The Bee Ranchers concluded their 1st trip out to the almond pollination earlier this week and the whole experience worked out as planned. Each hive started with 8 frames of bees and all came back with 18-20 frames of bees, pollen and honey stores! I trailered the hives home Tuesday night, made some splits Wednesday morning and delivered the hives back to their true home Wednesday night to take advantage of the Bay Area spring nectar flow that is upon us. These hives are in much stronger shape to go after the spring nectar flow here in the Bay Area then the ones left behind. With a little luck, we might have some Bee Rancher spring honey for sale in a few months!
I even had an old friend stop by and help out. I bet if you asked him 30 years ago when we first met that one day he would be helping me tend to my bees, he would have said not a chance. Well, fast forward 30 years and there he is, in the middle of 100’s of thousands of bees, helping me out. He was able to overcome his apprehension of bees and I was able to educate him about the importance of honeybees. It is nice to know that 1 more individual out there knows a little more about honey bees. As a beekeeper, I feel educating people to the best of my ability is one of my main responsibilities besides tending to the welfare of my bees.
The Bee Ranchers support the efforts of Project Apis m.
Hello to all the Bee Rancher supporters!
The Bee Ranchers, LLC is excited to announce our support of the non-profit honeybee research group, Project Apis m. http://www.projectapism.org/. With every Bee Ranchers bee hive kit we deploy in the field since the founding of our company in 2011, we will donate $10 to Project Apis m. in support of honeybee research. We have always felt it is important to support the efforts of groups that are focusing their energies on the health of the honeybee and we feel Project Apis m. is the best, most direct way to do that.
Project Apis m. is the largest non-governmental, non-profit bee research funding organization in the USA whose Board Members are well known, active beekeepers in the beekeeping community. PAm is funded by both beekeepers and growers throughout the country whose main goal is to enhance the health of honeybees, improve crop production potential and seek practical solutions for managed colonies.
Their research efforts will certainly help you and I maintain healthy, backyard beehives. I encourage you to peruse PAm’s website, sign up for their newsletter and support them anyway you can. I have included their link on The Bee Ranchers website as well. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me via phone or email.
Thank you for your continued interest in honeybees.
The Bee Ranchers, LLC
Late last year we mentioned that Ranch Foreman Mike checked our hive and reported that it did not look like it was doing well. Unfortunately I have to report that the hive did not make it through the Winter and we are saddened!
This was a tough season for honeybees and beekeeping. Ours was not the only hive to be lost. Several of our clients lost hives. In some respects it is a bit of a head scratcher but it is also a reality. Not all hives thrive at the same intensity as others. Some of our hives that were booming right out of the gate in early Spring struggled during the cold season. Some of the ones that were looking suspect did great through Winter. Always hard to predict Mother Nature.
Our garden is just not the same as when they were around. They definitely brought a sense of energy and level of activity to our yard. They are truly missed.
Come mid-April we’ll start over again with a new batch of bees. We’ll be eagerly awaiting their arrival and will welcome them to our home!
How did your bees do this year? Drop us a line to let us know!
As a small business owner, I realize that how I treat my clients is of the utmost importance. I am proud of the service and education I provide my clients with and enjoy the testimonials they in turn send to us. I’d love to share a recent testimonial from a happy client:
To all aspiring bee enthusiasts,
I have been working with Mike Vigo of The Bee Ranchers since fall of 2011. After 2 years of a futile attempt by another “bee keeper“ I was introduced to Mike and the result was an exciting and immediate turnaround of growing positive momentum. His experience, knowledge and level of service takes this art to a fascinating and rewarding space for me. Nothing like enhancing your environment, watching the activity of the bees and harvesting your own honey!
For anyone interested in beekeeping at any level, please offer Mike any courtesies available and he will guide you from “start to finish“ keeping you well informed along the way.
I am sincerely thankful to Chris and all of my great clients that enable me to do what I enjoy doing best, supporting local honeybee populations within the Bay Area and sharing my knowledge with those with similar interests.
We’re pleased to see that Alameda Marketplace has their own private label honey on the shelves now!
As many of you know Alameda Marketplace has been a great client of The Bee Ranchers. Earlier this year, they purchased hives from us and hired Mike to maintain them. The hives are located throughout Alameda as well as on their rooftop.
It’s wonderful to see the fruits (nectar) of their passion and dedication come to reality with the end result being jars of wonderful local honey to sell to the residents of Alameda. And as Donna Layburn (owner) states, “The real focus is to educate our customers about the importance of honeybees and the environment. The honey just happens to be a very sweet, tasty and healthy by-product of supporting (ranching) honeybees”.
Once again we salute Alameda Marketplace for their dedication to support local honeybees and for being such a great client / collaborator in this important effort.
For those of you who are curious… mellifera? CLICK HERE
Some of you may remember the last “Hive Dairy” where I expressed my excitement at the fact that I’d have honey very soon. That was back on June 27th!
Well mother nature and certainly Honeybees work in mysterious ways and can’t always be counted on to deliver the goods when you might predict they will. So (8) weeks later and we have confirmation that our Honeybees are in the Super and capping pure honey.
Mike, Ranch Foreman, came by to check the hive last week and said that almost half of our frames were drawn out with capped honey! This is great news. And I should have known as I was beginning to get very strong wafts of honey when near the hive recently – you literally can smell it.
So no predictions this time, it is just good to know that our bees are happy healthy and productive. Mike informed me that our hive was the most productive in the Lamorinda area. So perhaps we’ll get some jars of honey this season – PERHAPS!
Do you have a hive in the Lamorinda area? How is yours doing? Would be great to hear how other folks / apiarists are doing this season.
First ever honeybee hive is installed at the White House!
With the heated political environment these days, the last thing we wanted to do is go anywhere near the topic. But we did stumble upon one cool thing that does deserve some support and viewing. So Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Greens, lets all put our differences aside for a few minutes and watch a video highlighting the White House honeybees and their hive. Certainly something we all can agree upon, the support of the honeybee population.
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.
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!