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!

Whoa! What was that?



Well if you are an inhabitant of the San Francisco Bay Area then last weekend most likely gave you a serious dose of Spring Fever! That is especially true for me, Brand Foreman for the Bee Ranchers. My family and I spent a fabulously warm sunday enjoying a picnic overlooking Mt. Diablo. Both the honeybees and the bumblebees were out in force. Let’s just say that it awoke me from my blogging hibernation of the past (2) months. Wintertime is definitely our slow season.

That being said, ( YAWN and BIG stretch ) we’re ready to shake off Old Man Winter and get right into supplying you with some fresh Springtime posts on the blog. In fact I can’t wait for the next post which I know will blow you away. Without giving too much away, it involved a hive rescue that Mike, Ranch Foreman, conducted with a friend in Wintertime – the pics are amazing and I promise this is not just BLOG GUILT hype!

Stay tuned this week for the post!

And for those of you in the Midwest and East Coast still enduring the cold, just pretend you never read this!

Hive Diary / PART 7

Hive #001 Down?


Well as we stated when we started this BLOG just over a year ago, we want to share the good and the bad with you all. There was a lot of good news to report over the past year! Unfortunately we have a spot of bad news to report.

Mike came to check our hive a couple weeks back during his normal rounds and found very few bees within our hive. Mike was able to find the Queen but the population of the hive struck Mike as extremely low in numbers. This hive has always been observed as healthy. Naturally a hive’s population begins to thin out as Winter draws near, this did not strike Mike as a natural drop.

Mike reduced the hive down to just one brood chamber and we’ve inserted a entry restricter to help them defend the hive from “robber bees”. There is plenty of food stores for the size of the colony so now it will be a waiting and closely observing game.


The unfortunate prognosis Mike gave is that there is a very real chance this hive will not survive the Winter. Very sad.

We’ll keep you posted on how things go over the next month or two. Wish us and our honeybees luck!

Have you had any issues with your hive this year? Drop us a line to tell us about it.

Honeybees & Your Garden

We’ve done a lot of talking about how honeybees benefit us humans but not too much on how they benefit a garden. They truly are a natural addition to any garden or landscape. You could say they are mutually beneficial to one another. Honeybees are fantastic pollinators (keeping our flowers, veggies and trees producing) and a blooming garden is basically a wonderful foraging/food source for the bees.

So as we go into winter time I’ve found that letting some of my plants and herbs go to flower has been great nectar source for my bees. Specifically I’ve let my basil plants go to flower and the bees have just gone crazy for them. So as wintertime comes upon us and flowering plants become less and less available, it is nice to give the bees a few last options in the yard.

So I say, rather then tear out the veggie/herb garden and prep your beds for winter, let them go a little bit longer and your local honeybees will thank you!