Share a hive inspection with a newbie in April?

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Rob Mathews, 2023 ACBA President

Mar 6, 2023, 6:36:40 PM3/6/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
Hi All! Hope your bees are growing and healthy. (Mine are, but maybe I'm just lucky.)

Something many people have noticed is that generous club members are often willing to share a hive inspection with new beekeepers, but as a newbie, it's difficult to know who to ask. Here's an idea to try and connect people together: Open Hives in April. I hope you'll participate.

The idea is that:

- a club member says they're willing to share a hive inspection with a new beekeeper on a weekend day in April;
- they post that here on the Google group (or email me) and I list them on this page; and
- new beekeepers can look at that page to make the connection.

If you're a reasonably experienced club member willing to spend an hour or two with newbies, it would be great if you could participate! You can either reply and add your details in this thread, or email them to me at Either way, I'll make sure you get mentioned on the page. (In an effort to "bee the change you want to see", I've listed myself as a host on April 1 to get started.) This is an easy way to give something back to the club by sharing the joy of beekeeping with new members without necessarily committing to being a mentor, bee buddy, etc.

(And of course, if you're a new beekeeper interested in seeing and sharing a hive inspection, keep an eye on that page!)

-- Rob Mathews

Robin Chatham

Mar 6, 2023, 9:58:39 PM3/6/23
Great idea Rob, I'll host one Sat. April 8th. Place n time TBD.
Robin Chatham 925-858-9760 

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Rob Mathews, 2023 ACBA President

Mar 7, 2023, 2:07:34 PM3/7/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
Thank you Robin!

Is anyone else willing to sign up? Again, there's no ongoing commitment -- just share a hive inspection with someone in April.

Joan Houston

Mar 7, 2023, 11:16:04 PM3/7/23
I'm down for a day in April. I'm in Livermore if anyone is interested. -j

Autocorrected by my iPhone

On Mar 7, 2023, at 11:07 AM, Rob Mathews, 2023 ACBA President <> wrote:

Thank you Robin!

David Bogdonoff

Mar 8, 2023, 9:26:29 AM3/8/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
I'll chip in. I'm in Berkeley.

Joan Houston

Mar 8, 2023, 9:58:45 PM3/8/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
This’ll be a fun day for any newbie to visit Livermore wine country on Sunday April 16th.
10:30a-1p or thereabouts. Depending as always on the weather. PM or call for for location.
I have two full suits/gloves, a small and a large. Or bring your own.

First off, memorize this mantra: Bees are really good beekeepers, and you are never in charge.

Not keeping this at the forefront is what causes many to abandon the hobby altogether.
There is no ego in beekeeping!

Beekeeping as meditation: steady breathing + slow movements = gentle inspection - for you and the bees

What to do BEFORE diving in:
1. The importance of external inspections
2. Having a plan in mind
3. Realizing the bees might not agree with said plan - when to switch gears and/or save it for another day
4. Resisting the urge to do ‘one more thing...’ - not pushing thru an inspection

Smoker fuel: lotsa options - not as important as remembering to keep the thing stoked!
What the heck am I looking at here? How to read a frame: where stuff typically is in a bee hive, identifying life stages
Where’s the #$%^& queen? How to know your hive has a healthy queen even when your eyesight sucks like mine.

Bees sting. You’re a beekeeper. Ergo, you will get stung.
Learning not to anticipate a sting, recognizing AND RESPONDING TO warning signals
Sting relief: as many home remedies as there are beekeepers

Basic IPM (integrated pest management) - to treat or not to treat?
Natural vs chemical mite treatments, testing, wax moth prevention, etc.

Notes, notes, notes: tagging hives in realtime using tape and/or waterproof stickies, pre-formatted inspection sheets, useful apps.
Technology in the bee yard, or how to unleash your inner geek
Book/blog discussion - some favs

After we can chillax over lunch with an awesome view of the vineyards.

joan houston
bee geek
dripz honey & waxworks
made by a whole lotta girlz in livermore ca

Phil Stob

Mar 10, 2023, 11:30:29 PM3/10/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
Yes, I would be glad to host a Hive Dive on April 8th or 9th , or both.   One spot in Fremont near Washington and Palm, and another spot by the Dumbarton Bridge.  All levels welcomed.  Ping me directly. 

Cheers, Phil 

Phil Stob

Mar 11, 2023, 12:07:53 AM3/11/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
Minor change of plans.   Easter is April 9th.   So Saturday the 8th it is, in the afternoon.     
I could be talked into the next weekend if there's interest. 

Cheers, Phil 

Rob Mathews, 2023 ACBA President

Mar 13, 2023, 2:31:21 PM3/13/23
to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association
Thanks Phil, I added that to the page!
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