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 - April

We’re traveling as I write this, in Sydney Australia right now. While we’ve been to many places in the area we haven’t seen any bee hives or met any beekeepers. To be honest that’s not why we came here but when we travel we’re always on the lookout. I did however read about a couple of local beekeepers, Doug Purdie and Vicky Brown. In 2008 Doug had read about the worldwide bee decline and wanted to do something about it so he became a beekeeper. They got together in 2010 to form “The Urban Beehive”. Their goal is to place bee hives all around Sydney. They are fortunate as Australia is the last continent to be free of varroa mite. Along with a small group of helpers they keep bees in backyards, parks, businesses, and rooftops all over the city, even in the Botanical Gardens. On a global level it’s a small thing they are doing but if we all do our part, maintaining healthy colonies, monitoring varroa levels, and continuing to breed and use varroa resistant queens along with research at institutional levels we can make a difference.

Bee Bits - April

To our great surprise, despite the cool, rainy weather during almond bloom, the hives from some orchards came back heavy with almond honey. We also see this with the "dinks" that we left behind in the foothills; some have now built up strong enough to think about swarming!

The bees continually amaze me at how well they can do even if they only get brief breaks in the weather. And they are doing the same here in the Foothills. Manzanita is still producing plenty of nectar, and there is all kinds of pollen coming in. Spring is in the air, and we are madly rearing queens and making nucs. I’ve made arrangements to teach a Beginners Class on April 15 at the Fairgrounds—be sure to email me with the word “Class” in the subject line if you wish to sign up (only a few spots left). This class will focus upon understanding bee biology and behavior, so that you can understand why you might want to do what.

I’ve been working hard at moving the process along to get the oxalic/glycerin shop towel treatment for varroa registered with the EPA, and only moments ago sent off the formal draft document. I’ll be running formal trials this summer to collect data and helpers are welcome!

This season promises to be a bumper year for a honey crop. No telling what the plants are going to do with this much water in the soil. Star thistle could be the best it’s been since 1998. If you need to buy supers, do it now!

Swarm season will soon be upon us. I suggest pulling a nuc or two from your strongest colonies to set back the swarm impulse. You can contact my son Eric to purchase queen cells at 530-277-5004 or oliverhoneysales@gmail. com. Cells are free to those with yards close to mine.

Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA