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Welcome to the Mt. Diablo Beekeepers Association

Don't forget: we have SWARMED away from Heather Farms Garden Center.

Our Monthly General Meeting on September 11th will be held at our new location at 7:00pm:
Pleasant Hill Community Center
320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill

September Featured Speaker: Alan Henninger of Henninger Hill Apiary

Brian FishbackAlan is a founding member and past president of the Santa Clara Beekeepers Guild, the immediate past president of the Delta Bee Club and currently serves on the Executive Board of the California State Beekeepers Association.

Begun over 40 years ago, Henninger Hill Apiary operated as many as 260 colonies until, in the early 80's, family responsibilities and the demands of "real" jobs, teaching high school students, took overwhelming priority.

The long term goal in the apiary is to develop a strain of bees that have increased genetic diversity and resistance to diseases and parasites. To this end, they still collect swarms to diversify the gene pool, and use limited or no mite and disease treatments to allow the bees the time to develop their own resistance. The apiary, also, has expanded the number and range of bee yards emphasizing adequate nutrition and variety of bee pasture in their selection.

Alan will be speaking about getting your bees ready for winter.

Voting to elect the Board of Directors and the Beekeeper of the Year will be held at the September 11th general meeting.

Nominees for the 2015 Board of Directors
These Board members plan to stand for reelection to their current position or election to a new position:

President - Sylvia Goemmel
Vice President - Kelly Bradley
Secretary - Lois Kail
Membership - Janet Kaidantzis
Member Education - Judy Weatherly
Member Education - Gabrielle Harrel
Treasurer - Ann Moser
Community Education - Jan Spieth
Newsletter - OPEN

This swarm is 30 feet off the ground in a maple tree.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 questions.

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 out.

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 it in.

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 7:00 PM on the second Thursday of every month, except November and December, at Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill, California.

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.

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