Hungry Honeybees

For those who have never seen a honeybee eat!

This short video was taken right after a harvest in the East Bay. There were a few drops of honey on a pan that Mike left out for the bees to eat up. And they definitely did. The most interesting part (IMHO) is watching them use their proboscis to lick/suck up the honey. Turns out there are a lot of critters out there that have them!!! Check out the link above.

Good buzzing audio on this too!

Enjoy!

The Hive Diary / PART 3

Our Bees have been busy!

Mike came over to our house in the East Bay last week to check in on the hive. I made sure that I was there to capture the moment. I wasn’t sure what kind of lens I should shoot with thinking my telephoto might be good from a distance. Mike cautiously assured me that I would not need that. I’m happy to report that he was right. His observation of many of his hives have been that the bees have pretty mellow so far (you’ll note he is not wearing gloves during this check).

Mike took off the lid of the hive which show cased some “burr comb”. This is comb the honeybees have made between or on top of the frames. In order to maintain the hive properly this “burr comb” needs to be removed – typically scraped off with a special tool. If you are lucky, there will be some honey in it to taste.

Mike checked the frames and said the hive was very healthy and looked to be productive. He added a second Brood Chamber on top and went on his way. If all goes according to plan, Mike thinks we may extract some honey in August.

I really enjoyed seeing the inner workings of an active hive first hand.

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.

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.

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!