The Hive Diary / PART 1

Brand Foreman gets a hive!

I’m excited to announce that I officially have a hive in my backyard. Hive #001 to be exact (by request). Mike (The Bee Rancher) and Ranch Hand Morgan came by last weekend to set it up. A true family affair.

Full disclosure. I’ve never owned a beehive before but have been around them from time to time at Mike’s house. It was great watching and documenting the whole affair. I’m excited to add this new facet to my backyard ecosystem/landscape. Now I should also mention that what I actually have is an empty beehive. The bees do not arrive until mid-April. Yeah, a little anti-climatic but in reality it is actually a good thing as it gives me time to acclimate to the location I have chosen for the hive.

The location of the hive (X marks the spot) is something Mike and I discussed in some detail. There are some key factors in choosing the right location. Ideally an area that gets a good amount of morning light. Certainly a location that is a fair distance from high traffic areas. And a location that is reasonably accessible as the hive will need to be tended to as Mike performs his care and maintenance.

I think we found a great location that fits all those parameters perfectly. My location highlights the hive in my backyard and may very well serve as a focal point. There certainly are other areas that would be suitable but less visible. As you’ve probably seen, these hives are beautiful, so I want to be looking at mine on a daily basis.

Plus Mike tells me there is nothing better than kicking back near the hive after work, cracking a beer and watching the honeybees wind down their day as well. Can’t wait. The beer is chilling in the fridge, now all I need are the Honeybees!

Some additional pictures of the hive installation below.

Stand Corrected

Or what we should call Honeybees VS Yellowjackets part deux!

Perhaps some of you might remember our first post on this important subject, making sure people do not confuse the two – which happens a lot! We asked our good friend JP (an excellent photographer and a subject for a future post) to send us some shots of Honeybees and Yellowjackets. We were appreciative and posted. Below is an e-mail we received back from him not too long ago. Click to enlarge.

Entomologists we are not. It just so happens the Brand Foreman’s neighbor sends, via e-mail, some shots he has taken recently and BAM! Our culprit the Yellowjacket caught right in the act of eating what I can only assume is a chicken nugget, all seven herbs and spices too!

I don’t ever recall a Honeybee dining on a chicken nugget. Case hopefully closed. And for those who might be wondering about the misidentified “pollinating wasp”, here is the link to learn more about them.

Wasp-like Hoverflies

If I’m a betting man, this might not be the last we hear on this post.

Huge thanks to JP and Martin!

Spring swarms & Spring training!

We wanted to let all of our clients/followers know that we are just beginning to hit the swarming season for bees. This typically starts in the Spring time, right around the start of baseball season as you’ll see through the following video. GO GIANTS!

Swarm of bees delays Giants-Diamondbacks game

Honeybees will at times decide to leave a hive and start a new colony. They often will gorge themselves with honey and leave the hive on search for a new home. Typically what we see is a mass of honeybees clinging to random objects, trees, decks, automobiles, traffic lights, dug-outs, you name it and they might swarm it. Fortunately they do not swarm humans. In fact when honeybees display this behavior it is good to know they are at their most docile – due to being gorged with honey.

If you see a swarm, don’t panic! It is actually quite an interesting sight from a safe distance. Obviously if reachable, don’t let kids or animals mess with them. If you have time and are not alarmed, just let them be and they will most likely move on to their next location within 48 hours. If you do want them removed, give us a call and we’ll hive them and provide a new and safe home for the colony free of charge. And under no circumstances let anyone tell you to eradicated / kill them, which in our minds would be a tragedy.

“Leading the bees away with cotton candy and lemonade” sounds a bit suspicious to us!?

Mike Vigo / 925-519-0560

The picture below is one of my “Ranch hands” taking care of and collecting a swarm off of a parked vehicle.

Have you ever witnessed a swarm before? Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever witnessed a swarm? We’d like to hear your stories, drop us a line.