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Posted on Jul 10th, 2013

My third swarm call came in today from the Philadelphia Police Department.  Apparently for roughly the past two weeks there has been a swarm of bees in a bush right where they walk their K9 unit at 30th Street Station.  The fact that it took two weeks to call someone is troubling, but I was glad they did call and was happy to get the swarm.  I sped over after work to find the small swarm after finding an officer to lead me to it. The clump of bees was quite small, but if the queen is still with them then they could still pull through.

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Posted on Jul 8th, 2013

Last night there were several strong storms in Philadelphia that felled several trees.  I should not have been surprised when this morning I had a call about a swarm of bees a few blocks from my apartment.  A tree that had a rather large bee hive inside of it had split in two, and now people were looking for someone who could take the bees away before it rained againor someone killed them.  The job was too big for me and I did not have the equipment to really deal with it, but I was able to take the below pictures and call someone else from the guild who was able to come and pick up the... more

Posted on Jul 6th, 2013

Not only did my bees fare poorly over the winter but so did my extra freezer.  My kegerator, which I keep for homebrewed beer and mead, died over the winter taking the freezer I use to temporarily freeze frames I need to store to kill pests over the winter with it.  Keeping bees in the city and living in an apartment has its disadvantages, largely from lack of space.  With this freezer gone it meant I had to take some risks.  I had hoped this year's weather would be half as good as 2012, and the bees would respond in kind.  This has not been the case so far, unfortunately.  The weather has... more

Posted on Jun 3rd, 2013

I don't know if it is bad luck or misdiagnosis but packages seem to have constant queen issues.  This is purely anecdotal, but it seems that they regularly either have something with their queen they don't like or something else happen with her and then try to replace her.  This seems to inevitably go wrong and the beekeeper needs to step in.  Prefering to try more local stock rather than the Georgian bees I usually get I was happy to find that Jeff Eckle had some virgin queens that were about to emerge that I could pick up.  Being virgin queens... more

Posted on May 18th, 2013

It has been a wet spring so far but the bees have been making do.  They have not been expanding as quickly as I hoped but it is still early yet.  My name has been on the Philadelphia Bee Keeper Guild's swarm call list for a few weeks and I received my first call today.  A renter in West Philly has a mass of bees outside of his second story window and was hoping I could come and get them.  Even better this was all within about two blocks of the hives at the community garden.  I did not have a ladder... more

Posted on Mar 30th, 2013

After the three strong hives at the community garden were killed I had one left in my friend's backyard. That hive was looking great but unfortunately did not make it through the winter leaving with me no living hives to start the year. It was very disheartening to lose all of those hives, particularly since they were strong and they were lost due to someone's deliberate actions. Since the community garden will remain exposed I decided to pull all but one hive from there for the time being. I am going to try and catch some swarms this year for the first time. If I am successful I will add... more

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