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Busy Bees Make Honey in Placer County


Placer County is well known for a wide variety of agricultural commodities including rice, mandarins, and more recently, wine grapes, but perhaps not so well known is the vast number of honey bees buzzing around the county's summertime blooms. 

Bee keepers in Placer County range from small hobby farms with two or three hives to large commercial operations that maintain thousands of hives. Abundant open space and vegetation, along with a temperate climate, make Placer County an ideal location for honey bees to thrive.

The amount of honey produced by a hive of bees depends on multiple variables, but one of the most significant is the amount of nectar available to the bees from blooming plants. With fewer blooms a hive might produce somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds of honey, while a hive that has access to ample blooms might produce between 70 and 100 pounds of honey or more. (FYI, one pound of honey is equal to just over 10 1/2 fluid ounces.)

Some of the most beneficial blooms for honey bees in Placer County come from plant species we often find ourselves battling here in the Foothills, such as Yellow Star Thistle, Himalayan Blackberry, and Poison Oak (not to worry, you can't get poison oak from honey). These plants along with sunflowers, alfalfa, clover, and citrus trees provide ample nectar for the bees to make honey and in fact influence the aroma, flavor, and color of the honey. It is not uncommon for bee keepers, particularly those with large-scale operations, to move their hives from one place to another, including from state to state, chasing blooms for their bees to forage on.

Although all bee keepers will end up with some honey, honey production is not the main focus of all bee keepers. Some bee keepers specialize in providing pollinating services for other farmers, such as almond farmers, while others specialize in breeding and selling bees, including Queen Bees, which are necessary to the vitality of each hive.

There are lots of convenient places to buy local honey.  Many of our local farmers' markets feature local honey, and you may also be able to purchase it from some of our bee keepers directly.  You can find their contact information at  by searching for "honey".

Placer County News Headlines

PCWA Customers Curb Water Use 34 PercentDrought Watch: Since June of this year, PCWA customers have decreased water use by 34 percent in comparison to base year 2013.

Roseville Area Events Calendar for October 3, 2015Roseville, CA - Bright sunshine and warm temps make for ideal conditions as the fall events season kicks into full swing in Roseville and beyond.

Placer County Child Support Services Recognized for ImprovementsThe Placer County Department of Child Support Services has received the 2015 Most Improved Child Support Program Award

Free Hazardous Waste Drop Off in AuburnPLACER COUNTY, Calif. - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority's annual household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday and Sunday

Repeat DUI's Targeted with Ignition Interlock ProgramOn Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 61, adding another 18 months to a four-county ignition interlock pilot program

California Fire Updates Summary (10-2-15)Nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling 7 large fires. In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving throughout the area today with light showers

Lincoln Salmon Festival Celebration October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration to bring awareness to the migrating salmon population

Roseville Coffee Wars: Dunkin Donuts and Dutch Bros. ExpandingRoseville, CA - Coffee is big business and Roseville is at center stage in South Placer County as the coffee giants battle it out to serve up their high-priced specialty brews.

151,000 Acres Scarred: Rough Fire GrowsCalifornia Fire Updates 2015: In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving slowly into the area today with light showers expected and cooler temperatures

Seniors First Awarded Grant from Wells FargoSeniors First was recently awarded $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank which will help to continue funding of Seniors First's eight Senior Cafes

Salmon Celebration Festival in Lincoln October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration

Free Healthy Aging Program Presentations in OctoberIn a series of four Saturday morning sessions at UC Davis School of Medicine, attendees will learn the latest from physicians and other experts about aging and medical science.

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