Monday, December 8, 2014
Updating website, adding essential oils
2:24 am est
Website management is a very time consuming process. While the website service we
use is user friendly, it oh so very is s.l.o.w. Considering we are generally busy as bees, finding time to get onto the website
and manage/update/add to it is a challenge. Please forgive us.
bees are hunkered down for the season. It's cold and wet (for that we are very thankful as this is California - hello drought!),
so the girls aren't getting out as much these days. As for honey production, this was another challenging year since the availability
of foragable plants was scarce. The drought and heat were definitely to blame for that. And this summer brought another challenge
- yellow jackets. They were ridiculously abundant and we lost some hives to them. In one of our apiaries, we chose to remove
the bees temporarily until the yellow jacket count was diminished.
are looking forward to next year and have hope things will improve in the weather to aid the honey bees. And we will get a
head start on those darn yellow jackets by placing traps sooner!
months ago, Darla began researching natural remedies and came across essential oils. This has become her passion, her favorite
thing to study, and she has began creating a variety of products using the oils. Please check out her page (see left side
navigation bar) "Essential Oils & More" to read more about it.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
what a winter on the bees. We as human thought that it was great to have such a mild winter, but the bees didn't.
It was shocking of how much we had to feed our bees, then come Janusary when we went onside the hive we saw very little bees
and what was there was older bees. Going into last winter our queens layed the last of her eggs for girls to make it thru
the winter and she shut down as she should. Well with the mild winter the bees didn't really huddle down because it was warm.
So they matured and like bees do as they mature and become foragers. So they were flying to see what was out there and there
was nothing so they worked themselves out and parished. So sometimes when we think things are great for us there could be
some where or something else paying the price.
2:02 am edt
Thursday, September 5, 2013
8:08 pm edt
We have harvested our honey! The bees are now on holiday, which just means that whatever honey they have from here
on out is theirs to get them thru winter. Feed your bees to help them with their winter honey stores. This is just a bit of
insurance to encourage a successful wintering, so you'll worry less about your little friends making it to spring.
The off-season for beekeepers is a great time to catch up on reading. Whether it's current affairs of bees or
educational books, put your feet up and learn more about these marvelous insects. Next spring you'll understand them more,
and you'll see better results in your beekeeping.
Also during the off-season, take the time to repair and properly
store any equipment not in use.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
2:22 pm edt
Just thought it was about time to update our look and layout. I'm working on adding content to the
Beekeeping page, so there are some helpful guides for newbies (and oldies, too).
The recent windy days have been rough on the bees, so you may notice them acting a bit strange while out of the
hive. Hopefully the wind subsides really soon and they can comfortably forage.
Thanks for visiting our site!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
The California State Fair is coming to a close and what a great time it was. No one got
stung. I used a lot of young bees with frames of larva in observation hive. The first frame that everyone can see was mostly
capped brood as so someone might get the chance to see a bee emerging. It was with great honors Darla and I hosted Alyssa
Fine, the 2012 ABF Honey Queen. Once again it was great running around committing to so many educational opportunities. WOW
what’s next? Fog Willow. Fog Willow is a pumpkin patch that is targeting educating children and adults
some or the great areas of agriculture. From Sept. 15th till October 30th bees will be on display for
all to enjoy. What about the honey flow? Has anyone seen it or having a good year out there? I think that the constant winds
that kick up every afternoon is hindering the honey flow. With one month to go I hope it turns into a sweet one.
