Bee Informed

Honey Bees Got 99 Problems, Don’t Be Another One

They can actually make problems worse.  I know they mean well, those folks who begin conversations about honey bees requiring proper management care and attention by describing bees as woeful, abused victims of beekeepers.

Everyone has heard the stories about if honey bees, being left alone, would live in cozy trees, mind thrown beeswax and live in perfect harmony with the world.  Then the beekeepers showed up…

Honey bee colonies, entirely of their own volition, will move into just about any place that meets their minimum requirements for environmental and defensive purposes.  Dry, high, and warm.

Honey bee colonies will choose to build their nests in trees, caves, roofs, barns, grain bins, under decks and grills, in the eaves of a house, under the limb of a tree.  I have relocated honey bee nests from all of those places and more.  No beekeeper put them in those places.

Honey bees are incredible, terrifically wondrous creatures.  They can also be incredibly dumb.  Suicidally dumb in fact.

They will build nests in places that are almost certainly unsustainable for them.  It happens more than you’d think.  In fact, beekeepers hives are often a far greater nest site than most of the places we take them out of.

Beekeepers can often be the biggest problem honey bees have to contend with.  We have a tendency to not leave them alone.  We want to “help” them by applying treatments but fail to first understand not only proper application of said treatments but the circumstances, conditions and assessment procedures that should always precede any such treat to ensure they are necessary, required, or appropriate.

Beekeepers frequently fall into one of two common honey harvest problem groups for honey bees.  The first is harvesting too much.  The other being not harvesting enough.  Put bluntly, honey bees are one of handful of creatures that will produce more than they need.  Honey bees will make honey as long as there are nectar sources and space available.  By “space available”  I mean even to the point that they use all the space otherwise needed for the queen to lay eggs.

Honey bees will create a situation called being “honey bound” meaning they cannot grow the colony in space due to lack of hive boxes and lack of drawn comb that hasn’t already been filled with honey.  Colonies have killed themselves off or created an “abandon ship” situation by over producing honey.

Beekeepers that don’t harvest honey accordingly put bee colonies at risk as much as those who harvest too much.

Honey bees create enough actual problems for themselves as well as dealing with slew of environmental, predator and pathogenic problems they have already.  The last thing honey bees need is misinformed, overdramatic, hyperbole to distract beekeepers from becoming best informed, experienced and prepared to properly manage hives.


Making a difference for bees in Omaha

The Bee Joyful Teaching Apiary has made its home at the best place it could be at Scatter Joy Acres, a haven of animal rescue.  Joy Bartlett and her volunteers have built a great reputation for helping rescue and relocate farm animals and all kinds of other animals and bring them to a better place.  Now they can add bees to that list.

Bumblebees in the nest

Tony Sandoval of the Bee Smart beekeeping project is set to perform live rescues of bees from homes, buildings, trees and other locations and relocate them to this new home instead of them being exterminated.    The new place is called “Bee Joyful Teaching Apiary” located on-site at Scatter Joy Acres.  It’s threefold mission is to be a refuge for wayward honey bee and bumblebees colonies, to provide informative experiences for the public about bees, and to be a place for beekeepers to learn the craft and get professionally guided hands-on experience in apiculture.

The Beehooligans is a group of people who by joining, become member to a special team of people who learn and practice beekeeping skills while maintaining and supporting the teaching apiary and helping the public better understand and appreciate bees and beekeeping by participating in special activities and events for them and the visitors to Scatter Joy Acres.

You can help by :

  • Coming out to Scatter Joy Acres and visiting the animals and bees.  Your small admission fee helps take care of animals and provide valuable therapeutic services to people.
  • You can make a donation to Scatter Joy Acres to help cover the costs of rescuing and maintaining bees.  The special costs of scaffolding and other means to access bee nests in high and odd places can be substantial.
  • You can spread the word to people not to exterminate bees, but to call to have the bees rescued by our Beehooligans instead and relocated to the teaching apiary.
  • You can support Tony and the Bee Smart beekeeping project by becoming a supporter at the Bee Smart Patreon page.


Hive Working Happening At Scatter Joy Acres Teaching Apiary Tomorrow

I’ll bee ready to work on rehabbing hive boxes and putting together new boxes tomorrow at 1 pm.

We have donated hive boxes that need to be cleaned up and made usable for the new bee colonies we will go out and rescue this year.

Interns, here’s a great opportunity to come down, ask questions, find out the answers to What, How, Why, When, and even When.  Learn to identify pieces of hive equipment and much more.  $7.50 for the day.

Apprentices, take in a session of getting hands-on experience while you have someone there who won’t let you break anything (or can fix it if you do).  No stress, all fun and improving your skills.  $15.00  for the day.

After we’re done, you can get a special deal on going through the rest of the farm to see what Joy and the gang’s and visit the special critters living there.

Learn about bee hives, beekeeping equipment and support Bee rescue all at the same time.


Help Us Rescue Bees This Year

I’ve taken the Bee Smart beekeeping project into an active project role by basing our activities and education at the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres in the Florence neighborhood of Omaha.

