More Than Honey

Looks to be a great movie here.


The short movie trailer is definitely eye catching and some of the cinematography looks amazing. The storyline of the intertwined relationship of honeybees to BIG agriculture (California Almond Crop) certainly seems compelling. We are obviously not yet sure where we’ll stand at the end of the film but certainly bringing awareness of the current plight of the honeybee to a larger audience is not going to hurt the cause.

Enough said, give it a few minutes of your time…

More Than Honey Movie Trailer

Not sure exactly where it will show but we first noticed it on Apple iTunes a couple weeks back. If we hear of a showing we’ll spread the word! If by chance you’ve seen it, let us know what you think of the movie!

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!

WIRED Magazine

WIRED Magazine is buzzing with informational articles on Honeybees.

This post was just starting out as a collection of links to articles that I’ve been seeing in various magazines and on various websites. One of those magazines is WIRED. If you are not familiar, it is a magazine (and website) chuck full of information on today’s latest cutting edge technology and it’s impact on the world and our daily lives. Locally produced in San Francisco!

This month’s mag has an article on Honey Counterfeiters and individuals responsible for tracking and identifying falsely labeled honey – BIG business evidently! The article is titled, “The Hive Minder: Pollen Detective Tracks Down Honey Counterfeiters”. Unfortunately they have not released it on their site – you’ll have to pick up the mag as of this post. However, and what I really wanted to get to with this post, is the broad collection of articles on honeybees they do have to read. Below is a list with links. We found them all very interesting and worth highlighting for our followers (oldest to newest):

A lot of these focus on the plight of the honeybee and their decline over the past few years. Others focus on interesting facets of honeybees – who knew they might have personalities!? As we stated at the beginning of this BLOG, information is power, so we appreciate the thorough coverage that WIRED magazine has been providing it’s readers.

Are you a fan of WIRED Magazine? Is there another informational resource you think is equally as good? If so, let us know as we like spreading the “good word” on Honeybees!

Humboldt Honeybee Heroes

Marla Spivak and Brian Gross doing their part for honeybees.

Hey folks, Brand Foreman here. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must state that I am a graduate of Humboldt State University (’89 – ’94 / Art Major w/Speech Comm Minor) and proud of it. And yes if you do your math right, I was on the (5) year plan. I received my Alumni Magazine recently and was pleased to find Marla (Class of ’78) and Brian (Instructor of Economics) written up.

Humboldt State is a fantastic Liberal Arts school located in Northern California that churns out very passionate students and retains phenomenal instructors. I thought it might be nice to share their honeybee focused write-ups with you all. Enjoy.


Click on images to enlarge.

An additional link to information on Marla Spivak can be found here:

A great event!

Mike Vigo, Ranch Foreman, gives a few observations on the recent showing of “Queen of the Sun, What are the Bees Telling us?” in Alameda last week.

It was a great turnout! Judging by the amount of movie goers who showed up, the plight of the honeybee is important to many people throughout Alameda and the East Bay.

A lot of people asked how they could support honeybees? You can help out the honeybee in many ways; by planting “bee friendly” vegetation, supporting your local beekeeper by buying local honey and having a backyard hive! Here is a great resource for identifying the right plants for a bee friendly garden:

Urban Bee Gardens

There is always a “silver lining, in every dark cloud”. The recent malaise of the honeybee has energized a ton of research and worked to help better understand why the bees are disappearing and that is a positive step forward.

Thanks to all who turned out to support this event sponsored by Alameda Marketplace. It was a pleasure to meet all the folks I spoke with that night and it was great to see Alameda’s supportive, honeybee loving Community!

Did you make the movie night? Did you enjoy the event? Tell us what you thought!

For more information on the movie, click HERE!

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.

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!

Hive Down

Well we can’t say this is how we wanted to start our BLOG but it does in many respects highlight the difficulties that local (and cross country) bee keepers / ranchers are having. Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of focus on what many experts are calling Colony collapse disorder. What it is exactly and how it strikes our friendly Honeybees has yet to be pinned down. All the experts know is that there has been a significant decline in healthy honeybee colonies across the nation (and parts of Europe).

As for the pics above and below, an unfortunate sight. One of our favorite backyard colonies – dead. Definitely not Colony collapse disorder but the effects of Varroa destructor – mites. This past Fall, we confirmed that several of our fellow bee keepers around the East Bay got hit pretty hard by mites. Something we all watch for. It is preventable but not always caught in time.

The intent of the Bee Rancher BUZZ BLOG is to provide and share information and news – both the good, and the bad (as in this case) to our clients and fellow Honeybee lovers all over the Bay Area. As they say, information is power and hopefully we can channel some of that power toward helping our local Honeybee populations.

Are you a San Francisco Bay Area beekeeper? Did you have difficulties with mites this past year (2011)? If so we’d like to hear about it and how you are dealing with them.