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December 2010 Bee Activity a Day In the Groves

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DECEMBER in sunny Californnia and the leaves are JUST beginning to change colour - seems more like early October!!! this is our time to get the 'ladies'/bees up and going - keep them clean of mites etc.. for the approaching February call to the almond groves for pollination.

These are the pictures of last week's work there - for mite etc control we use a combo, mixed up with a hand 'blender' - sugar(baker's), crisco vegetable hard pack (the kind my mother used on her pies), garlic, and hemp oil (omega 3-6) - we 'rearrange' the box size to make them relatively same height for transport to almond groves - we distribute excess honey-bound frames to those with less, remove boxes no longer used, remove honey frames for 'gourging/robbing' so that all can benefit, if need be - place loose pollen substitute for added assistance - the bees were bringing in pollens of red, orange, yellow, pale violet/gray, pale yellow... There was new honey being brought in as well from whatever might be blooming in the area, so that was an added increase in their food supply. Some of the hives could barely be budged, let alone lifted. The brood patterns were splendid with heavy concentrations in the middle segment of the frames circled on the outside with honey supplies for quick feeding access. The bees were flying with enthusiasm. So far we are delighted. In some of the hives that had been given the anti-mite mixture there was evidence of cleaning having taken place (larva with mites had been removed as had some of the mixture itself.) in short, the bees were being hygenic and active. The garlic was a nice addition, thank you Clare Densley, Head Bee Master of Buckfast Abbey. U.K.

Enjoy the photos. I enjoyed taking them as the visual was simply wonderful - this time last year was total depression with more than half dead and the remainder showing very little life. We have three other sites that are filled with bees, so much more work to be done.





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