You know that California Dreaming song?  This winter day, we’ve been enjoying such gorgeously warm weather – it’s so warm the doors and windows are thrown open (sure feels good to air out the house after all the gray days and heavy rain), heavy socks cast off and bare feet are back in vogue.

Sure doesn’t feel like January!  We are wondering if all signs point to an early spring?

On this weekends goat walk in the Lower Arroyo Seco we stopped by to check out the bee traps.

Buckwheat's coming back for the goats to nibble on and Fairlight grabs a mouthfull

Wild bee colony - gone or dead

The big ol bee colony that was living in the hollows of a three trunk sycamore had sadly disappeared/died.   Sure did leave us stumped since these were wild bees with no human handling and they were just gone.  Comb and honey still left in the tree but eerily quiet.  Wonder where had all be bees gone?

Seems this winter was a harsh one for local bee colonies.  We’ve been hearing reports that there’s been a rash of LA beekeepers have been losing hives.  What has been the cause of death?  Some are easily explained (“vampire” varroa) and are not — CCD or something else?

Check out this  chart about the Disappearing Bees – pretty scary stuff!

Unfortunately no bees caught in the trap; however one box looked as if a huge rat or ground squirrel of some sort had a field day – chewing at the box and comb.  Jordanne could tell by the droppings it wasn’t a rat or mouse.   Perhaps a ground squirrel?


  1. Nancy says:

    Very disturbing. Part of an overall pattern of things? Guess we’ll all have to get busy and keep bees.

  2. Nebraska Dave says:

    The wild life’s unexplained death has been on a global level and has hit birds, fish, and clams. Some scientists say it’s a bad sign of things to come. Others say it’s governmental experiements. Still others say it’s the end of time. I’m just an ordinary guy from the midwest and think that nature just has unexplainable weirdness that happens on occasion and life goes on. Bees have been in the news for many years. Either it’s as you experienced disappearance or the invasion of the killer bees from Africa. I suppose there should be some concern about all these things but I think the news media pumps up the volume a little too much sometimes.

    Have a great bee finding day.

  3. Stacy says:

    Added complication with bees/agriculture, we’ve recently enacted a quarantine/ban on importing Australian bees that usually help bolster bee populations for the early spring pollination season for the annual almond crop (which starts pollinating roughly now). Domestic producers of hives/queens are already booked as long as 2 years out because our beekeeping industry was not designed to produce that many queens/hives domestically. In fact, Hawaii has recently been hit with varroa in levels they’ve not seen before. Since they’re the only “domestic” supplier that can produce queens at comparable times as Australia, they’re being hit from both sides – hugely increased demand coupled with suddenly increased mite-induced losses. May in the agriculture industry fear that this year will see even higher colony losses because we can’t import extra queens. Next year’s pollination season might be even harder to supply than this year’s.

  4. Rob says:

    May I suggest looking nearby this empty bee hive to see if any new communications towers or home wifi networks have been recently installed?

    According to some recent research articles I have read, internet WIFI networks and mobile phone transmissions can disrupt the navigation systems of bees. This causes entire colonies of bees to “disappear” from their hive.

    Often there is no evidence of dead or dying bees around an empty hive because the bees have simply just vanished.

    Apparently bees use the earths magnetic field to find their way home. So any strong electo-magnetic transmissions can interfere with this. – Perhaps like somebody trying to find their way home in a snow blizzard.

    In addition, unusual changes to the earth’s magnetic field have been observed lately (affecting the air-transport industry), because of subterranean and celestial influences affecting the planet…

    Also, apparently, bees kept in “artificial” hives grow larger than wild bees because their honeycomb cells are larger. The bee keepers dictate the size of the honeycomb by using pre-formed frames. These larger, domesticated bees are supposedly more susceptible to Varroa mite parasites than the smaller wild bees.

    I am not sure about the disappearance of other animal species, such as frogs, but I strongly suspect that it is not part of any natural cycle, and probably more to do with activities by humans.

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