|Derek "BeeLove" Downey|
|Link to more Bee Love services|
|Bee Love School of Permaculture|
Fostering Harmonious Relations with the HoneyBee-ing
Swarming occurs primarily in March and April in this region. For $75, tag along with an experienced bee charmer (over hundred swarms caught since 2005) who will guide the process of catching your first swarm of bees and help you introduce them into your hive. For comparison, a store bought package of non-local bees will cost you about $120, with no experienced beekeeper to help you.
Swarm Removal — Davis, Dixon, Woodland, Winters, Sacramento
Did bees just show up at your doorstep uninvited? A swarm is a cluster of bees usually hanging from a tree, building, or a number of other objects. A swarm does not have any beeswax comb built yet. They are still in the process of seeking a permanent home. Please call me as soon as you spot them before they decide to move into a chimney or building wall or some other space difficult to access. This service is freely provided, however Please consider donating $20-30 to the bee charmer for his time, gas, and efforts to help the honeybees thrive in this challenging time for them! This will help guarantee this service is available in the future and help ensure Davis has enough pollinators!
Live Hive Removal — Davis, Dixon, Woodland, Winters, Sacramento
Did bees start to build comb in your wall, or off the side of your house, or some other location you don't want them? If they have been there for more than a week, it is not a swarm anymore, and removing them requires a lot more skill and caution, as they have a home to defend and will sting. Please call and describe your situation and email a picture if possible. We can provide a quote if it is something we can help you with; $150 minimum. We do not remove hives from chimneys. If the hive is in a tree cavity, it is recommended that you let them bee. This has been their home without fail for 100 million years. You may wish to install a fence around the hive entrance to entice the bees to fly up higher where there is no risk of someone getting stung. This service is available from late February through July. Note whether the bees are building comb outside (feral, exposed) or inside a structure (non-feral).
Depending on accessibility of the bees, Davis Bee Charmers will provide a quote for performing a live "cut-out", which involves cutting an access hole, removing and relocating bees and comb into bee boxes, and cleaning any residual wax/honey in the hole. Sometimes a bee vacuum is used to capture bees and released into the new bee boxes. Repairing the hole will be performed by your carpenter. After July, it becomes more costly to perform removals due to the size of a colony and higher risk of the colony not surviving the winter intact. It's always better to try to remove bees in the spring time and AS SOON AS YOU NOTICE BEES. Bees can quickly expand their colony over the spring and summer. If you wait, the bees will multiply and so will their built comb!
Local Swarms for your Hive(s)
Add yourself to the spring 2013 swarm waiting list by emailing BeeLove your phone number, and you will be notified when the next swarm is available for you. $75/swarm—includes hive installation if wanted. You are also welcome to accompany BeeLove for a Swarm-Catching Lesson!
Basic Beekeeping Lesson
Learn everything you need to know to start keeping bees this spring! (Optional) Look into a live colony of bees. (~2 hour lesson for $50)
How to Create a Bee Sanctuary in your Garden
Receive a tour of the Davis Bee Sanctuary and learn ways to attract both honeybees and some of Davis' more than 70 native bee species. Permaculture techniques in a garden are covered as well! (~1 hour lesson for $25)
Hive Removal Disclaimer
As honeybees are living insects and the Davis Bee Charmers do not employ poisons of any kind in their removal procedures, there are several outcomes Davis Bee Charmers cannot guarantee:
All bees are removed — Generally there are several bees either foraging or flying about during the removal. These sometimes do not recollect themselves with the hive before removal. They will clump around the area where the hive was previously located for several days. In some circumstances, Davis Bee Charmers may need to make several return visits or leave a box to collect the stragglers.
More bees won’t return- When Davis Bee Charmers has completed the removal, they will clean out the wax and disguise the bee scent as much as possible to prevent the location from becoming a lure to other bees. However, if you happen to live in a “bee highway” where swarms repeatedly return, they will continue to do so, just maybe in another part of your house. If this is the case, they recommend that you provide a “bait hive” – a small “nuc” box with a few frames- in a location more convenient to remove.
Uncontrollable circumstances — In some cases, the bees have located themselves in such a difficult spot that successful removal cannot be guaranteed. This is generally the case with tree hives. Unless the tree can be opened up completely, the queen will most likely just bury herself deeper in the tree. It only takes one queen to create an entire bustling hive. In such cases, they usually recommend co-existence with the bees. Unless you are allergic to them, they can be an entertaining and educational conversation piece in addition to increasing the productivity of your and your neighbors’ gardens. Africanized Bees or, as you may hear them called in the press, "Killer Bees" are not in this area (too cold). Unlike wasps, our friendly Italian bee's goal in life is not to sting you (they die if they do). If you do not harm or threaten the bees, they will not harm you.
Thus, before beginning the removal job, Davis Bee Charmers will examine your situation and give you a reasonable and informed estimate of labor involved and probability of success. Please ask any questions you have. They are in this business for the bees. It is their goal to promote the husbandry and appreciation of bees. Without them, we could not eat most of the products we consume on a daily basis.