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About Chelsea McFarland

Chelsea McFarland

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  • in reply to: Upcoming Events #9245

    legalize beekeeping
    LEGALIZATION UPDATE:

    The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is in the process of preparing an ordinance to allow beekeeping on single-family zone lots, with a draft ordinance expected before City Planning Commission in the spring of 2015. This ordinance draft is in response to a City Council Motion directing our Department and Animal Services to report back on the feasibility of beekeeping in residential neighborhoods.

    Preliminary Outreach Meeting
    Saturday, January 10, 2015 | 10:00 a.m.
    Hollenbeck Police Station
    2111 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA

    (street parking available, transit options are available, entrance at the front of the police station)

    in reply to: Upcoming Events #9244

    Sam Comfort

    SPECIAL WORKSHOP featuring SAM COMFORT!

    DATE/TIME: Sunday, January 11th (11am-1:30pm)
    LOCATION: Grow Native Nursery in the Veterans Garden—100 Davis Ave, Los Angeles 90049
    COST: HoneyLove Members: FREE / Non-Members: $10 Suggested Donation
    RSVP: Facebook / Meetup
    TOPIC: Future Zombee Apocalypse: Bee Prepared and Stick Together!
    What will beekeeping be like 25, 50, or 100 years from now? The bee world is changing quickly. So are the bees and their environment. Their lessons in survival are their most valuable gift. Like the bees, we beekeepers must look to diversity, cooperation, and adaptability for our resilience. Anarchy Apiaries is around 500 hives of various types in all kinds of situations from New York to Florida. The more I bee the less I know. I’ll talk about our do-it-yourself methods, several hive designs, queen-raising, healthier, hardier bees with no treatments, and a future of a self-reliant beekeeping community with more hives than televisions.

    in reply to: Recent Blog Posts #9242

    Susan
    Bee Informed Partnership Hive Scale Project
    via HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki
    http://honeylove.org/hivescale_1214/

    Have you ever wondered how our local, LA Urban beekeeping differ from other areas of the country? I just read the other day that beekeepers in Wales expect about 25 pounds of honey per year on their hives—33 pounds is a bumper crop! This does not seem like much. Our bees are active year ’round, making brood, honey and drones. This growth is very different from temperate climate bees and, as well, we are using Africanized hybrid ferals—a relatively rare population to survey. We now have a opportunity to participate in amassing data on our specific niche by the generosity of HoneyLove who purchased the SolutionBee Hive scale for me to monitor a hive in my backyard garden.

    The project is managed by BIP (the Bee Informed Partnership) and the hive data is automatically sent to their website as well as the SolutionBee team, the manufacturers of the hive scale (purchased from Brushy Mountain). The colony I selected came from a large swarm hived on April 27, 2014 which has proven to be super productive and nicely behaved. They now occupy 3 deep boxes and 2 mediums after seven months and have produced 60 pounds of honey. I have also raided their brood nest for frames of brood for weak nuc hives. They are VERY strong bees and a pleasure to work.

    The goal of the project is summarized below, as taken from the initial offering to participate sent out by BIP. I am having great fun with this, watching my bee’s growth graph going ever upward in weight gain. For the first time I am also having to learn how to use a cell phone—my son’s iphone—as the data recording and uploading device. Arghh! —this is not my strong suit.

    The Bee Informed Partnership is dedicated to helping beekeepers make informed data-based management decisions. Monitoring weight changes in colonies has huge potential to help us understand disease and parasite population growth, as well as the timing of management practices. We are seeking some innovative beekeepers who are willing to help us develop and beta test the hive scale tools’ ability to develop a system that will provide the best regionally specific management practices based on real time data. We are collaborating with NASA’s Honeybee Net, under the direction of Wayne Esaias, to test this exciting effort.

    Why hive scales?

    Hive scales weigh individual colonies at regular intervals, keeping track of strong nectar flows, swarming, and other conditions that affect management decisions. Beekeepers may respond to rises in weight by putting supers on, inspecting colonies for swarm cells, and extracting full honey supers. Conversely, weight loss may indicate a need to feed colonies, robbing or indicate the colony has swarmed and is at increased risk of becoming queenless.

