Friday, October 31, 2014

November Meeting 11/2

It's that time again.  Just remember to fall back and sleep in on Sunday.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Natural History of Bees: Oct Meeting

Thank-you to Terri who presented the natural history of bees.  She discussed the types of bees including the queen, workers and drones.  The term beekeepers use to refer to the life cycle of honeybees is bee math.  She had great questions.  See if you can answer these questions with the table below.

1.  If you find eggs, and no queen, how long ago do you know there was a queen?
2.  If you find just hatched larvae and open brood but no eggs, how long ago was the queen there?
3.  If the queen starts laying today, how long before that brood will start foraging for nectar?

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Bee Class

It's always fun to get together with other bee loving beekeepers, new and experienced.  We had a good number of people so that our new people could get into the hive.  We loved finding the heart shaped comb.  Unfortunately a bee lost her life in the inspection.  We always try to avoid that.  Hope to see you at the next class October 4 at 8am. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

First Saturday Classes

We've had some great first time experiences for newbees during our classes. We welcome beekeepers or admirers of all levels.  We would love to have people with experience that would like to help mentor and be available to answer questions.  

If you are coming out remember to...

  1. Wear socks that cover the ankles.
  2. Shoes that cover the feet, ideally boots such as rain books work really well.
  3. Consider bringing a baseball cap, some of the suits fit better with one on.
  4. Long pants such as jeans or other heavy materials, some of the suits are jackets only.
  5. Camera/phone to get those precious first time in a suit and hive pics.
  6. Water to stay hydrated and eat something before you come.

Remember, it's always possible that you might be stung and stings hurt!  Don't worry if you are nervous, you can observe too.  Kids are welcome but you will need to supervise them and they might be stung.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Earth Day Outreach Fun

We had so many events for Earth Day in Long Beach!  We introduced many children and adults to the idea of beekeeping and showed how wonderful it can be to learn about bees.  The observation hives were a big hit.  Thanks to all the events that invited us at the Growing Experience, Green Prize Festival, and YMCA.

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.