General Meeting, 7:00, Pleasant Hill Community Center,
“IN THE BEES’ BEST INTEREST—SUSTAINABLE BEEKEEPING & SURVIVOR STOCK” – Rob Keller
On July 9 we welcome Rob Keller who will talk about his commitment to making beekeeping be about what honeybees want and need, as much as possible.
Rob is an artist and became interested in incorporating bees into his art practice while working on his Master of Fine Arts from UC Davis in 1999.
Now, as the owner of a small bee business, The Napa Valley Bee Company, his goal is to build a community of beekeepers in his area that practice responsible, sustainable hive management with the bees’ best interest in mind.
These days the bees are working less for Rob's art, and he's working more for the bees—becoming one of the leading advocates for bees in his area.
Rob currently runs three large scale apiaries in Napa Valley, manages numerous private hives, and teaches the vocation of beekeeping at The St. Helena Montessori School in the Napa Valley. (see more details here)
Our Monthly General Meeting on June 11th will be held at our new location:
Pleasant Hill Community Center
320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill (map)
Check the MBDA event calendar for upcoming events and bee-workshops. If you would like to become a member, please join the MDBA today. If you have questions about membership, please contact us.
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.
Welcome. The Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association is one of the largest beekeeping clubs in California. We are an all-volunteer association working to promote beekeeping in our local communities while sharing fellowship and goodwill. Membership offers hands-on beekeeping workshops, a monthly subscription to the Diablo Bee newsletter (including seasonal hive-management tips so you can follow along with an expert), and the opportunity to meet and learn from other beekeepers in the MDBA.
Monthly meetings are open to the public and feature a speaker addressing topics from practical beekeeping to research discoveries related to honeybees. Meetings begin with Bee-Chat, our popular Q&A program, and conclude with the MDBA Raffle, where ticket holders have the chance to win handy beekeeping supplies. Members may borrow books from the MDBA library and rent the club’s honey extractor. At the MDBA Gala BBQ dinner in October, members honor the Beekeeper of the Year. The club meets the second Thursday of the month from January to October at the Pleasant Hill Community Center from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Coffee and lemonade served. Please bring a snack to share. Thank you for your interest in the MDBA and we look forward to meeting you.