california buckeye problems
Ive been wanting to ask this one for a while:
This one is for Keith J. or Randy O. or other calif keepers that have experience around California Buckeye trees during their bloom months-June/July. Ive tracked it down to the buckeyes because it happens almost every year at the same time. Eric mussen wrote replyed to my email about and suggested buckeye or malathion poisoning. 2007 was the worst ive ever seen. 2008 was better but still quite ugly. there's always next year to look forward to...
Every summer in this one yard, piles of dead and deformed bees infront of the every hive. Lots of supercedures, shotgun brood pattern- in short a big bummer. There's a whole hillside of these trees withing a rock's throw of that outyard.
I have tried feeding syrup and beepro during the bloom- that gets old pretty quick in 100F+ heat. The bees take the feed half heartedly. Big hastle.
Ive also moved some hives out untill the blackberries start their flowering. The problem there is that by that time the hives are really starting to build up heavy with mustard and vetch honey. 2 deeps plus 2-3 mediums are kinda heavy to lift onto the flatbed. Ive even dreamed of creating huge piles of buckeye firewood. But of coarse that would be wrong Short of deserting an otherwise good yard- any suggestions?
BTW- they usually pull out of it by early august and start to build up again. But all the same, its hard to stand by an watch them dwindle.
Last edited by mendocino queen honey; 09-05-2008 at 11:22 PM.
Here, where we are under the cool coastal influence, I see little buckeye damage. We also have a lot of other plants in bloom at the same time, to distract the bees from the buckeye. In warmer, dryer, more remote foothill areas, the buckeye is a much bigger problem.
california buckeye problems
Here is a thought:
Can you use the yard for making divides prior to the buckeye bloom, let them build up in population, move them out for the duration of the buckeye bloom, and move them back later.
Just a thought.
Ernie has the solution: Move them out during the buckeye and use the yards at other times of the year.I know its a hassle (you are going to need a loader ). Thats why we just quit moving into the foothills after almonds and just go to the higher elevations after almonds(gotta fight the snow to get in some years). Here in the north buckeye doesn't grow above 3000 feet.
We got buckeyed really bad one year at the 2000 foot elevation and the bees never recovered.We have grassy death camas here but its not as bad as buckeye.
Making splits in that yard is really worth considering. No moving those big moose hives in high summer. At one point i was looking at those aussie type hive loaders. For now, its just lil' ole me and my flatbed.
its really just during late june/early july. Ill bring them back there for the sweet clover standsand b.berries that make that place so attactive. But honestly.. I hate moving hives. Ill almost always avoid moving them. unless something really good turns up- or like this year, there's no nectar because if the dought conditions at most of my yards
I have a line on a spot thats irigated and pretty heavy with dutch white clover and birdsfoot trefoil on the valley floor. The buckeye yard in question has abound 30 hives in it, so that would really increase my numbers! Maybe I'll sell nucs and then I can pay for that brand new Dadant 20 extractor that im going into hawk over. Not bad...not bad at all. The wife'll like the sound of that.
Try pollen traps -at same time feed patties and light syrup -till buckeye bloom is through -only problem is around here there is no flow after buckeye-bloom -unless it rains in may then there is star thistel but any more that is not much of a flow- you are close to coast must be different -RDY-B
Look at my hive loader in FOR SALE. Wife wants it out of the yard. Gettin desperate.