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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

Deadliest Catch Producer in Auburn December 11thAuburn, CA- The Rooster Tails Fishing Club is kicking-off the forthcoming holiday season with a special Sunday-style Brunch & Awards Breakfast at the Auburn Elks Lodge on December 11.

Roseville Public Libraries to Benefit from Book SaleRoseville, CA- The Friends of the Roseville Public Library will host its final secondhand book sale of 2015 on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NY Reader Has Life Beyond MS A column I wrote weeks ago about the Service Dog Project (and its Great Danes) prompted responses from two Niagara-Wheatfield (NY) Tribune readers

Roseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.

Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less

Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services

Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?

Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.

Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.

Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget

Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.

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