With this last round of spring like weather the bees are out in force. Captured some large early swarms in Amador County this past week. Also provided another box to some hives, rotated hive boxes and have done four splits so far. One nuc that was made last year has almost filled one 6 5/8 honey super with some wonderful spring honey.
If this weather keeps up and provides rain every couple of weeks we should all be looking at a good early honey harvest. Also been monitoring the California Buckeye Tree's around. If the rain stops and the wild flowers dry up the bees will go to that stuff and the nurse bees feed it to the larva and your hive will be in big trouble.
I've lost complete hives to California Buckeye and you will see malnourished bees being kicked out of the hive in the mornings if they have brought in that stuff.
Our local bee keepers have a meeting at the Ledger Hotel in Mokelumne Hill on the second Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 P.M. Good food and great fellowship!
This is a meetup where everyone can ask questions and collectively solve any problem that arises. We also share e-mails and phone numbers so you can get help if you need a hand moving hives, swarm capture or advise.
I'll share a bee adventure capturing a swarm and putting it into a hive box. Also went through a hive and did two splits resulting going from one to four hives. I guess you could call them "free bee's". HA!
I highly recommend beekeepers NOT to order, buy or bring in package bees, nucs, or queens from outside our county or immediate area! Instead, arrange to obtain bees from neighbor beekeepers that provide good genes. Africanized Honey Bees "AHB", are in the Bay area and San Joaquin Valley.
I am offering beekeepers in our group the opportunity to go though some hives when it decides to become spring again. This will give you the chance to work many hives with all sorts of different issues that require equipment and techniques that can help our bees survive.
Here are some swarms captured in Amador County.
Here is a "cutout" before the building was taken down after the fire. The hive has been in the ceiling for years and we were able to get the queen and put them into a hive box.
Comb from shed wall. The white towards the bottom is this years comb with the older comb on top.
This is 3 to 4 years old and the beekeeper that removed this hive before me only nailed the plywood with 6 nails so it would be easier on the bees when he went back into it.
Gallons of honey were taken then fed back to the bees in the hive box with a feeder.