Busy Peninsula Bees

Ranch Foreman gets highlighted in local article.

We were pleased to get some press on the clients we work with on the Peninsula. The article was posted on the The Almanac. Great article highlighting several beekeepers working within the area. Worth a download (PDF) of the printed version. Take 5 minutes and give it a read if you are interested in what we are up to on the Peninsula. Click the link below to take you there.

The Almanac, Print Issue April 9th, 2014

Almonds = Healthy Start to 2014

pop_helpThe 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.

Enjoy the spring and pray for more rain!!

BeeRancher

Harvest Time!

An inside perspective by Ranch Foreman, Mike Vigo.

04_Leigh_Anne_StumpThere are certain times of the beekeeping season that I can’t stand and then there are some that I can’t wait for.

July/August are 2 months of the season which I despise due to the typical summer dearth where there are not many flowers in bloom, which means a lack of food, which means the bees need to be fed if they don’t have adequate honey/pollen stores built up from the spring. Think livestock.

The Fall, however, is harvest season and a rewarding time for those who are lucky enough to have honey to harvest. As a beekeeper, my #1 satisfaction comes from maintaining a healthy colony that survive the winter time. The 2nd best thing is harvesting honey.

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The harvest time is exciting for me because of all of you. More often then not when I show up for an extraction at your house I am greeted with friends and family of yours who are curious/interested/fascinated by the extraction process and the wonderment of the honeybee. It is a perfect setting to talk/educate anyone about honeybees. Everyone seems to walk away with a better understanding of how important the honeybee is to all of us and how fun beekeeping can be.

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This Fall harvest season was similar to last year in that overall, I harvested or am about to harvest the same amount of honey as last year. The difference is I am harvesting less honey in Lamorinda and San Mateo county then last year and quite a bit more in Alameda. Alameda is the oasis for a honeybee. The environment seems ripe for the honeybee to survive and they really do a terrific job in storing excess honey for the beekeeper to extract. I am guessing they do so well there vs. the other counties because the fog rolls in, cools and dampens the vegetation, rolls out as the sun comes out which helps to sustain any bloom longer. The other 2 counties are hotter and drier and, with the lack of rains, the bloom does not stay for long. In fact, early reports in California are suggesting the 2013 Honey harvest will be another tough year in terms of yield.

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So, enjoy your honeybees, enjoy any honey you reap and enjoy these pictures from a harvest I did earlier in the month in Alameda. The photos are all courtesy of Leigh-Anne Stump who was invited by her friend to participate in the harvest. Her pictures did an amazing job of capturing the essence of a small, local harvest.

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More Than Honey

Looks to be a great movie here.

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The short movie trailer is definitely eye catching and some of the cinematography looks amazing. The storyline of the intertwined relationship of honeybees to BIG agriculture (California Almond Crop) certainly seems compelling. We are obviously not yet sure where we’ll stand at the end of the film but certainly bringing awareness of the current plight of the honeybee to a larger audience is not going to hurt the cause.

Enough said, give it a few minutes of your time…

More Than Honey Movie Trailer

Not sure exactly where it will show but we first noticed it on Apple iTunes a couple weeks back. If we hear of a showing we’ll spread the word! If by chance you’ve seen it, let us know what you think of the movie!

Honeybee Health

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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.

Mike Vigo
Ranch Foeman
The Bee Ranchers, LLC
925-519-0560

Wonderful Beekeeping Video

3:32 of time you won’t regret giving up!

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Every once in awhile you come across something that is so good you feel compelled to share it with a broader audience. This video is a great example of just one of those instances. A beautiful, informative and intimate micro-documentary focused on a well known Bay Area beekeeper and honey supplier. A great story of rooftop beekeeping success in the heart of San Francisco. An episode (and image) of “the City Exposed” courtesy of Mike Kepka and SF Gate.

Watch the video here: the City Exposed: Rooftop Beekeeping

Enjoy, we sure did!

Outstanding job Mike Kepka!