This Thursday evening the 26th!

A special screening of “Queen of the Sun, What are the Bees Telling us?” a film by Taggart Siegel. The Bee Ranchers is proud to support Alameda Marketplace and the special screening they have set up for Bay Area honeybee lovers. The showing will take place at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda. Click HERE to learn more about this important film.

Image from film and courtesy of film makers.

The Hive Diary / PART 2

The Bees have arrived!

Our family has been waiting for this day for a couple of weeks and it did not disappoint. There was the nagging question that went through my mind several times, “What does a package of bees look like?”. The pics below answer my question.

An interesting little wire encased, cage-type box with a canned food-like lid is the answer. Supposedly there are roughly 6000-8000 honeybees in a package. This was the first package that Mike dropped off. The pic above shows his truck with the back full of 47 packages of bees! Lets do the math on that…

…282,000 – 376,000 honeybees, destined for good homes and the great honeybee habitat of various locales of the Bay Area! Many are headed to Alameda, while others have further to travel throughout the Bay Area.

For now, the package of our bees have been placed in the hive as you see in the picture below. The reason being, Mike will come back later this evening to “hive” the bees. Evenings tend to be a good time to “hive” bees as they are not prone to immediately leave the hive to forage and disrupt the colony’s new home.

If you are curious what they sound like packaged the way they are (I was), I describe it in this way, take a ice cold coke, pour it into a glass with ice and listen to it bubbling. Kinda sounds like that!

We’ll report back to you all on our new colony once they have been hived.

Custom Hive Stands

If you did not know it, we at The Bee Ranchers handcraft our own hive stands. Learn more about it HERE.

Every once in awhile we’ll be approached by someone to make a custom hive stand. These are fun projects for us as it allows us to be a little more creative and a lot more collaborative with our clients.

Recently friends of ours inquired about developing a custom hive stand. They had an old sewing machine stand they wanted to utilize and we worked with them to make it a reality. Very creative idea and one we are proud to have assisted to make a reality! A real piece of garden art!

Do you have an idea for a custom hive stand? Contact us and perhaps we can help develop it with you.

April 26th Save the date!

The Bee Ranchers is proud to support Alameda Marketplace and the special screening of “Queen of the Sun, What are the Bees Telling us?” a film by Taggart Siegel. This special showing will take place at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda. Click HERE to learn more about this important film.

The pic above is one of several hives that Alameda Marketplace has purchased (and put on display) from The Bee Ranchers and that will be maintained by our Ranch Foreman, Mike Vigo. The hives have been installed on Alameda Marketplace’s rooftop. More about the collaboration between Alameda Marketplace and The Bee Ranchers in a future post.

Will you be making the event? Let us know if you plan attending. We’d love to see you there!

Beetography

What the heck is beetography you ask?

Technically it is a made up word but an oh-so perfect new word to describe our love of bee photographs. And what not a better way to celebrate this new classification of photography than to focus on one of our favorite beetographers, JP Lowery.

JP is an old friend of ours who hails from northern climes and has a knack for shooting very small critters in and around his garden. Fortunately for all of us some of those small critters are honeybees. The following photos are just a few of JP’s great shots. Can’t unleash the whole folio of images he has given us, we’ll post them from time to time for some great eye candy. Thanks again JP!

Would you consider yourself a beetographer? Are you interested in showcasing some of your shots on our site? Just ping me and I’m sure we can arrange to make you famous! We’d enjoy seeing the images people are capturing out there.

Hive Rescue

The first of 2012 for the Bee Ranchers!

Technically there are two different types of Bee Rescues that we’ll perform for our clients. The first is the Swarm Rescue which we’ve briefly discussed in a past post (HERE). The second is a true Hive Rescue, which is very different from a Swarm Rescue.

Take for an example the picture above. This image shows a hive that had naturally developed underneath someone’s garden shed floor boards in Concord. This owner was thoughtful and smart enough to look for a Bee Keeper and not an exterminator to take care of this problem. Remember the simple rule, NEVER HARM OR KILL HONEYBEES. They are far too precious of a natural resource to do so.

Once we assessed the situation we properly prep’d the hive and the bees, removed the natural comb from the flooring and placed within a friend’s empty beehive. With luck the honeycomb that has been transplanted into the new hive includes the Queen. A good indication is when the bees start entering into the new hive (as you’ll see in the video posted below. Viola! The honeybees have a new home.

Once this activity has taken place we will usually leave the new hive in place near the old natural location to let the colony settle and ensure all the bees make it back inside the new hive.

Last we heard, this hive is doing well in Orinda! Enjoy these two videos from the rescue.

And by the way, a huge shout out to the property owner for not going the “exterminator route”. He was well rewarded with a nice helping of natural honeycomb from the hive that was laden with fresh natural honey. And we forgot to mention, he did not pay a dime for our services! A true WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN situation for us all (the home owner, the honeybees, The Bee Ranchers and our environment)!