The Nevada County Beekeepers Association is a diverse group of professionals and hobbiest, men and women, young and old, with a keen interest in promoting the well being of honey bees and their habitat while enjoying their amazing benefits. The NCBA strives to promote education on beekeeping and agriculture by providing the latest news and techniques in these fields. 

The club members meet once a month on the first Monday at 7pm and visitors are always welcome. All meetings are held in the Veterans Memorial Building at 255 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA. Entrance is off the back parking lot, in Grass Valley at 7pm.  The August meeting is always moved to the County Fair Grounds with a fair booth clean up following by a barbeque social. 

  • Any questions about bees?
  • Always wanted to get bees?
  • Questions about honey production? 
  • Have some information to share?
  • Wondering about pollination in your garden or orchard?
  • Have some bees or equipment to sell?
  • Want to meet some great folks?

Join our lively question and answer session starting promptly at 7pm followed by refreshements, brief business discussion, raffle and a great program.

President's Message - January

While vacationing in New Orleans recently, we went on a swamp tour that took us on the Pearl River around Honey Island. Honey Island got it's name from the honey that was collected there from the tupelo trees growing on the island. Early beekeepers would gather the honey from hives in hollow trees. These days since there are still no roads going into the swamp beekeepers bring their colonies in by boat in the spring when the tupelo trees are in bloom.

You can see from the way I'm dressed we were there in winter so there are no leaves making it hard to see but I'm pointing to a tupelo tree growing in the water where the swamp meets the river. Tupelo trees have a short blooming season from late April to May and produce the only honey that does not crystallize.

Bee Bits - January

We’ve now passed the Winter Solstice, and are beginning a new solar-dominated cycle of nature. Some of you may have noticed the unusually early flowering of some plants—I’m not sure why, as this autumn did not seem especially warm. The main thing to be excited about is the amount of precipitation we’ve gotten this fall. If the trend continues, it will allow for the recharge of our aquifers, and perhaps a “normal” honey flow.

Our bees are finally shutting down brood rearing after their fall feeding of pollen sub (often only necessary if you’re going to almond pollination). We’re giving each hive a dribble of oxalic acid to clean up the remaining varroa mites, thus giving the colonies a fresh start in the spring.

I’ve been developing my mite model, and it is now nearly ready for release. One huge thing that it points out is the very strong impact of the length of time that colonies are rearing brood during the season. For example, the overall seasonal increase of the mite population in Sussex, England is around 40x, meaning that if your colony started with 10 mites on Jan 1, it would contain 400 mites the next January, and 16,000 mites the next January. For colonies under such circumstances, a single oxalic dribble each winter would be enough to keep mites under control indefinitely.

In Grass Valley, the situation is very different... read more

Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA