Join us for our next monthly meeting on June 13, 2013. Dr. Brian Johnson, Honey Bee
Researcher/Apiculturist from UC Davis, will be our featured speaker.
Our monthly meetings are at 7:30 PM on the second Thursday of the month at the Heather Farms Garden Center in Walnut Creek. See you there!
Spring Bee Workshop
Our 2013 Spring Bee Workshop was April 13th at Gary's apiary. The Spring Bee Workshop is a great opportunity to learn from the experts and get some hands-on experience. We hive packaged bees as well as swarms, mark queens, extract honey, and walk through a hive from the outside in and top to bottom, pointing out things to look for in evaluating and improving a hive's health. This is a members-only event.
Here are some pictures from this year's Workshop.
Join our Facebook group for more pictures and other news.
During the swarm
season the MDBA Swarm Patrol volunteers
will be available to collect swarms. If you call one of our members
to request a swarm removal please be ready to answer some
Swarming is a natural phenomenon. It's the
way that honeybees expand their territory and ensure the continued
survival of the species. Each time they swarm they double the number
of hives and decrease the chances that disaster will wipe them all
Swarming is also a side-effect of the queen's
preparation for spring honey flows. In late winter the queen will
begin to lay more eggs in preparation for the influx of nectar and
pollen in the spring. More food requires a larger workforce to bring
But a larger honeybee population with more
nectar and pollen stored in the hive also results in overcrowding.
Beekeepers try to stay ahead of the bees by adding more supers (the
white boxes) to the hive so that the bees will have more space.
Unmanaged hives, though, soon fill up.
The swarms of spring leave home because nectar
and pollen are flowing in and the hive is getting over-crowded.
Relax! When they're
swarming bees are probably the most docile they will ever be. Before
they leave the hive they fill up on honey to keep themselves going
until they find a new home. Fat and happy honeybees, with no home
to protect, are less likely to sting.
Once the bees have moved into a building, though, they're no longer swarms. Here's a great video of a structural removal - and a great illustration of why we recommend leaving structural removals to the experts.
Mt. Diablo Beekeepers Association (MDBA) is
dedicated to educating communities
about honeybees and the historic art of beekeeping.
The MDBA is one of the largest bee associations
in the United States with 240 members from around the world. The
MDBA meets at 7:30 PM on the second Thursday of every month, except
November and December, at Heather Farm Garden Center in Walnut
Each month, the MDBA presents a different speaker
on a variety of topics and has an open forum for people to exchange
ideas and helpful tips.