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.

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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. 

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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:  http://www.techly.com.au/2017/02/10/these-robo-bees-may-one-day-pollinate-the-earth/

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The Blooms Are Here

Jan 31 and temperatures are expected to hit a high of 69F today. The blooms are already here!

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2017 First Bee Hive Inspection

This weekend the weather was so nice that my dad and I decided to pop the cover off of a few hives for a peek of what’s going on inside. We didn’t go any further as nights are still in the 30’s. The bees are active, bringing in much pollen to grow that population.

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Weather is warming!

Weather is warming this week even though there’s a storm coming in. Get ready bees!

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Last Maintenance of the Season: To Do

A reminder that our region is starting to get cooler (minus those weird weekends that have peaked to Summer-like temperatures) and the rains are coming. We did our last hive maintenance of the year and will let them “bee” until February or the first warm up. Things to do on your last maintenance:

  • Remove queen excluder
  • Remove empty honey supers
  • Harvest any excess honey (we weren’t that lucky this season)
  • Ensure the bees have enough honey stored for Winter
  • Put a roof over the hive to keep the hive from getting wet
  • Entrance reducer or for those in areas that have rodent issues, put up that entrance screen
  • Clean out dead hives and store woodware
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