of comb building, checking to see how many frames have been pulled out. These girls still have a bit of building to do, so the feeder will go back on. June 2011

Above, looking toward the garden and Beeyard, which lie behind the Elaeagnus hedge. photo DML  Below, the same view dressed for winter. 

Above, same view of the hedge, following a snowfall, 8 inches overnight February 12, 2010 photo HEL

Above, Poppies and Thyme in the gardenphoto DML 2011

, Above. our experiment for March 2010.  My article on this Swarm trap experiment appeared in the June 2011 issue of Bee Culture Magazine. 

 I do not practice 'swarm prevention'.  I believe swarming is a natural and necessary function of healthy hives and happier quality queens.  It is also important for species survival and promotes genetic diversity and development of natural resistance to the many pests that now plague the honeybee.  Over the years we have captured over six of our own swarms, and found great homes for them. At least that many got away. This is my contribution to the restoration of a severely depleted feral honey bee population. I also consider swarming an integral part of my Integrated Pest Management Program, brood cycle interruption, therefore Varroa brood cycle interruption. 

The Swarm Trap Hive hangs invitingly, ten feet up an aromatic Cedar Tree, facing due South, complete with a pheromone lure that mimics the scent of a jubilant scout bee who has just found the perfect home for her swarm. March 23,2010.   photo DML

, Above. the swarm trap hive poised to hoist.  It is a complete hive, from the screened bottom board, two hive bodies with frames, pheromone lure, inner cover, peaked copper roof and a robbing screen.   The plan:  a swarm will inhabit this hive, happy to have found such lovely digs.  We then close the door at night, and in the morning lower the hive and place upon a waiting hive stand.  Perfect.  One small issue....no swarms this year.  Instead, a record amount of bearding (see photos that follow)  was experienced, both in my apiary and others.   Well...maybe next year...We are ready!   March 23, 2010.   photo DML

, From left to right, Victoria and Francesca, are settling in for a night under the stars.  As you can see, the population is booming. On the next photo, below, Francesca is bearding above the queen excluder!  June 6 2010 photo DML

 Francesca seen above, is celebrating her sixth summer with no losses!!  This is especially important as she has survived with no miticides or pesticides, ever.  She has also had no supplemental feeding since the winter of 2006-2007 when I implemented a management practice of leaving an extra super of honey on all colonies.  My goal is to never use sugar syrup, however, the drought of 2011 forced me to feed an established colony for the first time in five years.  Photo DML June 14, 2010

A Bees - eye view over the six foot hedge and straight on to their own front porch. Every October these hedges bloom with fragrant, nectar rich blossoms.    photo DML
Shown above, Celeste's front porch with detail of copper cleat holding hive stand in place.  Many folks have asked about the construction:  6x6 post, buried several feet into the ground with Sackcrete.  The hive stand is thru bolted and pitched slightly forward, copper cleats at corners to hold porch hive stand from slipping off.  My husband is the architect.  Easy to mow under, high for raccoons etc.  Photo detail of stand construction shown below.  Note the 6x6 has been beveled at the top to allow mites to roll to the ground.   Photo DML
The path from the Bee Garden.... photo DML
Crocosmia blooming July 2007 photo DML

A Pair of Painted Buntings has moved into our herbaceous border.  Above, Mr. Painted Bunting April 13 2010.  Has he returned in January 2011?  see photo below       photo HEL   Click here to see more Painted Bunting photos

January 23, 2011.  A Painted Bunting at our feeder...in the snow!  Could it be the same fellow we saw last April in the photo above?  We had 6-8 inches of snow yesterday, lovely and cold!  Photo HEL  

Above, Seven birds or more taking a dip, Froggie likes the company.  Photo HEL 09/11/10
Honeybee in Crimson Clover (working lower left blossom)  April 2008  photo DML

Drawn Small Cell Honey Comb measuring 4.8 - 4.9mm, this is an extracted frame from Queen Celeste. To calculate, measure a section ten cells long and divide by ten.  October 4, 2007  Celeste is a small cell Queen from 'FatBeeman' Don Kuchenmeister in Lula  GA. photo HEL

Harvest 2007 showing the differences in floral nectar sources gathered at different times of the year. Shown above, from left:: September harvest, July harvest, April harvest. The April honey, seen at right, and below, is the 2007 NC State Fair Third Place Ribbon winner in the Senior Honey Competition, Extracted Honey Light! 

  photo DML

This April honey was solely the work of Queen Francesca and her Francescan daughters! photo DML

Shown above, a huge Swarm from our Queen Latifa, that I captured in a Wax Myrtle tree April 1, 2008. I had placed an empty, fully drawn brood frame in the can before I came up under the swarm, to knock them in.  The Queen settled on the frame, and it was a piece of cake to transfer her, by placing the frame into her new home.    photo DML

    Anne E. and I watch the girls march in following their Queen. It was a heart-warming sight! This swarm was so enormous, a second brood chamber was added immediately. Because these bees are fully regressed small cell honeybees from our own colony, I am thrilled! Photo HEL

Yet another swarm from Queen Latifa, April 11, 2008.  Howie caught this one way up in the Cedar tree...It was a busy year!  We captured two more.  We gave a swarm, from Queen Francesca  to Mr. D , and the other got away.  This was a smaller after-swarm, but they built up nicely!  We used the 'frame in the can method' for this swarm as well.  Here I am, moving this fully regressed small cell family into their new home!  photo HEL

Honey bee working Stevia blossom October 2007 photo DML
Honey Bee working Chaste tree blossom Vitex negundo  Sept 2, 2006  photo HEL

Palamedes Swallowtail Papilio palamedes on Hibiscus September 2006  photo DML

Sourwood Tree Ericaceae Oxydendrum arboreum  June 2006 photo DML

Detail of Sourwood Blossoms June 2006 photo DML
Our English  Froggie fountain with friends; two Birds bathing Oct 2007 photo DML
Beek having a wee keek Summer 2006  photo HEL
A medium frame of capped honey poses with our Italian made stainless steel four frame hand crank extractor, Summer 2006 harvest photo DML
Our favorite 'honey bear' wields the uncapping knife  photo DML
 Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Poplar bloom May 2006 photo DML
DML Holds A drawn frame of Small Cell Foundation from the new colony May 2006 photo HEL, 
Bird bath garden May 2006 photo DML
          Bunny in silhouette, with legs stretched out and cotton tail in the sun May 2006 photo DML
Honeybee in Blossoming Thyme May 2007 photo HEL
Salvia and Thyme Blooming May 2007 photo DML

Bottoms up gathering from  Elaeagnus pungens bloom mid October photo DML

Honey bee on Silver-berry  October 30 2005 photo DML

Hibiscus in Indian Summer 2005 photo DML

Gulf Fritillary and Marigolds Fall 2005 photo DML