Monthly Archives: January 2012

Austin City Ordinance Meeting

Last evening, I got to participate in a review of a section of the City of Austin’s Beekeeping Ordinance. A resolution was passed last November basically stating Austin wanted to be more bee-friendly and prioritize removal and relocation of bees whenever possible over extermination.

The current language reads as follows under a section entitled DESTRUCTION OF WILD OR ABANDONED BEES:

Without notice and a hearing, the health authority may destroy:
(A) a colony not residing in a hive;
(B) a swarm of bees; or
(C) a colony residing in an abandoned standard or man-made hive.

The proposed language would add this language to the section:

Wherever reasonably possible, the City shall prioritize the removal and relocation of wild or abandoned bees over destruction.

It is not a large change, but at least Austin is attempting to update their codes in the recognition of the plight bees are facing in this day and age.

Perhaps the best change, in my opinion, is updating the contact list 311 uses when people call in with bee swarms or wild hives on their property. The list currently has extermination services first with bee removal services near the bottom. The new updated list will have removal services first with those that only provide extermination services at the bottom. Priority on the list will also be given to beekeepers and services that will come get swarms free of charge. The hope is to encourage people to use relocation services as opposed to killing the bees.

One of the local news stations was out covering the story that you can watch by clicking the link below.

KEYE TV :: News – Top Stories – Participants abuzz at meeting to decide how Austin can be bee friendly.

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Final Check of the Season (one month later than I planned)

Austin had an unseasonably warm weekend to ring in 2012 so I took the opportunity to get in one last inspection of the hives. Between rainy weekends, Thanksgiving, our trip to Kauai and the holidays, it was later in the season than I would have preferred, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

My main goals were to verify honey stores, remove any unneeded supers, and flip over the inner covers for better ventilation. The girls were not very happy to have their cozy hives opened up. This was the first and last closeup from the unsuited photographer.

Marge’s hive looked good with the top super still having 6 out of the 8 frames filled with honey. Knives’ hive was another story.

The late nectar flow we had in October was enough to fill two supers full of honey, but the fifth was asking too much. I ended up taking the top super off as there was minimal wax drawn out. Knives had a rough 2011 so I’m hoping 2 supers of brood and 2 supers of honey will get her through the winter and let her kick some butt next spring.

Happy New Year to all my readers and may 2012 bring you good health and happiness.

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