The Chores of Beekeeping – Cleaning out dead hives

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!

| 1 Comment

Adopted Bees in Los Altos Hills

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. 

| Leave a comment

Bee Swarm March Madness is Here

Bee swarm March madness is here. Got another swarm in Los Altos today. Thanks Matt for calling us to save our local honey bees!

| Leave a comment

Los Altos Bee Swarm

Caught a swarm today in Los Altos about 15 feet up. Clipped off the branch, shook the bees into a medium box, and caught the queen.

| Leave a comment

Bees are swarming. Palo Alto swarm capture

Thanks to Margaret for calling us today, we captured our first 2017 swarm in Palo Alto. Sunny and 60 degrees today. The swarm came from a feral hive only a few feet away. We have caught swarms from this hive in previous years.


Drones are here. Swarms soon

Two of my healthy hives are producing drones. That means swarms are here or near especially with the weather warning to high 60s to 70s by this weekend. 

| Leave a comment

Japan has just invented Robo-bees that can legitimately pollinate the earth

Video: master.m3u8

In an example of life imitating art, scientists have come up with a technology straight out of an episode of Black Mirror: Bee-like pollinating drones.
A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan engineered the devices using a combination of horsehair, $USD 100 drones and a sticky ion gel.

It’s pretty simple really – first, the drones fly into flowers much like a bee would. Inside the flower, pollen gets stuck to the drone due to the combination of the ion gel and horsehair. That same pollen is then shaken off into the next flower, and so on. It’s just your run of the mill birds and the robots bees.

Popular Mechanics reports that Eijio Miyako, a chemist at AIST actually created the sticky ion gel by accident in 2007. The gel, which Miyako considered a failure, sat unused for a decade. When Miyako picked it up again recently he was pleased to find that it was still sticky and figured it would be perfect for his new project.

Miyako is now the project leader behind the “Robo-bees”. In the video above, you can see the first time that a drone has successfully pollinated a flower, in this case Japanese lilies. Blink and you’ll miss it!

Full article:

| Leave a comment