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Author Topic: Greetings from Napa Valley  (Read 1053 times)
WaterCanyonBeeCo
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Location: Napa Valley


« on: December 18, 2011, 01:31:59 PM »

Fledgling beekeeper here. Just beginning the process of becoming a keeper of these magnificent little creatures.  
We presently have 3 very long standing feral colonies in our 7 acre orchard that have been here as long as I can remember and I've lived here over 23 years. (why did I never think to start raising them until now?  Scratches head!)

At one time we had 4 tree hives but it appears that the 4th is no longer active.

We're having a warmer than usual December with temps in the high 60's during the day but lows into the high 20's/low 30's.
Our orchard is loaded with yellow wild mustard and fiddleheads are on the way. We'll have the mustard until we disc in the late spring.

I'll be scouring the posts looking for good info on how to take advantage of what seems to me to be a very healthy population of bees and begin some new hives.

Signed up for two beekeeping classes this coming spring (one in January one in March) and I think I have enough time to put together my tools and gear before they swarm.  

My primary interest is in natural beekeeping as we garden organically and seldom use sprays of any kind on our farm.  It seems logical to me that if these 3 hives have sustained for this many years without intervention that they are a healthy crew and I'd love to see them grow in numbers.

Cheers to all!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/begonias-photos/sets/72157628390583389/
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:13:24 PM by buzzbee » Logged

sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 02:01:33 PM »

Sounds like you have the perfect bees for your area.
Beautiful area you are in there. I spent a little time in your area in 1981. I helped a friend with her nursery in Sabastapol while I was going to school out there.
You will need some swarm traps hung high in the trees. JP has a good video where they lowered one to the ground and removed the swarm during a Bud event.
Good luck.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 02:12:32 PM »

Sweet sounding hives you have there.   Welcome to the forum.
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WaterCanyonBeeCo
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Location: Napa Valley


« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 02:46:02 PM »

Thank you for the welcome and thank you admin for helping me post my Flickr photo link.

We went out this morning to look inside one of the tree hives. It's about 9-10 feet up in a walnut tree and I was able to get a few photos. It's was only about 48º outside when we were peeping in the hive and yet they were busy coming and going. I wasn't wearing any jacket or veil protection so I didn't stay long but managed to get a little peek in. Posted them to the link above.

Cheers!

p.s. Sawdst what nursery? I know most of them in Sebastopol, such a great town - we were just there last weekend visiting BeeKind beekeeping store. I'm not familiar with all the members here - any chance you can help me find that video link?
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specialkayme
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 02:53:21 PM »

Welcome to the site!
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Country Heart
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 07:11:45 PM »

Love the pictures.

    Welcome to the community!   Smiley
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buzzbee
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 06:41:56 AM »

JP is one of our favorite members here. He and Schawee have taken the time to post a lot of video doing cutouts and swarm removals. Here is a link to JPs youtube account.
http://www.youtube.com/user/JPthebeeman/featured
If you look for some mentioning Bud 3 you can find  videos of members that converged at Bud1's(Uncle Bud to many of us)home in Macon,MS
Bud has been host for three years of an annual gathering of forum members from across the country and even Geoff from Australia visited last year.
Geoff has made the treck to the US twice to meet members of the forum and see our nation.
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WaterCanyonBeeCo
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 10:29:09 AM »

Thank you Buzzbee!!!

I actually stumbled upon JP's videos while seeking out information here on how to lure any swarms from these three hives come spring. I watched about half a dozen!

Thanks for the warm welcome all!!

cheers!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 11:05:20 AM »

Quote from: WaterCanyonBeeCo

p.s. Sawdst what nursery? I know most of them in Sebastopol, such a great town - we were just there last weekend visiting BeeKind beekeeping store. I'm not familiar with all the members here - any chance you can help me find that video link?
Her name was Maryann Moody. She was a really neat lady. She passed away about 10 years ago. We still receive Christmas cards from her family. They had a 200 year old farm with a wind powered water pump and a raised water tank. While I was there, I put it back in action.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Vance G
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 01:00:51 AM »

Your hired to come take pictures of my bees.  I have about 12 gallons of mead workiing by the water heater and we can drink it and discuss how little I want to pay for the pictures!  Wonderful photography! 
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WaterCanyonBeeCo
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Location: Napa Valley


« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 07:25:38 PM »

Sounds like a deal Vance, and thank you for the compliment!  We actually just tasted our first ever mead last night. I thought it was delish but the hubby didn't take to it and had a glass of Pinot Noir instead.

We didn't make ours (no beehives yet) but we will soon...

Here's the winery that produced it nexternal.com/bargetto/chaucers-mead-p25.aspx I'm not approved yet to put the link since I'm a new member but if you copy/paste the info above Google will find it.

I didn't realize it was going to be so sweet. It's more of a desert wine. But yummy nonetheless.

I look forward to the day that I have such a surplus of honey that I can make wine with it. Smiley
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