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.


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)!

Spring swarms & Spring training!

We wanted to let all of our clients/followers know that we are just beginning to hit the swarming season for bees. This typically starts in the Spring time, right around the start of baseball season as you’ll see through the following video. GO GIANTS!

Swarm of bees delays Giants-Diamondbacks game

Honeybees will at times decide to leave a hive and start a new colony. They often will gorge themselves with honey and leave the hive on search for a new home. Typically what we see is a mass of honeybees clinging to random objects, trees, decks, automobiles, traffic lights, dug-outs, you name it and they might swarm it. Fortunately they do not swarm humans. In fact when honeybees display this behavior it is good to know they are at their most docile – due to being gorged with honey.

If you see a swarm, don’t panic! It is actually quite an interesting sight from a safe distance. Obviously if reachable, don’t let kids or animals mess with them. If you have time and are not alarmed, just let them be and they will most likely move on to their next location within 48 hours. If you do want them removed, give us a call and we’ll hive them and provide a new and safe home for the colony free of charge. And under no circumstances let anyone tell you to eradicated / kill them, which in our minds would be a tragedy.

“Leading the bees away with cotton candy and lemonade” sounds a bit suspicious to us!?

Mike Vigo / 925-519-0560

The picture below is one of my “Ranch hands” taking care of and collecting a swarm off of a parked vehicle.

Have you ever witnessed a swarm before? Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever witnessed a swarm? We’d like to hear your stories, drop us a line.