Swarm on the range!

Ranch foreman gets lucky!


Mike (Ranch Foreman) has put his time in driving around and assisting folks in taking care of and capturing swarms. In fact he has driven around all over the Bay Area in this effort. So you can imagine his surprise when he ran into a swarm at the Bee Rancher staging range! A couple pics of the action.

Remember, if you see a swarm, don’t be alarmed! They are at their most docile state. Give them some space and call an expert to relocate them. Never harm the bees or let someone call an exterminator.

Honeybees are a priceless resource for our environment and well being.


Swift Real Estate Partners doing the right thing!

In this day and age when most of us think about how fast and cost effective we handle certain obstacles that confront us, it is refreshing to know that some people and businesses overcome barriers the right way instead of the most cost effective way.


Case in point, Swift Real Estate Partners of San Francisco.

I was contacted by SREP to help them with a feral colony of honeybees that had made their home in the 3rd floor planter box at one of their buildings they own in Concord. They didn’t mind the bees necessarily, but on windy days the bee’s flight pattern would end up closer to the sidewalk and entrance of the building to the point that they were becoming a nuisance to visitors and tenants entering the front doors. SREP could have very easily dealt with the honeybees by poisoning the bees and leaving it at that. Instead, they hired the Bee Ranchers to come out and remove the bees, re-hive them in a Bee Ranchers bee hive kit, re-locate them to another location on their property and have the Bee Ranchers manage the colony!


A couple of weeks ago I went out to the site to meet up with SREP who had gone to the expense of renting a lift so that I could get up to the 3rd floor planter and remove the bees. Once I was lifted up to the planter to begin the removal process I discovered the bees had absconded their hive. After removing the planters to get to the empty comb it looks as if these bees left due to lack of food stores. The comb was beautiful and the bees had attached it to the underside of the planter boxes in the void underneath the planters.


Although we were not successful and end up with bees, we did clean up the site, we discussed ways to prevent bees from coming back and the Bee Ranchers was able to educate a few more people on honeybees and why they are so vital to preserve.

I tip my hat to Swift Real Estate Partners for going the extra mile to help out our friend the honeybee.

All photos courtesy of Swift Real Estate Partners.


BUZZing Real Estate Market

3 bedroom, 2 bath and backyard with really cool beehive!


Luckily the owners who had been remodeling this house for over a year were not bothered by the natural beehive that had developed in the olive tree of their backyard. They were however not keen on keeping it there once they moved in. Thankfully they were smart enough to call a friend of Mike’s to inquire about removal/rescue option.

Mike’s friend called him for assistance on the job. Mike was a bit surprised as it was in the dead of winter and roughly 32 degrees out. Mike curiously accepted the Mission.

When they got to the home they were blown away at what they saw 15’ up in the tree. Long story short, they were able to “smoke” the bees a couple times to calm them, cut the main support branch and lower it carefully into a lined garbage can for transport.


The hive is currently at Mike’s friends house with a brood box placed over it. The theory is the bees will naturally migrate up into the brood box and happily establish themselves in the bee box. This should take a few months to happen.

Mike was amazed at this hive having little protection from wind, rain and cold, yet it was absolutely thriving! A testimony to how adaptive and strong honeybees can be.


A very beautiful example of organic architecture.

Ever run into a natural beehive like this? We’d love to hear about it!

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)!