We know bees, you can too!

Metro Atlanta Beekeepers’ Association is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that supports an active beekeeping community and promotes the art and science of bees and beekeeping to the public through education, events and services.

Certified Beekeeper Exam

The University of Georgia Master Beekeeper Program gives participants the opportunity to increase their knowledge of all things dealing with bees and beekeeping. The Certified Beekeeper level is the first step of a four-step program.

The Certified Beekeeper exam is open to beekeepers who have been keeping bees for at least one year. The material for the test is First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith Delaplane. The exam is comprised of a written test and a practical test.

MABA has been authorized by UGA to administer the exam here in Atlanta for the Certified level.
  • Testing will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023.  The rain date is May 13.
  • The cost is $75 per person.
  • Location: Academe of the Oaks  146 New St  Decatur, GA 30030

Sign up for the exam

In April, our speaker is Dr. Marla Spivak, an American entomologist, and Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota specializing in apiculture and social insects.

Her presentation will cover “Honey Bee Social Immunity and Breeding for Resistance to Varroa”.
At 6:30 PM, we will have pot-luck snacks in the back of Heritage Hall. Feel free to bring a finger food to share with your fellow MABA members.

During mentor time, we will be discussing “feeders and syrup / taking notes” followed by an open question and answer session.  . If you have the most basic questions about beekeeping, then this is the place to ask those questions in a friendly and supportive environment.

Jeff with Swarm

If you see honey bee swarm – a ball of bees in a tree or bush – that means they are seeking a new home. Help us find a good home for these bees – you don’t want them nesting in your house. We will send a local member out to retrieve the colony for a better chance at survival.

Please call Dave Marshall at 812-369-0401 right away before the swarm flies off to its new home.

Before you call, please have the following information:

  • How long has the swarm been at this location?
  • What is the exact address of the property where the swarm is located?
  • How high off the ground is the swarm?
  • Is the swarm in a structure or on a tree, bush, fence etc.?
  • What size is it? Softball? Cantaloupe? Football? Basketball?
  • Is there a phone number where you can be reached?
  • Can you take a photo of the swarm as close-up as you feel comfortable?

If you are not viewing this from a smartphone, call 812-369-0401.

MABA Calendar

Hive Inspection @ Blue Heron with Gina Gallucci
Apr 1 @ 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/4123blueheronhiveinspectionwithginagallucci_1

Hive Inspection @ Old Rucker Park with Ed Hoehn
Apr 8 @ 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/4823ruckerparkhiveinspectionwithedhoehn_1

Hive Inspection @ Lost Corner with Julia Mahood
Apr 8 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/412023lostcornerinspectionwithjuliamahood_1

Hive Inspection @ East Atlanta Tapestry Gardens with Steve Esau
Apr 15 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/04152022eastatlantatapestrygardenshiveinspectionwithsteveesau_1

Hive Inspection @ Morningside Community Garden with Linda Tillman
Apr 15 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/41523inspectionatmorningsidecommunitygardenwithlindatillman_1

Monthly Meeting – (6:30 mentoring) – Marla Spivak – Honey Bee Social Immunity and Breeding for Resistance to Varroa
Apr 18 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Meetings are currently being held IN PERSON and virtually with Zoom until we make an announcement otherwise.

Meetings are held at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Heritage Hall on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Meetings begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:00 pm. Marla Spivak – Honey Bee Social Immunity and Breeding for Resistance to Varroa

Come early for informal mentoring time from 6:30-7:00  feeders and syrup/taking notes

Hive Inspection @ Blue Heron with Gina Gallucci
Apr 22 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/42223blueheronhiveinspectionwithginagallucci_2

Hive Inspection @ Lost Corner with Julia Mahood
Apr 22 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/4222023lostcornerinspectionwithjuliamahood_1

Hive Inspection @ Old Rucker Park with Ed Hoehn
Apr 29 @ 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/42923ruckerparkhiveinspectionwithedhoehn_1

Hive Inspection @ Chastain Park with Jay Parsons
Apr 30 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Sign up at: https://www.memberplanet.com/events/mababc/04302023chastainparkhiveinspectionwithjayparsons_1

Other announcements:
Welcome to all of our new members from the MABA One-Day Short Course!
MABA is the largest and most diverse bee club in Georgia, with brand new beekeepers, sideliner beekeepers, master beekeepers, and even two of our state’s Master Craftsman beekeepers as members.