1:02 am edt
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Spring has Sprung
Where is all the rain? Yes it's great to see things finally starting to grow, trees are in their bloom and
pollen intake is up. Going out to three different sites today and opening hives I found lots of bees good weight when I tilted
the hives checking for food supply. taking off a few tops I saw new comb being built and in drone size cells. What does all
this mean to me. That swarming is going to start much sooner this spring. I'm thinking that splits are going to have to happen
much sooner. When in doubt FEED the bees. That 1 on 1 sugar is what the bees will be using for wax building and energy throught
the hive. Call or email if you have any questions
12:04 am est
Sunday, January 1, 2012
WOW! What a great year we've had! Watching our daughter develop her personality, the
news of expecting another blessing in June 2012, and a great year for the bees. Our hives came into the spring with
minor losses from the winter. Of course, new challenges awaited us as we went into the honey season. Nothing we coundn't
handle. We want to thank all of you who support our outreach programs by purchasing honey. We want to especially
thank David Ogden who mentored me and paitently listened to me talk bees for endless hours in the truck, UC Davis
staff for giving me wonderful opportunities, Soil Born Farm for allowing our bees to be bees, and Sacramento Food
CO-OP for putting us on the self. I want to thank God for giving me a beautiful wife that did not always believe in the
direction I was going, but stood beside me nonetheless. God Bless you all and may the New Year bring you much joy.
12:00 am est
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Has it really been that long???
Wow! We haven't posted since June?! Sorry about that. I guess with
the bees, the goats, more bees, the baby, and of course, more bees there hasn't been much time for website maintenance.
9:49 pm edt
It was a great honey season; we had a great harvest this fall. Our honey is now available at the Sacramento Natural
Food Co-Op at Alhambra & 'S' Street in downtown Sacramento.
We are really focused on buttoning up the hives
for the winter, which means some special TLC right now. Checking for brood to make sure the queen is laying, treating for
mites & nosema, making sure the bees have plenty of food in the center of the hives over the bees, making sure hive
reducers are in place, checking the bottom screen board to make sure the bottom tray is in place.
We give thanks
for the season we had and hope for a good season to come next year!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Where has the time gone???
It's June 2011, and we have been stepping and fetching around here! Between our
seven month old daughter and working out at UC Davis bee biology lab, plus swarm and extraction calls, it's been crazy.
Please check out this link to read a bit about Brian on the UC Davis website.
12:02 pm edt
Friday, November 26, 2010
New addition to the family
10:05 pm est
We are proud and blessed to announce a new addition to our family, a baby girl Emily Ann. Hence the
delay in our blogs.
Business-wise, we've been selling our local, raw, natural honey through Sheldon
Feed & Supply located at 8928 Grantline Road in Elk Grove (previously the town of Sheldon). Check out their Facebook
We here at BD Ranch & Apiary wish you all a very special Holiday Season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We recently harvested beautiful, golden, sweet, wildflower honey from our apiaries in Wilton, Elk Grove, and
Rancho Cordova. Currently we sell our honey through Robinson's Feed in Galt, Soil Born Farms in Rancho Cordova, and
as requested personally by phone or email.
10:56 am edt
If you are interested in buying our wildflower honey,
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~Brian & Darla
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Good Day Sacramento - - National Honey Month Kick-Off
4:04 pm edt
This morning Brian kicked-off National Honey Month with Good Day Sacramento! Please see the Photo Gallery to
watch the video.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
4:50 pm edt
Is it here? Is it finally here? No,
not the hot weather…the honey flow! For a lot of us here in the Central Valley it seems like it has taken quite some
time for the honey flow to increase. Speaking to a beekeeper from the Bay Area this week, he mentioned a decrease in honey
flow due to the extended spring season they have had. Yet, it looks like the foothills are right on schedule - I witnessed
the blackberries in the Sierra foothills flowering just this past week.
There is no doubt that the bees are
working hard each and every day. I observed the bees in my own apiary and have seen them working the flowers in the morning,
going for water in the later parts of the afternoon, and then hanging out on their “front porch” in the evening.
This clinging to the outside of the hive can be due to the colonies heavy population and overcrowding and high temperatures.
I like to insure my hives are well ventilated. By adding honey supers, I am easing the overcrowded situation and giving the
bees something to do in drawing the foundation in the frames. I would much rather have my bees inside working safely than
just lounging around on the front entrance of the hive.
