Spring 2016 Package Installation

Yesterday, I finished up installing the last of 51 3-lb packages of honeybees I bought from Pendell Apiaries on behalf of my customers. http://www.pendellapiaries.com I love their bees they produce because they are gentle, incorporate the VSH trait (varroa sensitive hygiene) and the Pendell family are great to work with (Sheri, Frank and Joy). All of the installations went off without a hitch and I look forward to monitoring the colonies progress through the Spring and Summer.

Now for the disclaimer! Please don’t do this without a veil unless you know what you are doing and have experience installing packages. I was able to install these packages without a veil because I knew where the bees came from, I knew that they were gentle and I knew they wouldn’t be upset because they really had no home to defend. If you are a beginner installing packages or open up a hive mindlessly without a veil, expect to be stung! This slo-mo video was taken by a client while I was hiving their 3 colonies.

Feel the BUZZ!

Attune Foods, The Bee Ranchers and Whole Foods / Napa all team-up to bring better honeybee awareness to consumers. 1 out of 3 bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators!

The Bee Ranchers was recently contacted by Dawn Raggio of Attune Foods about a project they were working on with Whole Foods in Napa. After inquiring about our beehives and services, Dawn agreed to purchase one of our hives for the “Share the BUZZ” display and have it raffled off at the store.

“This is a local tie-in with Attune and Pacific Foods at the Napa Whole Foods. With the bee population decreasing, we are drawing awareness to it as much as possible in the region”.

We at The Bee Ranchers think the display looked fantastic (we especially liked the fun floor graphics) and we really appreciate the support of Attune Foods. Whenever, whatever, wherever, however, if it is in support of our local honeybee populations, we’ll try and help!

Did you happen to see the display at Whole Foods? If so, tell us what you thought! If you won the hive in the raffle, drop us a line and let us know, we’d love to hear from you.


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!