THE BEEKEEPERS OF NAPA VALLEY
Hive on the side of the road
Public notice for all you beeks:
Sunday while I was out of town, I received notice that there was a hive body strewn out on Golden Gate near Foster Road. This was strange for a number of reasons, but actually alarming to me since NVBeeCo’s breeding apiary is in that hood.
Needless to say, I dropped everything and rushed back to see what was up.
What I discovered was a deep box of 8 foundationless frames w/ popsicle stick starters full of honey and a little brood along with follower boards. It was in pretty good shape, so I assume It belonged to an experienced beekeeper.
It doesn't appear that the hive fell off a truck as very little of the foundationless comb had broken out of the frames. I cleaned it up and got it under wraps to halt robbing and get it off the road. My speculation is the box was removed from someone's managed colony and was unloaded there for some reason. Maybe after taking the entire top box off an active hive and putting it in a car the bees started leaking inside the vehicle?
I guess as a community we need to recognize the importance of what leaving a full box of honey out by roadside means. It's fairly profound for a few mile radius in terms of bees that had exposure to the honey. Basically, it was the biggest flower on that side of town- a flower that could potentially be spreading pathogens or disease. In this case, it appeared to be a pretty well kept hive, but still...
If anyone has any information about it, contact us so we can get the honey and gear back to you, but also help solve the mystery and hopefully, spread some education...
Thanks to Jimmy Kawalek and Kevin Linder for notifying us!
Here are a few photos of what I first came across Sunday afternoon:
Here are a few of the frames and the box once I started processing the honey. I couldn’t leave it sitting around my honey house waiting for the beetle to move in so I ran it through my press. The frames are all foundationless with Popsicle stick starters, they are put together with one short nail and very little glue. The box is white with rabbet joints held together with staples. If it happens to be yours we'll happy to return all gear and honey. If no one claims it I’ll bring the honey to the next meeting to share as part of the story, although the honey is very uniquely citrusy…
I think you guys know where to find me….