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.

Become A Member!

President's Message - October

Fall is here again, it happens every year so it shouldn't surprise me. This summer just seemed to pass so quickly and with these warmer temperatures continuing as I write this, fall still seems a ways off. The calendar however does not lie and the days are noticeably shorter. The cooler weather that surely must be coming soon means less forage and less flight time for our bees. Because of this we need to monitor the weight of our colonies and feed if needed. A simple way to check is the two finger test, if you can lift one end of a double super colony then it's time to feed.

Hopefully everyone got varroa mite levels under control in August, but even if we have, we must continue monitor them. We want healthy colonies with plenty of food going into winter, this along with winter management will help insure they survive into next spring. If you have any questions about monitoring weight, feeding or varroa mites please ask at the next meeting.

Our elections for officers is held at the November meeting and nominations at the upcoming October meeting. If you'd like to consider yourself for a position please let one of the board members know at the next meeting.

Jerry Van Heeringen

Bee Bits - October

Wow, we got the first rainfall in September in five years!  It was stunning to go from summer heat to feeling like cold, dark, wet winter overnight.  But that bit of moisture was sure good for the vegetation.  Today I watched bees actively gathering nectar and pollen from Yellow Star Thistle, as well as some other plants.  
We just finished collecting final data on this summer’s trial of extended-release oxalic acid on shop towels.

Note: this method is not yet registered, and I am not suggesting that you use it.  I have a Pesticide Research Authorization from the State of California, and am merely giving a report on my research.

2019 Extended-Release Oxalic Acid Research Summary

We applied two half shop towels across the top bars, between the brood chambers, of double-deep hives in California, 1:1 ratio (w:w) of oxalic acid:glycerin,  total of 18 g OA per hive.  Trial ran from early July through early September, for roughly 60 days for each test yard.

...see full article in the current Newsletter

Happy beekeeping!

Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA

In The Yard - October

I got a text this morning (September 28th) from a friend that I keep bees on her property, and said she had a swarm in a tree. She had sent a picture and it looked pretty small but I went out and hived it anyway. It was about 2 frames worth of bees, and I’ll be able to combine them with a small colony or maybe I’ll find a queenless one in the next few weeks.  Always seems mystifying why a colony would throw a swarm this time of year as its a pretty certain death wish if no beekeeper finds it.

I was camping near Ebbetts Pass in August, and saw honeybees foraging on this pennyroyal plant at about 9000 ft elevation. Pennyroyal was used since ancient times to rid the body of fleas. More recently it is claimed to be helpful as an insecticide and pest repellent and is used in some flea collars for animals. The concentrated oil of pennyroyal can be toxic to humans and animals.  Some people use it as an emmenagogue (your word of the day).


Brion Dunbar
Grass Valley, CA