We inspected almost all our smaller hives this weekend and noticed that many of them, though have a good population of bees, don’t have much honey at all. This can be a bad sign as it is only June. There are flowers in bloom but might have little nectar in them as it has been pretty dry in California.
Talked to a few other beekeepers and they are seeing the same results. One even mentioned that they might have to feed the bees this year without having to in the past 10 or so years before.
I will be watching my smaller hives closely and borrow honey from larger hives that do have a good amount of capped honey. Last resort will be to feed sugar water which I haven’t done for years, but better than having the bees starve. Will check the hives again in another two weeks to determine the course of action.
Last Sunday my Dad and I drove all the way to Pleasanton to relocate a bee colony that built their hive in the attic of a second story home. They entered through the vent holes and had a nice space where the insulation doesn’t reach. We removed a medium full of bees and brood, caught the queen and relocated to my bee yard.
Thanks for calling us to save the honey bees!
Emeline and her parents came down from Pleasanton to pick up their new hive. This hive started as a small swarm and now they are booming. Seven solid frames of brood and a lot more bees than a medium box can handle. Glad they are going to a good home!
This year the wax moths came out much earlier than normal. Please check your bottom boards on your smaller hives. The larger hives should be able to defend.
A hive I maintain in Palo Altos swarmed. The huge swarm landed on a branch about 20 feet from the hive. It was easy to hive but extremely hard to find the queen since there were so many bees. Eventually spotted her and caged her. After that we went into the hive and removed about 9 queen cells. Kept two of the best looking ones and one after swarm was reported about 1.5 weeks after.
One of my offsite hives located in Los Altos swarmed. This was obviously the primary swarm with the original queen and she was large and didn’t go too far, splattered all over the wall about 10 feet from the hive.