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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    Livermore, CA
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    Default California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    With some of the warmest temps on record clear into mid-November, how are things going with your bees? Its been a couple weeks since I made it out to the hives, but when I went out today I found a hive that had been robbed recently and what appeared to be another hive starting to get robbed so I narrowed the entrance to one bee width with a block of wood, seemed to stop the problem. I was also lifting the backs and a couple are really light, going to drop syrup on them tomorrow and sub and hope it helps, they are not completely out of stored honey, but I don't want them to be either. I also took the few full frames of honey from the robbed out hive and gave them to some of the lighter hives and put the fully drawn out frames into the hives that had either undrawn frames or partially drawn frames.

    Anyhow, just seeing how everyone is doing!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fresno Ca USA
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    155

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Feeding once a week.
    California Almond Pollination Services, Inc.
    http://www.almondbeepollination.com

  3. #3
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    May 2011
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    Livermore, CA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shouse View Post
    Feeding once a week.
    Ouch. The guys selling syrup are smiling ear to ear these days im sure!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    Livermore, CA
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    1,379

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shouse View Post
    Feeding once a week.
    Ouch. The guys selling syrup are smiling ear to ear these days im sure!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Most of my hives are in or near managed gardens and parks so I haven't had to feed. I hope this dry hot weather doesn't effect the Eucalyptus flow.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,803

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Most of my hives are in or near managed gardens and parks so I haven't had to feed. I hope this dry hot weather doesn't effect the Eucalyptus flow.
    It has sped up flowering, I see open flowers all over the place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    701

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    German Ivy (Delairea odorata) is blooming. This is major forage for my bees near stream courses. Normally, first blooms mid-December. German Ivy is considered an invasive species and is subject to erradication campaigns, but does provide the first welcome burst of pollen and nectar. Grows as an aggressive vine in willow thickets along streams.

    I have some early Manzanita as well. Manzanita (as a genus) is difficult plant for bees to work, but has nectar much like blueberries (it is related).

    No Blue Gum Eucalyptus yet, but flower buds are forming. I usually get the first trees in late December or early January. Eucalyptus bloom tends to be staggered, though early trees are the same each year.

    Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis) is colored up but hasn't lost leaves. It may be late this year due to the long fall. Salix is a mid-late January bloom (of catkins for pollen). Salix has extra-floral nectaries (in bud axils) that flow strongly enough to make surplus. Salix nectar is 50% sugar (as opposed to Blue Gum which is a low, watery 13%). Early brood (and swarm) can be driven by Salix flow.

    Salix is closely followed by Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus). Not all Ceanothus are honey bee-forage (flowers are too small and are worked by native solitary bees), but Buckbrush is a great February crop. Very early and very productive.

    Landscape trees and gardens are still going off on the urban fringe: I have bees working trailing rosemary, bottlebrush, and Lavatera (a tree mallow).

    My advice: look for an open stream-course location to take advantage of the German Ivy-Willow-Eucalyptus winter forage. Its already on.

  8. #8
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    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    It has sped up flowering, I see open flowers all over the place.
    I haven't seen Euc flowers here yet but I think you're a little ahead with blooms down there. I harvested allot of Ivy honey already. It's selling like crazy. Very sweet.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,573

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    I've been doing some experiments with my large hives, long story short, making the queen work and lay even more after the flow than before. I'll post my results next year after they overwinter and enough time has gone by for a good analyses. .

    But part of this experiment will involve determining if the extended work load on the queen will have a noticeable decrease in her life span.
    Since there is much talk these days about queen loss and extensive supercedure, I am just wondering a how much the mild winters are effecting queen mortality?

    No real break for the old girl. Only so much semen to go around. Perhaps some with a mild winter and exceptionally active hives will keep records and make some observations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,252

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    With some of the warmest temps on record clear into mid-November................ Anyhow, just seeing how everyone is doing!!
    Great question?

    Sounds like bees are over the place. The stress is going to cut into the numbers for almonds on bees originating in CA. Many early stories of deadouts.


    We have some that have dwindled and others that are pushing the lids. The biggest thing I can see as a factor for better bee health is the ones that had new queens and were given a "drink" on a regular basis seem to be doing great.( 6-10 gallons since April)

    Any of the ones we "tried" to make honey on and therefore had to forego the syrup throughout the summer might as well go to the fire pile.

    Another big indicator of how bad it is is that I hear of no one talking almonds less than 165 ( to the beek) with that number looking like its trending even higher.

  11. #11
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    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    2,334

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    No real break for the old girl. Only so much semen to go around. Perhaps some with a mild winter and exceptionally active hives will keep records and make some observations.
    Most of my hives in SF still have 3 and 4 brood boxes on where as last year with colder weather they were down to two. Queens here slow down but never really stop laying.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  12. #12
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    May 2011
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    Livermore, CA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Honey 4 all,

    The hives of mine that are doing great also had either late spring or early summer queens. My honey producers packed away the honey, but had older queens. I didnt feed anything as they were heavy going into September, but have since eaten a lot of stores. I threw sub on today as well as putting the full frames of honey from the dead outs into the light hives to hopefully get them into January when I will start feeding. Im now down to 15 hives.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  13. #13
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    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,686

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    It's been an interesting year. Basically pollen and nectar dearth for me since late July. Some of the white eucalyptus are blooming, the ones with red flowers have been going strong since a month ago, but when I was in Elk Grove today, all the eucalyptus by the hives there didn't even have signs of a flower bud.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
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    325

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    My hives in Marin all seem to be doing well, with a lot of pollen being gathered still. Lots of garden flowers blooming still. I've been feeding a couple of light hives but lots of stores in most hives. I just added some Dryvert and a pollen patty to a number of hives as part of a normal winter practice.

  15. #15
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    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Just an addition, the urban hives were bringing in white or light cream colored pollen by the truckload, not sure what it was though.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    701

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    You said the "white" Euc was blooming in your location. Do you mean the common Blue Gum that is planted everywhere in California. Blue Gum Euc (Eucalyptus globus) pollen is pale cream. Euc pollen is very easy to determine with a light microscope. It has a truncated equilateral triangle shape that is very distinctive. (All in the family Myrtaceae share a similar design, but few Myrtaceae grow in CA and bloom this time of year.)


    Under a SEM more detail is apparent:


    A white pollen coming into my hive is from the Island Mallow shrubs (Lavatera assurgentiflora) which volunteer everywhere in landscapes.
    Its pollen is circular.

  17. #17
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    JW,

    The Eucalyptus by those urban hives looked like they weren't going to flower at all or maybe a different variety than what I've seen flowering everywhere else, they are in Elk Grove. My hives in Yolo County have Eucalyptus with white flowers that have been starting to bloom the last few weeks and other areas where threes have red flowers have been going bonkers before that. I'll try to get a sample next time and put it under a scope and see what it looks like.

    Jeff

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Hives are finally putting on some weight. I've seen some white eucalyptus starting to bloom. Its usually not warm enough for my bees to go find the Nov, Dec. Euc.
    Some of the pink varieties will start blooming soon. There are over 300 varieties.
    Dan

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,803

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    Mother nature is a bit confused. Volunteer sunflowers in bloom today:


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Acampo, CA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: California beekeepers, how have the mid 70 degree temps been effecting your bees!

    My hives are in an area with quite a variety of eucalyptus. The eucalyptus bloom plus the warm, dry weather we've had for the last several weeks allowed them to gather enough nectar to add weight to the hives. They look good going into winter.

    Hopefully, we get enough rain the next couple of days to get the annual weeds and wildflowers growing.

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