If you are a brand new beekeeper, sign up for a Hive Inspection. I cannot stress how vital this is for your beekeeping education. It is your opportunity to go into a hive with an experienced MABA beekeeper and get your questions answered. Please click the link to choose a date and sign up. This service is free for members.

Looking for a queen, bees, honey? See what members have on offer: https://metroatlantabeekeepers.org/buy-local-honey/

As a convenience, Harold Lanier often brings his mobile beekeeping store to the MABA meeting. If you are looking for supplies, then visit Harold’s web site, look at his price list, and contact him with what you need, and he will include your order in his mobile store that he brings to the meeting.

If you would like to reach out to a MABA member for help, then a great resource is the MABA Bee Neighbor List. This is a live document that we update with members’ information, including MABA members who are eager to help other beekeepers in need.
  • To view the MABA Bee Neighbor List, the link is in the monthly newsletter for members.
  • Sign up to be included on the MABA Bee Neighbor List.

The MABA Swarm Trap Cluster project has built 60 swarm traps so far, and our next build party is not yet scheduled. Swarm traps are the easiest way for you to acquire FREE BEES. You do NOT need to volunteer to build swarm traps to buy a MABA swarm trap.

Our Swarm Commander, Dave Marshall, calls MABA members on the MABA Swarm Call list to tell them that it’s time to catch some free bees. Would you like to be included on this list of people to call?

Our neighbors are putting up signs about the mosquito spraying that companies do that kill our honey bees along with butterflies, luna moths, fireflies, and native bees.

The flow is on! It’s the best time of year to be a beekeeper!
Jimmy Gatt
MABA President

Membership not Required

Meetings are held at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Heritage Hall on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The Annual Picnic and Honey Contest held in September may be scheduled for a different day than the regular meeting day. Please see the Calendar for more details about scheduled events.

Meetings usually include interesting speakers and discussions on a variety of topics related to beekeeping, such as hive management, honey bee problems, honey, beeswax, and other hive products.

Meetings begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 9:00 pm.

Come early for informal mentoring time from 6:30-7:00

Everyone interested in honey bees is welcome!


Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
3180 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30305

macayran @ Pixabay, carpenter bee on pink flower

Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association is a club for honey bee keepers. There’s really no such thing as “keeping” or “moving” carpenter bees, but here is some basic information if you’re concerned about carpenter bees in your home. Freshly stained/painted wood doesn’t attract carpenter bees. There’s a brief page on them in this booklet published by the USDA that refers to this: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5306468.pdf —scroll down to page 10 People report diminished carpenter bee activity on freshly sealed or painted wood.    A great natural solution is to nail up (in an unobtrusive place) a 2 x 4 section of untreated lumber- it can be under your deck or anywhere that isn’t going to be an eyesore. The carpenter bees will eat that up and leave your house alone. If it’s a large log house or deck, nail up several.  You can also try spraying peppermint oil solution on the spots where the bees are drilling in your wood and that will deter them in a less toxic way. (If you can reach their holes, put toothpaste in them.) You may have to keep applying it in the springtime, but after breeding season activity will fall off. Carpenter bees are great pollinators and are not aggressive to humans and pets. We encourage you to try some peppermint spray, or else seal/paint the wood, or, if the integrity of the structure isn’t at risk, just leave them bee. These are very gentle bees and not likely to sting anyone. The pesticides that an exterminator uses for carpenter bees does kill honey bees.

Carpenter bees and bumble bees are similar and size and sometimes in coloring. 

The carpenter bee is not as fuzzy as the bumble and has only a small amount of hair on its middle abdomen. Some carpenter bee species are all black while some have similar yellow markings to the bumble bee but only on their head. The lower abdomen has little to no hair and appears black and shiny which is why they are occasionally referred to as black bees. 

The carpenter bee also has hairier back legs than the bumble bee which, like honey bees, has special structures called pollen baskets to carry pollen back to its nest.

Beekeeping is Sweet!