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Prep Work Before the Almond Groves

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Almond Flower Blossom

Almond Flower

As mid February is the move to the almond, the hives have to be prepared – some ‘dead out’s cleaned of wax moth and frames scraped, others simply checked and fed to build up colony base. Volunteer - Janet Puff

Avocado fruit Enthusiastic volunteer - Janet Puff Janet practicing smoker technique Wax moth in dead out
Janet scraping frames Reassembling frames Klaus and Janet

All the syrup buckets had congealed so their contents had to be scrapped off and returned to the large holding tank – this was then brought back to the ranch to be warmed up and ‘liquified’ once again. The buckets washed out and then all brought back to the grove for re-filling, once again, once the Aussies had arrived.

Janet gathering buckets for emptying Erika scrapes - Janet passes buckets Erika scraping lids Erika scraping congealed syrup Erika after a long hard day at avocado groves

The Australians are shipped in and arrive in San Francisco. We rendezvous just north of Fresno where the exchange takes place. Unfortunately an added hour wait is included as the airport holds back the shipment coming in – there is always some issue – a staple on the screen, a roaming local bee.... - The drive from Los Angeles is around 4-5hours each way (#101 to #170 to #5) – the transfer time about one hour. Then we head back south to Los Angeles arriving around 11:30pm and rest up for the remainder of the night only to leave at 4am at which time we head back north to Carpenteria avocado groves (#101) for installation into their newly prepped 100 boxes. This now increases the total number of hive boxes already in place in the groves. Again a fructose syrup with medication and fresh pollen substitute will be added to help the new arrivals and build up the colonies further. The actual installation usually takes two days as all hives on the site need to be checked and serviced as well.

Truck load of Aussie bees Aussie bees on truck Aussie bees around food canister Aussie boxes - boots Klaus Klaus and Janet tailgating a steak lunch
Truck and Boss Man Screwing funnel for syrup container Klaus in smoke Erika clipping apart Aussie bee boxes Aussie bees Aussie boxes ready for placement
Janet brushing water - syrup to wet down Pollen substitute to be inserted between frames Traveling food can Shaking the bees Extra Aussie Queens Sometimes they hate to leave but they do
Colony - 1 Colony - 2 Crowding the door Newly housed Setting up space for extra queens The Klaus

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