Monday, April 14, 2014

Hive Move and Little Beekeeper


Saturday looked like it might some work when Shannon emailed me to let me know that hives I had left a couple of years ago needed to be moved.  She had already moved them when the wound up empty after bees had left.  But when she went to move them again she found "a lot of bees".  In my mind it was a hive move that could take a while.  I got my dolly, gaffers tape, extra tops to close up hives as these were 5 deep hives.  Luckily Shannon said there were only bees in just one of these hives.



I got there and they showed me the hive and I couldn't see a single bee!  I watched and figure that they had left but after a couple of minutes a little bees hovered back into the hive.  It was later in the day so maybe most of them had returned but it was looking better than I hope.  

The other luck was that J was there, a family friend who had some bee experience and wanted to help out.  And Sophia, Shannon's 6 year old daughter wanted to help too.  So now it was a small hive with 2 helpers.  Could be easier.  At first I thought I thought I needed to take the bees home but in the end Shannon and her family decided to keep them and give them a place to live.  We found a new spot right by a window on the side of the house that they could observe them from.  What could be better?!?!



Sophia was a natural and got geared up and dove right in.  She was part of every step.  We pulled the frames out as a group so that the small swarm could stay together.  There were just a few bees but we spotted eggs so the swarm had a chance of making it.  But it would be at least a couple of weeks before there were any new bees.  Sophia quickly claimed the hive as hers, and rightly so.  She even carried a medium box full of frames and placed it onto the hive even though it was a little tricky because it was a little high.  She's going to be the beekeeper for her family!  What a beekeeping super star.  



March Beekeeping Class

Our March class was later in the month due to rain but the rain was very welcome.  We had Reggie there for his first time in a hive.


After watching us open the hive and taking out a couple of frames he did the rest.  What a natural.  We found the bottom box full and the second box empty so we pulled up 2 frames of brood and a couple of honey to make some space.   In the process we saw a decent laying pattern and we even spotted the queen.  Great first day for a new bee.




Just a reminder, these are foundation less frames.  We just push the comb around a little bit to get it straight when it's first being made and they wind up pretty straight.  No starter strips either.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Beekeeping Class Follow-up

It was another nice morning for a beekeeping class.  Chilly but it warmed up pretty quickly.  Alyssa, new beekeeper, joined us.  She's already ordered her suit and is visiting LA Honey soon to pick up her equipment.  For our inspection she borrowed one of our Honeylove supported bee jackets.  She was a natural with the bees and did most of the inspection.  Pretty good for the first time in a hive.


We found all the brood in 3 frames in the bottom box.  The queen was laying in newly built comb but looked pretty slim.  There was a frame of just pollen which I hadn't seen before.   We took 4 frames of honey and put some empty frames here and there.  Next time I'll pay more attention of the positioning so we can put it on the blog.


The frames of honey will be shared at the Long Beach Organic community garden South 40 workday and their upcoming Valentine's day event.  I'm sure everyone will enjoy the treat.  After I take the honey, I'll put the frames back with a little strip of honeycomb left at the top.  I'm sure they'll build it out soon.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Before Our Beekeeping Class

A couple of weeks  ago we went to check out the hive to see if it had started the January build up that happens when "Spring" comes early in the coastal areas.  We saw lots of honey and nectar and some pollen being brought it.  There was brood and we opened up the brood area to make room for new comb.  There were still some empty frames which is always good to see.  The honey stores was in the some cross comb so we'll plan on taking that out for our next beekeeping class coming up on Sat Feb 1st at 8am.  We'll cut out the honey comb, clean up the empty frames, move some brood up and inspect the hive.  The honey comb will need to be put into jars away from the bees.  And then we can share it with the garden at the next work day.


Last week I also took a frame to show the 4H Bee Club kids.  We identified the brood and even saw a queen cell.  It was quite a frame after throwing the bees off and into the hive.  I figured I would go ahead and take the frame since I so many new eggs being laid in new comb.  It wasn't capped so not sure if they were planning on replace the queen or not.  I took a quick trip to Spring Street Farm for an errand and found Kelli was working hard with her young volunteers.  It was a surprise for Sunday so I brought the frame out so they could take a break and check out the bees.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanks EDCO

Carlos Sanchez with our gift of gourmet cookies for the crew
For close to a year EDCO Transfer Station has hosted the monthly meetings of the Long Beach Beekeepers.  Many thanks to Carlos Sanchez, Facilities Supervisor, who has opened the doors for us every first Sunday in the morning and has gone out of his way to make sure we have needed supplies and support.  EDCO is a family owned and run business located in Signal Hill but dedicated to providing support for the Long Beach community as well.  We are grateful to Vice President/General Manager Efrain Ramirez and hope our relationship with EDCO will continue for years to come.

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Beekeepers With a Fall Swarm

Joan and Larry had some bees move into a box that they had on their porch.  It was quite a surprise and their first thought was, "Who can take them away?"  But after a little more thought they realized that the bees weren't that bad and maybe they should keep them.  Luckily I know Joan from work and we had a Long Beach Beekeepers class happening so they decided to come and see if were up for it.

I was pretty sure that they could do it since they felt comfortable enough to move the box of bees on their own to the backyard even though the box started to fall apart!  They were naturals and so open to the idea.   We inspected the South 40 hive, I lent them some suits, a smoker and a deep 8 frame box.


In just a couple of days they had the bees moved into the new hive and had attached the new comb to the frames.  Their son joined in the fun.  Can't wait to hear what happens to this little fall swarm.  It's a hard time for bees to establish themselves going into the fall but it can also be a good time to start beekeeping since their are fewer bees to work with.  These seem to be pretty busy bees since they've already made some comb.  Good luck! - roberta

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Outreach At The Children's Clinic's Health Fair and Walk

It was a wonderful day to be out for the Children's Clinic's Beach Walk.  There were hundreds of teen agers and their family members walking around the Long Beach marina.  Before and after the walk, people came by and gazed out our observation hive.  At first the bees were huddled together because it was so cold.  After it warmed up there, they crawled around the frame of honey and brood.  It was great to see how interested everyone was and some were eager to come to our bee classes.