And so it begins…


…the Bee Ranchers participation in the world’s largest pollination event, almonds! We trailered our hives out to the Central Valley early Tuesday morning to get to our place in the orchard by sunrise. Our bees will spend the next several weeks pollinating the thousands of almond trees in the surrounding orchards. We are thrilled to be a very small part of this most important agricultural happening and look forward to it each and every season. Next time you have an almond snack, remember to thank a honeybee!

Almonds = Healthy Start to 2014

pop_helpThe Bee Ranchers concluded their 1st trip out to the almond pollination earlier this week and the whole experience worked out as planned. Each hive started with 8 frames of bees and all came back with 18-20 frames of bees, pollen and honey stores! I trailered the hives home Tuesday night, made some splits Wednesday morning and delivered the hives back to their true home Wednesday night to take advantage of the Bay Area spring nectar flow that is upon us. These hives are in much stronger shape to go after the spring nectar flow here in the Bay Area then the ones left behind. With a little luck, we might have some Bee Rancher spring honey for sale in a few months!

I even had an old friend stop by and help out. I bet if you asked him 30 years ago when we first met that one day he would be helping me tend to my bees, he would have said not a chance. Well, fast forward 30 years and there he is, in the middle of 100’s of thousands of bees, helping me out. He was able to overcome his apprehension of bees and I was able to educate him about the importance of honeybees. It is nice to know that 1 more individual out there knows a little more about honey bees. As a beekeeper, I feel educating people to the best of my ability is one of my main responsibilities besides tending to the welfare of my bees.

Enjoy the spring and pray for more rain!!


Honeybee Health


The Bee Ranchers support the efforts of Project Apis m.

Hello to all the Bee Rancher supporters!

The Bee Ranchers, LLC is excited to announce our support of the non-profit honeybee research group, Project Apis m. With every Bee Ranchers bee hive kit we deploy in the field since the founding of our company in 2011, we will donate $10 to Project Apis m. in support of honeybee research. We have always felt it is important to support the efforts of groups that are focusing their energies on the health of the honeybee and we feel Project Apis m. is the best, most direct way to do that.

Project Apis m. is the largest non-governmental, non-profit bee research funding organization in the USA whose Board Members are well known, active beekeepers in the beekeeping community. PAm is funded by both beekeepers and growers throughout the country whose main goal is to enhance the health of honeybees, improve crop production potential and seek practical solutions for managed colonies.

Their research efforts will certainly help you and I maintain healthy, backyard beehives. I encourage you to peruse PAm’s website, sign up for their newsletter and support them anyway you can. I have included their link on The Bee Ranchers website as well. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me via phone or email.

Thank you for your continued interest in honeybees.

Mike Vigo
Ranch Foeman
The Bee Ranchers, LLC

Sweet Collaboration

The Bee Ranchers Assist Alameda Marketplace in Supporting the Local Alameda Honeybee Population.

Donna Layburn, Owner and Operator of Alameda Marketplace, is aware of and
concerned about the decline in honeybee populations across the country and
throughout the world. Being the proprietor of a grocery store that prides itself
on its selection of quality organic produce, she understands the importance of
honeybees and how their lives intertwine with and support ours.

It was by chance that a close friend of Mike Vigo also knew Donna, and was aware of her passion for locally sourced, sustainable, quality, natural produce and products. He made an intro and as they say, the rest is history. Mike and Donna immediately hit it off and it was clear The Bee Ranchers were capable of providing Alameda Natural Grocery with a great service that would benefit the local Alameda community and the local honeybees for years to come.

Over the past several months The Bee Ranchers have been setting up hives on the roof of the Marketplace, and at key properties throughout Alameda. And we are happy to report that the effort has been a smashing success! Mike Vigo states, “Alameda Marketplace’s hives have been our most productive hives to date. There is a lot for the honeybees to forage on over here!”

This is what Donna Layburn was hoping for; to strengthen, support and grow the local honeybee population. She’s also a big believer in the health benefits of honey, local honey in particular. Always looking to add high-quality and in-demand products to the store, Donna is also excited to be able to offer the fruits of the honeybee’s work. In the not too distant future, Alameda Marketplace will be selling it’s own brand of local honey on it’s shelves alongside all the others. Layburn states that is really the secondary benefit to the effort though. The more awareness she can bring to her customers and the Alameda community regarding the plight of the honeybee, the better. It is through her dedication to ranching honeybees locally that she hopes to inspire others.

The Bee Ranchers is very pleased to call the Alameda Marketplace a client and
applauds Donna Layburn’s drive to make a better world for honeybees.

Are you a fan of Alameda Marketplace? Tell us about it!

Michelin Rated Honeybees

A look at French Laundry’s inspiring organic garden and Honeybees in Yountville, California.

Brand Foreman here. I’ll start this blog entry by stating that I love my day job! I’ve been fortunate enough to be working on a design project up in Rutherford, CA in the heart of Napa Valley. So recently I’ve been up in the area taking note of popular destinations in the region. In my note and photo taking wanderings I stumbled into The French Laundry. Of course I had heard of it (if you have not check the link) but I really had no idea exactly where it was. Wandering the main drag of Yountville found me walking right past it.

No I did not drop in for a bite to eat, but I did wander across the street to take a look at their organic gardens. What struck me as most interesting about them is that these are not gated or barb wired off to the public. They are actually set up as if to invite you to walk amongst them – and I did! So inspiring to check out and to think that the fruits and vegetables from these gardens go directly onto the plates of a 3 Star Michelin rated restaurant.

And who do we owe a great deal of thanks and respect to for this wonderful organic produce? Sure Tucker Taylor and Aaron Keefer (< whom I chatted with while there – a friendly lad) are the gardeners responsible for taking care of this wonderful plot of productive soil. Sure the chickens are cool, they “cluck” and probably supply some good fertilizer. What caught my eye and that I think deserve a lot of the culinary accolades are the Honeybees from their onsite bee hives.

Just think, no honeybees, no organic produce! What a bland tasting world would that be like? I think Thomas Keller just got chills up his spine! Honeybees clearly play a critical role in what makes French Laundry, French Laundry.

Have you dined at French Laundry or seen their gardens? Tells us about it, Foie Gras and all!