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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    606

    Post

    hey sierra were are you getting a eucalyptus flow?
    i hope to have the manzanita start in about five weeks.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Post

    I have a nice stand of Blue Gum over in Browns Valley. It hasn't started yet but Jan. is pretty typical. I have another location in North San Juan with good low altitude manzanita, madrone, and blackberry that will be my first full year in. I'm hoping to see them bloom in sequence like they do some years. If that happens I might be holding back a few hives that I would otherwise send to almonds. Could give me as much as five months of near continuous flow. Then again, I might just be a blooming idiot with my expectations. Last spring the manzanita held back until well into March before it broke loose, bloomed the same time as the madrone and only lasted about three weeks. I couldn't get anything built up strong enough to take advantage of the blackberry which had it's main bloom early. Then it was all over for that location. Gotta be better this year. I been feeding like crazy and invested in some Mann Lake pollen to try to get an early push. Re-queened everything between August and October except for two 05 queens I want to breed from if they winter well.

    It's hard getting started back up after all these years and learning to deal with the problems that didn't exist when I had bees before.
    doug

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    606

    Post

    this is the time of year for having blooming expectations. there is plenty of time for reality this summer here above placerville i get manzanita,ceanothus,clover/vetch,blackberry,
    toyon and star thistle.
    at the first part of june there is also buckeye. do you have buckeye? it's poisonous to the bees and there is an off chance the pollen affected the build up of colonys.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Post

    I haven't seen anything that I know as buckeye but I'm not sure I would recognize it if I did. I'll have to hit the books an familiarize myself with it. Since my yards are all the way from 5000 feet high to about 200 feet at the other extreme I get a lot of variation in plant life. One of the two locations where I have had problems is at about 3000 feet and I didn't get the bees in until the middle of May. If there is buckeye there it would sure fit the timing. In that yard I moved in four two story deeps that were overflowing with bees to the point where they were bearding on hot days, all with marked queens. A month later they were all struggling, the marked queens were still present, and even though these hives recovered enough that they should make the winter OK they never became productive. Luckily I make it a policy to never put more than four hives in a new location until I see what happens to them over a years time.

    Thanks for the buckeye clue. I am definitely going to follow up.
    doug

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Post

    I just downloaded some photo's of Ohio Buckeye. I remember seeing these all the time in Northern Michigan as a kid but I wouldn't have recognized it today. I have seen the nuts occasionaly here in the Sierras but they don't seem to be common. Guess I'll have to look around a lot more closely. It is not native to this area, but I doubt that there is anything that will grow or live in California that someone hasn't introduced at one time or another.
    doug

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    299

    Post

    If you see a bush or tree in late July or August with no or very few leaves and large brown balls hanging on it that is California Buckeye.

    Get a tree with a bank behind it and it is fun to shoot them with a 22.


    Red Bluff
    Dan

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    437

    Post

    Doug,
    California Buckeye is grows in the foothills from the Valley up to over 3,000 feet. The pollen is poisonist to young larvae. The bees will come out with deformed wings and the queen will sometimes completely stop laying. Often you think you have mites. In one of my books I have information which I am trying to find and I'll post it when I do. The Buckeye plant can be a bush or a tree. It has long white flower clusters. Its the 1st to leaf in the spring and also the 1st to lose its leaves. You can do a search on Bee Source for Calif. Buckeye. I'm bothered by Buckeye every year but last year it hit me really hard. Buckeye can get you twice in one year. Once when the plants in bloom and the bees are collecting the pollen and then later in the fall when they are using the stored pollen. Anyway I'll try to find my information.
    Jim

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    606

    Post

    i've gotten an impression that the situation here might be differant than on the east coast.
    folks on the east coast tend to say it's poisonous but doesn't effect the bees. i've read west coast (sierras not coastal) beeks say it can have a real effect. i have an email communication from eric mussen (spelling?) from the u.c. i can email it to you if you like. from what i've gleaned it seems to be worse in some locations and years than others. the pollen poisons the brood. if the bees have stored the pollen it can effect the colony long after the the season is over. a precaution is to feed pollen during buckeye bloom.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    437

    Post

    Eric Mussen's Newsletter of May/June 02 speaks to California Buckeye also 'The Hive and the Honey Bee' pages 1194-1199.

    http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/facult...n/05-06-02.pdf

    Jim
    Valley Springs, CA

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Post

    This sure is sounding like it could be the problem with my carnolian queens. I moved the colonies I gave the queens to from my home yard the end of April and put the carni queens in a location at about 1500 feet. I didn't feed any pollen but did use a pollen substitute, which might not have appealed to them as much as buckeye pollen. I did keep one queen at home at 3200 feet but where we are at we have a climate more typical of 4000 so we may not have conditions conducive to buckeye. While the queen I kept here didn't do very well, she did produce some growth during the season before she did her early shutdown.

    I think this year I am just going to feed pollen all season. At the price Mann Lake is selling it for it should pay for itself.

    By June I should have all my bees in the Sierra Valley at 5000 ft plus so I shouldn't have to worry about buckeye there.
    doug

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