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 (map)
September Featured Speaker: Alan Henninger of Henninger Hill Apiary
Alan 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
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
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 7:00 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.