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Tag Archives | water

California Dearth Conditions

via HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki

Beeks—As you are probably reading everywhere, California is in the middle of a extended drought and this significantly affects the available food—pollen and nectar—for our bees. People can get a false sense of security about this problem since all around are extensive irrigated landscapes— golf courses, industrial parks, shopping malls with fountains and lush landscaping, apartment and condo blocks, and private homes.

However, all this is carried out by the importation of precious water from underground aquifers and water resources channeled from the middle and northern part of the state. Irrigation with re-claimed sewer water—-designated by the required violet colored pipes and valve box covers—is still a anomaly, unfortunately. Our streets are still running with rivers of wasted water, too.

For a simple tabulation of the history of the rainfall pattern, go here: http://www.laalmanac.com/weather/we13.htm

You will see, since 2000, we have been much under normal 8 years and only in excess 5 years—and not that much in excess, when the average for 135 years is only 15 inches. The population of California is projected to be 60 million by 2050, from the 34 million counted in 2007. The water is not going to be there to sustain this many people in the lifestyle currently practiced.

Many beeks are noticing their bees have small stores of honey, or sometimes, nothing. I am seeing cutouts with lots of brood, but almost NO honey/nectar stores. As beekeepers, this is important for us to monitor when doing inspections of our hives and when trying to support small nucs and cutouts after the trauma of the operations when we move them. We may need to feed our bees to help them manage the loss of available food supply—called a “dearth” –if we wish for them to be around for us come Spring. The best food for bees is their natural food—honey. This can be provided by frames of honey taken from strong hives. “junk comb” from cutouts, and honey purchased for the specific feeding purpose. A bee has a natural acidic pH in her gut that is supported by many strains of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes adapted to that pH environment. When we feed sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the more alkaline nature of these sugars alters the gut pH. Some scientists believe this is not beneficial to the gut microbes that serve the bee’s immune system. However, if the situation is one of the choice between starvation or feeding sugar, we may need to feed the sugar syrup to get by until there is a natural nectar flow.


Big thank you to Susan for contributing to our blog as well as moderating the HoneyLove Forum!

Read full story · Posted in Newsletter Articles

Beehive Air-Conditioning via @nytimes

Q. Why are honeybees drinking water from my birdbath?

A. The birdbath may be closer to the hive than a natural source of water, said Cole Gilbert, a Cornell entomologist. Or the bees may have discovered it while foraging for nectar and pollen, then returned when conditions in the colony changed.

Bees collect water from many nonpure sources — even urine, by one report, Dr. Gilbert said — but prefer pure water, like that in a birdbath, when specifically foraging for it.

The most important factor in a hive’s water requirements is temperature control in the area where larvae are raised.

Water is collected by the same means as nectar, by sucking through the proboscis, Dr. Gilbert said. It is stored in the honey stomach, a pouch where nectar is also stored. “When foragers return to the hive, the water is regurgitated and passed by trophallaxis, a fancy word for mouth to mouth, from the forager bee to a younger hive bee,” he said.

While the hive bee smears droplets on the comb, other bees hang out near the hive entrance, fanning their wings to increase airflow through the hive. The vaporizing droplets remove heat.

When extra water is needed, a hive bee signals to a forager bee by refusing to take her nectar for some time. When it is eventually accepted, the forager bee looks for water on her next foray.

[view original article via nytimes]

Read full story · Posted in Yay Bees

HONEYLOVER OF THE MONTH: Susan
BEES RESCUED FROM: Water Meter in Marina del Rey!
 

SUSAN: “I am thoroughly enchanted with the bee world—-its history, organization, evolution with mankind, and tenacity in the city. Now, everywhere I go I talk about bees and beekeeping and converse with others about the importance of bees. I love how the bees complete a relationship I already had with botany and plants, food and animals—-a wider world all connected.”

ROB (HoneyLove): “One of the things I love most about beekeeping is mentoring new-bees and getting to watch them fall in love with bees. It makes you fall in love all over again. Getting to experience this with Susan was especially great due to her tremendous passion, and capacity to learn and innovate. She has been one of the most active HoneyLovers, joining us at a spectrum of events, from our 2011 National Honey Bee Awareness Day, to our Honey Tasting workshop. Since then, Susan has been seen buzzing all over town, rescuing bees from every conceivable location and situation. I’m proud to say that Susan has become a tremendous beekeeper, mentor, and HoneyLover.”
 

Click here to see photos from SUSAN’S FIRST BEE RESCUE!

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

Pesticides (from the Ocean Friendly Gardens - book

Pesticides, like other residential flotsam, are swept off our properties during periods of rain and over-irrigation. These pesticides pose a threat to aquatic life and ground water supplies. Yet every landscape has pests: unwanted weeds, bugs, and animals. How you perceive and manage these pests determines, in part, the amount of pesticides swept off your property. A gardener practicing CPR may be more lenient with some pests, may seek less toxic alternatives for others, and may change the composition of their landscape to deter particularly destructive and determined pests.

Listed below are a variety of plants that either repel unwanted bugs, or attract beneficial insects, all of which reduces the need for pesticides.
Yarrow, Ornamental Allium, Chives, Angelica, Southernwood, Wormwood, Borage, Coreopsis, Cilantro, Buckwheat, Garlic, Lavender, Lemon balm, Pennyroyal, Spearmint, Rosemary, Blue Elderberry, Santolina, Mexican Marigold, Marigold

[click here to view the original post on ofg.surfrider.org]

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

 

Un-BEE-lievable: NYC Fines Man $2,000 For Not Watering His Hive

Click here to read the article on cbslocal.com

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

Winnie The Pooh: Black Rain Cloud

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized