Finally the rain has stopped, days are longer, and temperatures warmed up. The bees were waiting for this perfect weather this week to start swarming. Many hives have swarmed. Keep an eye out and call me if you need a swarm of bees rescued. This swarm was hived in Mountain View today.
This small swarm actually resided in the recycle bin and even built a small comb. But was dumped into the recycling truck. Luckily they all flew out and landed on the yard recycle bin, even the queen made it out safely.
Thanks Victoria for calling us to save this after swarm in Los Altos.
The Bee Tours are a hit! Each year I donate a Bee Tour plus fresh honey to my children’s elementary school WATSA fundraiser. The Bee Tour consists of an introduction to beekeeping for up to three brave souls, an opportunity to dig deep into a bee colony including seeking out the queen bee, and fresh harvested honey to take home. 🙂
2016 WATSA Bee Tour Winners
2017 WATSA Bee Tour Winners
Last week I gave a Bee Talk at my son’s second grade class. (Did the same when my older son was in second grade as well, same wonderful teacher.) I came up with a list of questions and facts to test the kids, and to my surprise they all knew the answers thanks to the bee education from their teacher. I brought in a one frame observation hive that I made so the kids were able to see the insides of a hive, what the bees are doing, and on this frame there were two queen cells that already emerged so that was a special treat. Also brought in some fresh honey for the children to taste, yummy they all say, and they were so jealous of their teacher when I gave her the jar at the end of the presentation. 🙂
In some areas ants are a big problem and can easily cause a large hive to abscond once the flood of ants take over. There are many different ant proofing solutions on the internet but this design proves to be the most effective, and can be made from bowls+pipe or PVC caps+pipes. The below design you notice the bowls are the same size. The top should be larger to be most effective to keep debris or rain out of the bottom bowl.
Bees are swarming everywhere with this warm weather. Too bad I’m missing all the action at home. Will be back in town this week!
Here is a pic from Amy of Los Altos.
Beekeeping is definitely a very enjoyable and rewarding hobby but there are chores that must be done every spring. This winter was definitely one of the worse for my hives, losing about 65% of my hives, many still with over 20 pounds of honey I left them to in the Fall to overwinter. After the hive dies or absconds we as beekeepers must clean out the dead hives because the pests like wax moth or small hive beetles get to them. Last weekend we cleaned out four large hives. Scrapping out all the wax from the woodware, especially old dark wax, is very time consuming but needs to be done, preparing for the swarm season. Now we are ready to fill these boxes again!
Los Altos Hills family adopted two healthy hives and today I stopped by for a beekeeping 101 lesson. Here is Gabriel holding a frame full of honey.
Bee swarm March madness is here. Got another swarm in Los Altos today. Thanks Matt for calling us to save our local honey bees!