Hive Talk with @joebeewhisperer

Social media isn’t all that bad! Because of social media I’ve been able to develop friendships with a handful of really great beekeepers. Joe is one of those great beekeepers! I was excited to visit his apiary this past October. He showed me his queen raising hives and a queen hotel (that was a new one to me!) and I helped him reduce a hive in order to prep for winter.

Photo of a few hives in Joe’s apiary

Joe only runs Russian bees and I’d never been around an apiary full of Russians so I was a little nervous. That didn’t last very long because I was stung in ohhh about 5 minutes after walking around his hives. (lol) But Joe was gracious and patient with me and calmly continued to show me around his apiary while I fumbled around to find my lavender essential oil (PRO TIP-apply lavender essential oil directly to sting site as soon as sting occurs and it draws out the pain-don’t forget to wash the area if you are able)

Looking for frames to keep in this hive | Photo by @matt_morrison86

This next photo is one of my favorites! It almost looks like it’s two photos sliced together but it isn’t. Here Joe and I are sorting through the frames so we could leave the fullest honey frames in the colony we were working in. If you look closely, you can see the frames we are holding are capped (with honey).

Moving frames | Photo by @matt_morrison86
Photo by @matt_morrison86

I have to thank Joe’s friend Matt for taking some photos of us while we were workin’! (Okay we didn’t do that much but still) It isn’t that often that I get lucky enough to get photos of myself while doing bee stuff.

Looking for the queen | Photo by @matt_morrison86
Found her! The queen is on this frame | Photo by @matt_morrison86
Joe showing me one of his polystyrene hives | Photo by @matt_morrison86

People ask me if I get stung a lot. I only got stung once in the hour I spent at Joe’s and it was from a hive not even close to the ones you see in the photos. Didn’t even get stung by the one we opened up! The only protective gear I was wearing were my gloves and a small mosquito net hat thing that I borrowed from Joe. (Joe got stung, too, but I don’t know how many times) If you look back at the photos you can’t even see that many bees buzzing around us because they weren’t bothered by us too much.

Me asking a lot of questions, per usual | Photo by @matt_morrison86

Joe sells queens and nucs. He lives about 45 minutes outside of Chattanooga. So if you’re a local and need a queen…I know a guy!