Monthly Archives: June 2016

Nuc workshop June 25

John Chesnut led a Nuc building workshop today and each participant went home with a new “hive.” We learned about setting up the queen excluder in advance, how to pick frames to populate the new nuc, how to install a queen cage, what to watch for, and some other tidbits of information. It was very informative and the bees were quite nice. Thank you John

image 48 hours in advance, brood is shaken free of bees and moved above a QE. The frames will be  queenless, but heavily attended by nurse bees.  Eggs above the excluder age out, so queencells won’t complicate the introduction of a mated queen.

imageFrames are pulled and arranged in boxes.  One open comb, one pollen frame, two brood frames, one honey frame.  Brood frames go in the center of the nuc.



Queens are pulled from a bankimage. Cages are kept corked for 2-3 days, and then the candy cork is opened.   A further 2 days allows the hive to open the candy. Only at day 5-6 is a passage through the candy drilled.


Ideal brood frames are mostly capped brood, so nurse bees are quickly available to tend the growing hive.

Workshop participant scanning a nuc frame for eggs and brood



June 24, 2016
The Pollination Celebration
SLO Grange

The Beekeeper’s Handbook

The Beekeeper's Handbook Book Cover The Beekeeper's Handbook
Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile,
Crafts & Hobbies
Cornell University Press

Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile have revised and expanded their clear and comprehensive guide to cover changes in beekeeping. They discuss the crisis created by the parasitic bee mites. In less than a decade, for example, Varroa mites have saturated the North American honeybee population with disastrous results, devastating both managed and wild populations. The new edition of The Beekeeper's Handbook covers mite detection and control as well as the selection and testing of bees that may have some tolerance to mites.*Serves as a comprehensive well-illustrated introduction for beginners and a valuable reference for the experienced beekeeper.*Outlines options for each operation within beekeeping, listing advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.*Provides easy-to-follow directions and diagrams.*Includes glossary and updated bibliography suggesting more detailed information on the topics discussed.

The buzz about bees

The Buzz about Bees Book Cover The Buzz about Bees
Jürgen Tautz
Springer Science & Business Media
April 30, 2008

Tis book, already translated into ten languages, may at frst sight appear to be just about honeybees and their biology. It c- tains, however, a number of deeper messages related to some of the most basic and important principles of modern biology. Te bees are merely the actors that take us into the realm of phys- ology, genetics, reproduction, biophysics and learning, and that introduce us to the principles of natural selection underlying the evolution of simple to complex life forms. Te book destroys the cute notion of bees as anthropomorphic icons of busy self-sacr -i fcing individuals and presents us with the reality of the colony as an integrated and independent being—a “superorganism”—with its own, almost eerie, emergent group intelligence. We are s- prised to learn that no single bee, from queen through drone to sterile worker, has the oversight or control over the colony. - stead, through a network of integrated control systems and fee- backs, and communication between individuals, the colony - rives at consensus decisions from the bottom up through a type of “swarm intelligence”. Indeed, there are remarkable parallels between the functional organization of a swarming honeybee colony and vertebrate brains.

The life of the bee

The Life of the Bee Book Cover The Life of the Bee
Maurice Maeterlinck, Alfred Sutro, Edwin Way Teale,
Courier Corporation
August 1, 2006

In an exuberantly poetic work that is less about bees and more about life, Maurice Maeterlinck expresses his philosophy of the human condition. The renowned Belgian poet and dramatist offers brilliant proof in this, his most popular work, that "no living creature, not even man, has achieved in the center of his sphere, what the bee has achieved." From their amazingly intricate feats of architecture to their intrinsic sense of self-sacrifice, Maeterlinck takes a "bee's-eye view" of the most orderly society on Earth. An enthusiastic and expert beekeeper, Maeterlinck did not intend to write a scientific treatise, even though he details such topics as the mathematically accurate construction of the hive, the division of labor among community members, the life of the young queen and her miraculous nuptial flight, and the movement and meaning of the swarm. An enchanting classic by one of the most important figures of world literature in the twentieth century and winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature, this fascinating study is a magnificent tribute to one of the most orderly communities in the world. It is also filled with humble lessons for the human race.

Welcome to the Central Coast Beekeepers’ Alliance. We are located in San Luis Obispo county, California.

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