Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

Super strange winter here...never seen this happen ever before :scratch: [but I have only been keeping honey bees for 3 years]...

Opened up all colonies today and came across some amazing discoveries...:eek:

These discoveries occurred at one of our bee yards that is surrounded by thousands of Eucalyptus trees...

1. Massive build up...as in overnight and I have never seen this during winter months [placed a sugar brick yesterday, nearly gone this morning with large amounts of the fresh bright white comb built overnight].
2. Queens laying like crazy...like a darn machine gun [is this called a false start]?
3. Live drones with fresh drone cells.
4. Some colonies building up so fast we gotta add supers in the next day or two.
5. Massive foraging flights with returning bees with pollen sacs filled to the over flow...

My questions:

1. Why would our ******** eucalyptus trees bloom in January instead of the normal May-June bloom? For the last 6 years they always bloomed in May-June with no blooms at all in Dec/Jan.
2. How soon will drones congregate for mating purposes?
3. How can we know it is time to successfully graft queen cells?
4. Anyone else nearby experiencing this too?

Last, we plan on moving another entire bee yard here because at that bee yard [approx. 20 miles away] every single colony is like sleeping...no build up at all and very little flying! No bloom there at all too.

Would 1-3 weeks make a huge difference [is it really worth it to move them] before taking them to the almonds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Hi all!

My questions:

1. Why would our ******** eucalyptus trees bloom in January instead of the normal May-June bloom? For the last 6 years they always bloomed in May-June with no blooms at all in Dec/Jan.
2. How soon will drones congregate for mating purposes?
3. How can we know it is time to successfully graft queen cells?
4. Anyone else nearby experiencing this too?


Would 1-3 weeks make a huge difference [is it really worth it to move them] before taking them to the almonds?
Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree which will respond to moisture. I kind of follow California rainfall and I know there have been some good rains this fall and winter as opposed to last year's minimal rain. IOW, in your mild climate, they have responded to the rain by blooming. Same thing is happening here. Irrigated deciduous trees are less erratic in their bloom.

Almonds start what, in a week? Bees might benefit from the move; however, it's your time and labor. If there are drones and the bees are making wax it is not too early to graft from the booming hives. I'm not nearby. Some of my bees are strong enough for queen rearing while others, in a different area, are not, fwiw. Like you, I might be better off to wait for a month or 6 weeks to raise queens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree which will respond to moisture. I kind of follow California rainfall and I know there have been some good rains this fall and winter as opposed to last year's minimal rain. IOW, in your mild climate, they have responded to the rain by blooming. Same thing is happening here. Irrigated deciduous trees are less erratic in their bloom.

Almonds start what, in a week? Bees might benefit from the move; however, it's your time and labor. If there are drones and the bees are making wax it is not too early to graft from the booming hives. I'm not nearby. Some of my bees are strong enough for queen rearing while others, in a different area, are not, fwiw. Like you, I might be better off to wait for a month or 6 weeks to raise queens.
Gino,

That sure makes a lot of sense. We had that 5 year extreme drought and that may have also thrown off the eucalyptus bloom cycle.

I will continue to carefully monitor our colonies in the hope of accurate choosing the correct time for queen rearing.

Thanks again for sharing your insights!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
Checked some hives in Marin and they're starting to take off as well. I too saw drone comb, surprised to see it in January. With another week or so of sun ahead they're just gonna get bigger... though I fear a wet February that could lead to colony starvation if they get too big. I don't have a lot of eucalyptus around so am not seeing a lot of honey storage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Checked some hives in Marin and they're starting to take off as well. I too saw drone comb, surprised to see it in January. With another week or so of sun ahead they're just gonna get bigger... though I fear a wet February that could lead to colony starvation if they get too big. I don't have a lot of eucalyptus around so am not seeing a lot of honey storage.
Bison,

We saw such a large explosion of honeybee growth here that we raced to our other bee yards and brought every colony here. Wish I had seen it sooner!

Within a 24-48 hour period most colonies went from near hibernation/sleeping/lack of activity to gang busting activity: large amounts of bright white comb, large amounts of pollen, queens laying like crazy and nectar coming in strong too. If the rain will hold off for a couple of more weeks, we may be able to begin super early queen grafting.

I think the bees are thinking spring is already here!

We plan on taking most of these colonies to the almond orchards in two weeks, so starvation should not be an issue...

Anybody know if it is a good idea to keep sugar bricks on while in almond orchards? I have never done this before...and I think I remember reading somewhere that most of what comes in during almond pollination is pollen and not nectar...is it true?
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top