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Pavel Vykhrestov is the bee master

Stuffing small pieces of wood into a metal can with a bellows attached, Pavel Vykhrestov, 27, lights a fire to blow smoke into a stack of beehive boxes.

Vykhrestov says the smoke calms the bees because they think there is a fire inside the hive and they begin to eat the honey before it might be destroyed.

He begins to search for the queen, which is one way of checking the health of a hive, although he admits it can be difficult to find in the supers, hives which are up to three boxes tall.

Posted: April 25, 2014

Posted in Agriculture on Friday, April 25, 2014 9:14 am. Comments (0)

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Photos: Harvesting the bounty: Historic images of Lodi agriculture

Posted: April 28, 2014
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Trinchero Family Estates winery project at halfway mark

Bob Torres paused outside the loading dock of his family’s vast new production center rising west of Lodi and pondered the question: How do you keep growing?

Posted: April 25, 2014
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Galt grower Charity Kenyon wants to keep food passion growing

Imagine a summer scene:  Friends chat among the peaceful vineyards while sipping locally grown wine.

Posted: April 25, 2014
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Stories from Previous Soil & Sun Editions

Lodi’s Jack Hamm innovates today, hopes for the future

On a recent spring morning, a chill wind strafes the Lima Ranch west of Lodi.

It sends up missiles of stray alfalfa. Workers bend as they walk into the wind — and keep their jackets zipped to the top.

The wind doesn’t take the edge off Jack Hamm. The dairy’s general manager keeps moving, talking, gesturing.

Posted: May 06, 2013
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Barn owl study shows they can keep gophers at bay

Everyday backyard gardeners know that gophers can be a true nuisance.

Posted: May 06, 2013
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Lodi emerges as center of high-quality olive oil production

Though it’s not used to quench thirst, Brady Whitlow, president of Corto Olive Oil, looks at the product simply: as freshly squeezed juice.

Posted: May 06, 2013
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From grain to watermelons to grapes

Shaped by the land and climate and further molded by the economy and markets, Lodi’s agricultural landscape over the decades has evolved from grain to watermelons to grapes.

Posted: May 06, 2013
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Thornton family balances agriculture, community service

Two brothers and a sister in Thornton are busy farming in three counties, yet they find the time to be involved in small local boards, raise money for charity and participate in community activities.

Posted: May 06, 2013
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