Scatter Joy Acres is already all about animal rescue with dozens of farm animals and even a camel being brought home there.  Why not join forces and make it a home for rescued bees as well?

And so we have.  When you contact me at the Bee Smart beekeeping project here to come and capture swarms that have landed on your property or to do a live removal of bee nests from inside a building or the ground, we’re talking about honey bees and bumblebees here, myself and the Beehooligans will come out and get them at as low a cost as possible to you.  Perhaps at no cost to you at all.

Instead of unnecessarily killing bees that have moved into the wrong place, those bees can be rescued and used to teach people about bees and beekeeping at the teaching apiary.

If you know of bees that need to be rescued this coming year, please call me at 402-370-8018 to schedule a live bee rescue and relocation to the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres.

What The Beehooligans Are Doing On Feb 17th

As you may or may not know, I am in the process of setting up a teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres in the Florence area of Omaha.

Along with my Bee Smart Crew, we will be doing the work of setting up and operating a productive honey and beeswax producing apiary.  This allows includes opportunities for area beekeepers and beekeepers-to-be to have a place to get actual “hands-on” training and experience doing beekeeping things with guidance and supervision of experienced apiarists.

You can come down to Scatter Joy Acres this Saturday February 17th starting at 1pm to be an Intern or Apprentice and get some quality training and practice in.

You decide if you will mostly just watch and learn (an Intern) or if you will get hands-on (an Apprentice).  To participate as an Intern for one session is only $7.50 per intern.  To participate as an Apprentice for one session is only $15.00 per apprentice.

Everyone wins here.  You get valuable experience and instruction for a very reasonable price while Scatter Joy Acres gets an apiary on site to provide educational experiences and raise money.

This month we are building and repairing bee hives.

Afterwards, you can take advantage if already being there and support Scatter Joy Acres by taking a tour of the farm and visiting the animals that have been rescued.  (Only $5.00 which helps them keep things going).


OK beehooligans.
I got the most recently updated class schedule for all of the beekeeping classes being offered through Metro Community College at the new North Express location.
The classes are all on Saturdays from 10 am till 1 pm beeginning April 7th, 2018.
The classes are NOT listed in the paper or online Spring catalog for MCC due to timing of class listing. You can still register for the classes listed on the Bee Smart website by calling the phone number(s) listed in the class description.
Please visit the Bee Classes page and go to April and May on the embedded calendar to get the class information for each class being offered.
The Applied Beekeeping class, a hands-on class, will bee the only class NOT at the North Express MCC location. It will take place at the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres instead.

Spring Beekeeping Classes at MCC

Hello folks.  As promised, I am getting the beekeeping classes to be offered in the Spring quarter at the new MCC location here on the Bee Smart beekeeping project website.

If you go starting at the April 2018 calendar on the Bee Classes page here, you will find the Saturday classes listed which include the class registration number for each class and the phone number to call to register for the classes.

The classes were entered after the listing date for the catalog so unfortunately you won’t bee able to register online or see the classes listed in the Spring catalog.  We expect to have the next series of classes included in the catalogs and able to enroll online for the Summer quarter.

Don’t worry if you only find the April classes listed at first.  As the other beekeeping classes are updated, I will add them to the calendar.

Bees at beekeeping classes

So I have verification that beginning this April I am teaching basic level beekeeping classes at Metro Community College this Spring again.  There’s a full line up of in depth classes that include plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion in each one.

We’ll hold the classes at the new MCC location on North 30th St just somewhat North of Cummings St. If I recall hearing correctly.  I’ll post the specific address when I post the actual class line up in the near future.

While I liked the location at DoSpace, this location will allow me to bring a live observation hive to each class for up close inspection and demonstration of each topic as we’re discussing it.  I wasn’t able to bring the live bees into the building when the classes were at DoSpace due to building management concerns.

So, beekeeping classes, check.  Live bees at classes, check.  Wide variety of topics covered related to apicultural success, check.

I am looking forward to providing information and camaraderie to fellow bee people this coming Spring.  Hope to see you there.

Beekeeping Classes Resume This Spring At MCC

I am kicking off a new basic level series of beekeeping classes at Metro Community College this Spring in April.  Unfortunately, the classes didn’t make the cut for the catalog but they will be available.  I will post all the relevant registration information on this website when the class details are released.

These are not short version classes but are offered in detail with comprehensive information about each subject to help beekeepers to make more informed decisions in their apicultural efforts.

Intern/Apprentice Opportunity For Apiary Planning Session

This Saturday, January 27 at 1pm, there is an open Intern/Apprentice opportunity available to learn about and assist in an apiary planning session at and for the new teaching apiary, Bee Joyful Apiary, at Scatter Joy Acres in the Florence neighborhood of Omaha, NE.

We will be outdoors, dress for the weather.  Interns come in at $7.50/person and Apprentices are $15.00/person.

Interns are observing and able to ask questions.  Apprentices will be given opportunities to participate in the process with direction from Apiarist.

Call 402-370-8018 to get more information.   Ask for Tony.