How about those Varroa mites? You know, those unwanted
pests that live in the brood and on the adult bees? If using a bottom screen board, pull the plastic tray out and check it
for mites. This will give you some idea of your Varroa mite condition. Of the many ways of treating for mites, I prefer using
the powder sugar technique during the honey flow. Although this will not eliminate all the mites, it will assist in controlling
their population. It has been my experience that not treating infestation of Varroa mites in some form or fashion increased
the loss of my hives last year. There are many methods out there. Research, talk to your bee buddies, and you should be able
to find a method that suits you and your bees well.
The hive is going to go through a lot of changes in the
next couple months. Keeping up with it, asking questions, contacting your beekeeping mentors, and reading will give you a
fuller experience in the joys of beekeeping.
Friday, June 4, 2010
What a season for Central California! A few days of
warm, sunny weather and then it’s windy and overcast. To add a super, or not to add super; that is the question of many
beekeepers as they need to stay attentive to their hive(s) for swarm prevention. Areas of great interest to me are ensuring
that my queen has plenty of room for laying eggs and that the bees have plenty to eat during these difficult foraging days.
Lots of energy is being used in the continuous building of the hive and for all the newborn brood. I know
my bees are doing their own thing now and are well on the way to becoming fully established. Now is a time that I can ask
myself about my personal growth. How are my beekeeping and husbandry skills coming along? I continue to check my
bees on a regular basis, but are my inspections becoming more efficient? Can I recognize bee demeanor faster and more accurately
than I use to? Getting stung less is always a great way of judging my skills!
1:45 am edt
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Observing and Hive Journaling
Each spring I find myself more and more being aware of the current
weather and what weather lies ahead and asking myself, “what are my bees' needs to build out to become established and
stay strong?” Thinking that we’re still on the cusp of the nectar flow, I’m constantly looking around to
see if there is plenty of pollen and nectar for my foragers to gather. What amounts of pollen and nectar will be available
come time the brood will be hatching, and is a pollen patty or continuous feeding in order?
7:08 pm edt
Looking forward I continue to add my observations to my journal so I
can easily see how my colony is likely going to change. Recording what I observe in the hive and knowing the cycle of the
bee from the day the egg is laid helps assist me in forecasting what the colonies needs are going to be. My information not
only helps me track the past, but assists me in preparing for the future and what material I will need to have on hand. Being
able to review my notes gives me points of interest I might want to be reading up on to help me understand what am I seeing
and what I might want to ask another beekeeper about. In my first year I made a check list so I was reminded
to look for characteristics. Hive management is one of the major roles that has a learning curve.
Knowing the bees are constantly arranging the hive to meet their controlled atmosphere, I find
it not so important that I actually see the queen verses seeing signs that my queen is actively contributing.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
1:31 am est
Dear Friends and Fellow beekeepers,
With some of that warm weather
February brought us it was great to see surviving bees out flying doing what honey bees do best, foraging.
Sadly it made me think of the beekeepers I know that lost colonies. What support can I offer to those who have lost all of there bees? “Stay With It.”
was a very rough season for all the bees last year. Of the many hives I lost I now know more about the challenges the bees
are up against. I want to encourage others to pick up the super, clean up the frames, set it up and get ready to hear that
wonderful buzzing sound again.
Though the year has just started, it has been a privilege and a learning experience
to be the president of Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association. The greatest reward is not only assisting in further
development of the association, but the ability to work with and assist other beekeepers.
Friday, January 8, 2010
They're all here!
All the goat kids are born! We have three sets of twins, two sets of triplets, and a single. It's
been an exciting week here at BD Ranch!
12:19 am est
Thursday, December 31, 2009
New Year's Eve
7:52 pm est
This last day of 2009 brought us two little bundles of joy! Our nanny goat Pinto had her kids this morning!
There is one girl, Eve, and a boy, Moses. Now we're anxiously awaiting the other five nannies to give birth within the
next couple of days.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Welcome to the BD Ranch website, BeesAreLife.com!
5:43 pm est
We are adding content as we can, please visit again soon.