    With new digital hive scales, beekeepers can track the weight of colonies without having to do a hive inspection. The scale we are using for our beta testing will utilizing Bluetooth with an Android device (e.g., Android phone or tablet), and a visit to the apiary is required to read the data. The data can be viewed on the device or be uploaded via cellular or WIFI communication. However, in the future these same scales when used with a data collector will allow for data to be automatically uploaded via cell phones or cell phone service data plans that allow for remote monitoring.

    Armed with data from hive scales and other disease monitoring efforts, the Bee Informed Partnership hopes to make predictive models of honey flows and disease population growth. These models will help us develop an “alert system” that will make management recommendations based on real-time and regionally specific data.

    As to my particular case, I don’t expect the disease/pest monitoring aspect will be so relevant to my bee population. The varroa mite has not been a great destroyer of my bees in the past and they seem to manage the pest well on their own. When Spring comes, it will be interesting to observe the growth of the brood nest and respond with management techniques to overcome swarming tendencies. One thing is sure—that time will be sooner than any other part of the country.

    via Cormac Farrell (facebook response):
    Here in Australia I use these: https://apithor.com.au/index.html They do have a toxin, but it is sealed inside the housing that the bees chase the beetles into. Works extremely well, and very safe for the bees.

    via Donna Reddick Wallace (facebook response):
    I put grease patties on my hives two weeks ago using the recipe in the link below. I did not want to use alot of grease the first time since I did not know how it was going to work. On my big hive (one deep and 3 medium supers) it has killed at least 100 small hive beetles in two weeks. They drop to the IMP board, and I just toss them out.

    in reply to: Hive mover. #9213

    Happy it worked out!

    via Dennis Broderick (facebook response):
    Apparently they need to lay eggs or pupate in the dirt to complete the life cycle. Put something under the hive and spread some diatomaceous earth to interrupt that cycle. Mine is on a concrete pad.

    Looks like small hive beetles:
    Hive Beetles

    via Michael Bush’s site: http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#shb

    Small Hive Beetles.

    Another recent pest that were first identified in the US in 1996 and in Nebraska in 2007, is the Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida Murray). Sometimes abbreviated SHB. The damage they do is similar to the wax moths but more extensive and they are harder to control. If you smell fermentation in the hive and find masses of crawling, spiky looking larvae in combs you may have SHB. The only chemical controls approved for use are traps made with CheckMite and ground drenches to kill the pupae, which pupate in the ground outside the hive.

    While I have seen a few, I have not had any issues with these, but I will probably go to more PermaComb in the brood nests if they ever become too much of a problem. Strong hives seem to be the best protection.

    in reply to: Bee got the blues. #9159

    Wow! That is gorgeous Karim—thanks for posting!

    in reply to: Best Place to Get Bee Equipment? #9157

    If you do end up purchasing through The Valley Hive make sure to mention you are a HoneyLover and they will donate 10% of your purchase HoneyLove.org

    in reply to: Selling backyard honey as a CFO in LA? #9138

    I did some digging just recently for another HoneyLover… and these look like the links you need to register/apply:
    Class B Permit (allows you to sell at farmers’ markets): https://ehservices.publichealth.lacounty.gov/servlet/guest?service=0&formId=6&saveAction=5
    Food Handler Training: http://www.statefoodsafety.com/food-handler/california/state-of-california

    Seems pretty straightforward… but there is more information here:
    http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/misc/CAHomemadeFood.htm

    in reply to: Baited hive. Next steps? #8830

    Education (both research and hands on) and getting all necessary beekeeping gear (including a suit and a well stocked first aid kit/EpiPen) are the first steps to becoming a responsible urban beekeeper. We all need to do our part to keep the beekeeping community in the best of standing with our neighbors and the city!

    Here is a list of recommendations we put together before thinking of getting your own bees:
    http://honeylove.org/organic-beekeeping-kit/
    beekeeping equipment

    We also encourage you to join us each month at the HoneyLove Sanctuary to learn hands on how to handle bees BEFORE getting them in your own backyard: http://www.meetup.com/HoneyLove/events/187206002/

    Please help us to make LA a safe and responsible place for urban beekeeping to thrive!

    Holy crud Karim! That was crazy!

    in reply to: HL Urban beek symposium #8763

    Hi Susan, this is going to be a monthly meetup (similar to the one we had last Sunday) for people to bring their questions and experiences to help out the group.

    in reply to: Yellow Tie Event! #8480

    Interested in carpooling to the event? Let’s try this site to help us arrange rides for people!

    https://www.carpoolworld.com/carpool_.html?event_number=6652

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