February 2019 Beekeeper’s Corner

Brrrr… and where’s my umbrella! And hey… what are those bees doing flying out in the rain??
Bees forage when the temperature is above 50ºF, and other conditions are favorable. The warm-enough fraction of the day when it’s warm enough is pretty short. Light rain doesn’t stop them. The eucalyptus are still blooming; rich source of nectar and pollen. Acacia. Lavender. Leptospermum. Rosemary. Oxalis, and other weeds. Other fruit trees should start blooming this month. Colonies will build up, and get crowded if we’re not paying attention. Crowded colonies decide to swarm.

January 2019 Beekeeper’s Corner

By Gerald Przybylski Jerry has been an East-Oakland beekeeper since 2011; local bees preferred. What are our bees up to? It takes several cycles of brood-rearing for a colony to build up the one-deep-box-full population (~20,000) required to take advantage of the spring flowers.  Each new generation of bees takes …

December 2018 Beekeeper’s Corner

By Gerald Przybylski Jerry has been an East-Oakland beekeeper since 2011; local bees preferred. In mid day when the temperature is above 55ºF, the bees should be foraging a little. If they’re bringing back pollen, that’s a good sign.

November 2018 Beekeeper’s Corner

By Gerald Przybylski Jerry has been an East-Oakland beekeeper since 2011; local bees preferred. By now you shimmed under the back of your bottom board so the hive tips “forward.” This allows water collecting on the bottom board to drain out the entrance. An “awning” over the entrance will allow …

October 2018 Beekeeper’s Corner

By Gerald Przybylski Jerry has been an East-Oakland beekeeper since 2011; local bees preferred. In the fall, hives should be downsized to match the colony they contain. The very minimum amount of honey they need is all the honey on brood frames… totaling a frame or two of capped honey. …