Queen Cells!

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!

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Time to Inspect and Harvest Honey

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.

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Palo Alto 1896 Historic Home – Bees Relocated

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!

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Adopt-A-Hive – Los Altos Beekeeper Seeking Feral Bees

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!

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Mountain View – Two New Colonies in Attic – Both Possibly With Infertile Queen

Sunday we relocated two colonies in Mountain View. The swarms moved in about 1.5 weeks ago and both built their homes in the attic space about 10 feet away from each other. They were probably new queens from the same colony and upon meeting each other they fought and both left the hive.


Below we expose the first hive start removing the sheetrock and pushing back the insulation.


Here’s my dad vacuuming the bees using our beevac.


About 1.5 weeks only and they have already built a lot of comb. Look at the fresh white wax.


Here’s queen number 1. She’s laying but might be infertile. I see female cells with brood but the capped ones are really domed, meaning most likely she’s laying infertile eggs.


Just to the right of the first hive is the second. A little smaller than the first but still a good size.


The queen ran up the hole where the vent pipe goes to the roof. I saw her once and tried to grab her by hand but failed. Second time I saw her walk out I decided to vacuum her. I wasn’t sure I got her but signs from the other bees gave me clues. We found her when we go home. Like the first colony, this one also had more domed female brood. Bad news! Both I’m pretty sure are have bad queens.


Thanks Melanine and Mark for having us save our local honeybees!

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Adopt-A-Hive – Wine Barrel Bees Update – Sunnyvale Beekeeping

At the end of April we transferred a colony of bees from a wine barrel into a hive box and made a new beekeeper in the process. Friday afternoon I met up with Rob of Sunnyvale to give him a beekeeping 101 lesson while inspecting his hive.


The bees have not occupied 80% of the first medium box so we added a second on top. There are a ton of brood in the hive and soon the population will be more than doubled or even more.


Rob very happy with his first bee hive!

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Electric Meter Swarm Lure in Los Altos :)

Well, here we are again. This is the third swarm that moved into this electric meter box in Los Altos. The homeowners call me when they see bee activity and I go and rescue them. :) But this time they called a few weeks late so it was a cutout instead of a swarm removal. The bees already built a good amount of comb as you can see from the picture below.


We didn’t catch the queen until the very end. Had to spray a little bee-quik to get the bees running around before I could find her. I was worried that the queen might have gone up the wall as there’s a good sized hole running up the wall for the electric wires.


Good thing she didn’t run up. Find her running around with the rest of the bees after I sprayed some bee-quik.


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