Jeff from Mountain View adopted a hive last year and the colony kept growing in good numbers along with yielding a good amount of honey. Just weeks ago the hive swarmed. Jeff mentioned that he saw a swarm that could have been the first of the season with the original queen but didn’t see where it landed. Then he called me over to collect an after-swarm that landed in his neighbor’s tree.
After hiving the swarm we did a full inspection and found two queens roaming around in the hive along with at least 10 fully developed queen cells which we cut out to be used in splits.
Saturday after the kids basketball and baseball games, Dad and I were about to get start on our hive maintenance when we received a call from a Los Altos residence about a honey bee swarm that just landed in a bush about six feet off the ground. Packed up our swarm catching kit and off we went.
My Dad held the box and I shook the bees into the box. Caught the queen, well, after three tries as this queen is super fast and small. She is the same size as the worker bees and definitely a new born. Caged her and picked up the bees at dark.
Thanks for call Los Altos Honey Bees to rescue our local honey bees!
The bee swarm season started much earlier this year due to the dry and warm weather. I received a few calls in February but didn’t get to them on time and they flew off. Finally this Friday I caught my first swarm of 2015 in Palo Alto. Landed on a small bush 1 foot off the ground. Shake and caught a small virgin keep. A small after swarm.
Sunday went into a hive for a quick inspection and honey harvest and noticed queen cells already! One more queen and I will be able to split the hive. Look out for swarms coming soon!
This January warm weather can’t be good for the bees. With longer days and warm weather the bees are already building up. When you get a chance it’s time to inspect your hives and harvest the honey you left for them to survive the Winter. But be warned, the cold and wet season isn’t over yet, I’d leave them some honey.
We did a bee removal from a 1896 historic home in Palo Alto last Saturday. It wasn’t actually on the main home but a cottage in the back. A swarm moved in about a week ago and made home in the wall entering through some holes on the redwood siding.
We carefully removed the redwood siding without cracking any boards as some of them aren’t standard sizes anymore, and we did minimal cutting to ensure it can be restored to it’s original condition.
Here is our first look at the newly formed colony. They built a few comb sections.
And here’s our queen.
We left the box there to make sure we get all the bees and picked up the colony at night.
Thanks Barbara for having us save our local honeybees!
Jeremy, a Los Altos beekeeper who had a hive for over a decade, seeks to replace the bees that didn’t survive this last Winter with new feral bees. His original hive was a swarm that moved into his empty boxes while it was set up outside waiting for his package bees to arrive. While his package bees didn’t last too long these feral bees lasted him 15 years! Of course it wasn’t the original queen but through swarming and getting new queens from them, keeping similar genetics, they thrived for years. Now he’s keen to start over with yet again feral colonies. So the other night Jeremy swung by and picked up a young established swarm that has brood, honey, pollen, and all.
Thanks for adopting our local bees. Hope these bees will treat you as your first colony did!