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My name is Jones Tyler and I am an avid gardener in Varina, Virginia – a small, rural locality directly to the East of Richmond, Virginia. In the Spring of 2009, I picked up two Nuc’s (starter honey bee colonies) and started my career (or misadventures) as a Beekeeper. I wanted to begin tracking my efforts (and I was also intrigued by WordPress), so I created this little blog to see how I could get it to work.

There is a lot to learn about bees and I wanted a place that I could jot down observations or notes and easily find them in the future (my memory wains daily it seems…)

The primary lesson that I have learned about bees is that they rarely do what you expect. Perhaps I will revise this in the future, with more hives and years under my belt, but my experiences thus far have always been new. If a local, wise beekeeper tells me that my hive should be doing THIS, I usually find them doing THAT. Typically, I react to THAT and my bees seem to survive regardless!

…The Blog

The blog is a running journal of my experiences keeping bees. This is the rolling list of entries down the center of the page. Every blog entry is placed into one or more categories, providing easy access to all posts related to a given category. Categories are accessed via the drop-down menu in the left-hand navigation bar. In addition, notes from my experiences, from books/magazines and/or from perusing the Net are kept in the Bee Notes section. Finally, any website that provides value to my beekeeping experience is kept in Bee Resources.

13 comments to About…

  • David Shea

    I am going to my first ERBA meeting tonight, I’d like to get some bees, hmmm seems like a lot of work.

  • I’ll be at the meeting tonight. I probably spend more time at it then most – I am really fascinated by these little insects. I am also frustrated by them!

  • James

    I think I may be a fan,I have a question I can’t find the answer to maybe you can give some thought to it . How is fruit juice used by honey bees? What is it’s food value? I see nothing written on this yet i know bees go after it readily. James

  • Tayloe Call


    I joined the Southern, MD beekeepers association this spring after buying a Kenya Top Bar Hive.
    I get some emails from them and thought that you would be interested in the below.
    Hope that you are well.
    This guy does a scavenger hunt in the hives in his apiary.

    From Greg Ferris

    This years scavenger hunt will be in the fall – OCTOBER 2, 2010 @ 11:30a.m.

    We will start at 11:30 a.m. on my front porch. Bring a picnic lunch and
    plenty of fluids to drink. I will get everyone registered on the score
    sheet while we eat and tell one another beekeeping lies. Around 12:45 we
    will proceed to the apiary, sterilize hive tools, and get the smokers going.
    I will have plenty of smoker fuel available in the apiary. The scavenger
    will start at 1:00. You will have until 4:00 to find as many items on the
    list that you can and get a picture of. I wll have 32+ hives going
    and mating nucs as well. You are encouraged to go thru as many of them
    as you can. After 4:00 the score sheet will be tallied and the winner

    The “LIST” will have 20 or so items that you will be looking for. You will
    take pictures of the items with your digital camera (use an old cheap one)
    and bring them to me during the course of the hunt to have them logged onto
    the score sheet. I’ll try not to put anything on the list that is too small
    to see. For example I won’t ask for a picture of a corbicula but I may ask
    for a picture of one that is fully loaded. As beekeepers we are expected to
    know about all bees by John Doe Public so anything hymenoptera related can
    be on the list. Beekeeping slang terms may appear on the list as well.

    Basically you need to show with:

    1. A partner

    2. A digital camera

    3. A hive tool

    4. Your protective Gear

    5. A smoker

    My main goal is for everyone to have fun. Hopefully everyone will have a
    learning experience as well. I will be available to answer any questions
    during the hunt. I will not answer any questions that pertain to “THE

    If this hunt is half as successful as last years it will be a great time.
    is a hands on learning experience. Every year I see something new. This
    it was bees raisng drones in queen cells!

    Greg Ferris

    aka Beekeep


    301 743-5933

  • Very cool, Tayloe. I will be interested in hearing about your adventures with the TBH. I want to build one of them in the future and give that a try.

  • The Treasurer of Richmond Beekeepers Association resign her position and membership because on improprieties of the officers in that association.

    I was advised of the “FOWL BROOD” spreading within a few in that organization. I fought tooth and nail in the early 1990’s to change that association from what it was at that time. We spent hours overhauling the constitution and bylaws. It was run by a very few for their own interest. I even had to call an “emergency” officers meeting ( with all collected votes for a recount) after being informed by my opponent, who personally collected the mail in ballots and the meeting votes and pronounced that “I beat you by 6 votes”! At that meeting that individual said that, “I had beat him by 1 vote”. He did not surrender the voting results, so I let it go. Etc……

    I have discovered that my work in changing the bylaws has fallen by the wayside. There is NO membership voting. Officers are appointed by a couple of people. The bylaws are not being fallowed nor shared with the sitting officers. The “State Fair” Association funds are held in a personal account by one person, who is not even an officer.
    I have been a member of that association and still visit, periodically, I WILL bring this horse-hockey to the floor in the October meeting. The association has 150 members, and they need to know the goings-on there.

    I am aware of the reasons that motivated the founding of ERBA. I am not seeking to become an officer at RBA, but out of the respect for those who know me, I we try and right a wrong. Beekeeping Association should “BEE – FUN” and not by a money making venture by a few evil cronies.

    That being said, I invite all interested people to the October RBA meeting — it will BEE interesting. I will BEE JOINING the East-Richmond Association and will attend the October meeting. My honeybees literally saved my life and given the current honeybee “CRISIS” — We have to rally to do positive and unselfish things.


  • Sorry for the typos. Mr. BEE is so worked up, that I could spit bees.

    KEN đŸ™‚ — LIFE is TOO SHORT to NOT Have FUN!!!

  • Tayloe


    I really enjoy your site.

    My folks said that you may be interested in a Top Bar Hive.
    Here is the site where I purchased mine: http://www.thegardenhive.com

    I put bees in mine at the beginning of May last year.
    They are building the final 3 combs in it now.
    I am planning to buy another and split it in a week or so.
    I have some pictures if you are interested, but I’m not sure how to post them here.
    If you’d like to see them, email me and I’ll send them.



  • Tayloe,

    I have tried to contact you via the email that you left with your comment, but it keeps coming back with an error.

    I would definitely like to see some of the pics that you have.


  • Angie Skochdopole

    I enjoy reading your blog. I am a beginner — just got a hive started this summer and am glad to read that I am not the only one having some “trial and error”. I am in Chesterfield and would like to ask you some questions via email if you are willing to help me with some beginner issues?
    I don’t want to impose, but am struggling with some issues, that I don’t know are me doing something wrong or an issue with the heat or something else. Thanks.

  • I will definitely try to help. I have sent you an email.

  • Evelyn

    Hi Jones,
    My husband Bob and I live in Varina behind the eastpart of Tree Hill Farm. We went to the April meeting of Varina beekeepers but it sems the membership was very knowledgeable and we haven’t even gotten started. I’ll be retiring at the end of December and want to raise bees but I need some one-on- one instruction. Is there someone who will mentor me or help get us started? I know there’s a one day seminar in Glen Allen in November. Can we visit your hive?
    Any suggestions from you would be great.
    Evelyn Brown

  • I have replied Evelyn. I raise Nuc’s for sale in the Spring and/or can be a mentor for you guys as you get started. It’s wise to be thinking about it now (as opposed to next Spring!)

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