Adopt-A-Hive – Los Altos Resident With Their New Bees

About three years ago Dick of Los Altos picked up the Los Altos Towncrier and read about Los Altos Honey Bees and what we did for our local areas. He has always wanted to contact me about getting a bee hive set up in his backyard and just a week or so ago a swarm that landed in his front yard triggered that phone call. It was a sign and I’m glad we connected as Dick and his wife Eileen welcome the bees and have a great yard to keep them. Plus they used to volunteer all the time at Deer Hollow Farm which is awesome as I volunteer there also. Here’s Dick and Eileen with their new young hive.

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My dad mentioned that when he was a boy in China they used to eat everything they harvested in the wild from the honey bees – the honey and larvae! My dad puts one in his mouth and then Eileen was brave enough to eat one as well. She said it tasted kind of sweet and spicy. Then commented that’s the first and last time she’s going to eat a bee larva! haha I had a good laugh! :)

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And in goes the larva! :)

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Thanks Dick and Eileen for adopting this young hive!

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Keg With Bees – No Beer, Only Bees

A week and a half ago we picked up a small keg, approximately 5 gallons, in Los Altos with a new colony of bees in it. We brought it home and kept it as-is until we had time to transfer them into a hive box. Easter Sunday turned out to be a relaxing day with kids going to two easter egg hunts and with no planned bee activities, my dad and I decided to open up the keg.

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We have done large wine barrels before so this was a simple task for us. Good thing they haven’t built up much yet and most of the comb was hanging from the top and not attached to the side.

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We detached the comb, caught and caged the queen, and then moved everything include the brood and all into a small four frame nuc.

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Downtown Los Altos Honey Bee Rescue

We did a bee rescue in downtown Los Altos Saturday afternoon. The honey bees made home between a column and it was an easy access since they have only been there for a few months. Here’s a picture of where the bees are entering from.

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After bringing up all our gear to the second floor we marked and made a straight cut into the wood.

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Then a little careful prying allowed us to remove the wood without completely ruining it, making it possible to remove after a little painting and perhaps wood filler/glue. :) Once off we exposed the entire colony.

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And here’s our queen. She’s huuuuuge!

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Bees and all removed and relocated to Mountain View. This hive has already been adopted. It’ll go to Santa Cruz in a week.

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Thanks Rashelle for calling us to save our local honey bees!

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Large Swarm Rescued in Los Altos Hills

Friday we rescued a large swarm in Los Altos Hills. John was at home when he saw and heard a large honey bee swarm move over his yard and land on his oak tree. The bees were still forming a cluster when he called. We arrived later in the evening to capture the bees and provide them with a nice home. We did a little trimming before my dad cut the main branch they were on while I held onto the cluster of bees and slowly lowered them into two medium hive boxes.

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Thanks John for calling us to save our local honeybees!

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Honey Bee Swarm on Apple Campus

Noticed a bee swarm on the Apple campus parking lot yesterday but facilities already called another beekeeper to remove them. As long as the bees are saved. :)

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Palo Alto Eichler Bee Swarm

The beauty of Eichler homes is that the bees don’t have much choice of building their home below the roof because there isn’t an attic. There are some Eichlers that do have soffits or some empty space though but not much. Here’s a swarm in Palo Alto just hanging out while the scouts find their new home.

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Bees In Wine Barrel / Keg – Los Altos

Recently I received calls with honey bees living inside a wine barrel Sunnyvale and a small 5 gallon keg in Los Altos. The wine barrel colony we’re going to turn them into bees for the owner. +1 for us, another new beekeeper! :)

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Wednesday night we picked up a small keg in Los Altos. You can gauge the size of the barrel with reference to the door on the shed. It was easy to pick up since it’s a new swarm, and from the weight of it the colony isn’t that big. We’ll get pictures shortly when we transfer them into hive boxes.

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