Bee Informed

How Do You Do it? Hive assembly poll – fasteners

What type of fasteners do you use when building hive boxes?

Visit the Bee Smart Forum after the poll and give us the details about how you build your boxes.

Bee Smart with the Beehooligans, Episode 22

  • Yappy, Antnee G, Tony S, and a “never too late” jump in by Schawee.
Hive Management is the general topic, vaguely…

*When to add space to the hive
*What is a “strong” colony
*A Washboarding theory by Yappy
*The “Treatment vs No Treatment” scuttlebut
*Big Bear throwing down against hive problems
*Newbee time with Antnee G: Feeding hives, Ants, How to spot a flow

A Beehooligans Podcontest

That’s right friends and neighbors, we are going to get the real deal kicked off and have ourselves a contest.  Let’s find out how much you pay attention to the Beehooligans.

This Saturday we will post a question about something discussed by one of the Beehooligans during a previous podcast.  It can come from any of the podcasts up until this last one.   We will give a clue about the episode the quote or comment came from but we won’t actually give the episode name or number.

The first person to reply in the comments section of the post with the correct answer to the question will bee the big winner.  The prize will be announced in the clue post.

Come on you rascals, show us how well you know these Beehooligans and win some Bee Smart Swag.

Beekeeping should bee fun

If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Burn out in beekeeping is one of the most common problems beekeeping as a practice has to contend with.  Whether it’s due to frustration with bee dilemmas, dealing with other beekeepers, access to or lack of access, to research and quality information, it can get to you.

You need to make it fun to have longevity as a beekeeper.  Bees can be ornery stinkers, foul tempered and obstinate just as easily as they can be industrious, docile and endearing.  I like to encourage people to engage with the colonies like you would a dog or other animal.  I admit to the habit of talking, even arguing with my bees.  Why?  Because it’s fun.

Being a professional apiarist can be even more stressful.  There are expectations of you by the customers and clients who are paying you.  You likely have pretty high expectations of yourself knowing how your actions and advice can influence and affect others.    Take my advice, keep things low key.  Build being a relaxed, and humor having type of personality with your base.  Your attitude will set the pace for everyone else.  If you keep things relaxed and low stress, others will tend to follow along.  After all, you are the expert.  Lead by example.  It works the same with people as it does with bees.  If you stay calm, they will too in most cases.

Regardless of whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, let your passion take the lead from time to time.  Let yourself be excited and enthusiastic while working  on beekeeping “stuff”.  It’s fine to be stoic and straight-laced when it’s called for.  You are involved in one of the world’s oldest and oft considered “wildest” activities endeavors.  This almost demands that you allow a bit of your eccentricities off the leash unless entirely inappropriate (like at a funeral or a bank loan meeting).

And truly, don’t let stupid suck you in.  There will be people, there will ALWAYS be people, who feel the need to contradict, argue, nag, be contentious, etc… that want to make your life a drag, especially in front of others.  That’s how they build themselves up, by bringing others down. Even in beekeeping, walk away from the stupid.  You can’t fix it, it will not only win, it will try to get it’s hooks into your head too.  Just learn to let things go and just like live bee removals, you can’t save them all.  It’s hard, I know, oh boy, do I ever know.  My truck…. start telling the horniest, worst bee puns you can think of.  Just see how bad you can make them.  Once you’ve gotten yourself to make or even laugh at yourself over those, you’ll be OK.

Beekeeping should be fun.  Bee classes, bee clubs, bee meetings etc… should all be fun.  If not, someone’s doing something wrong.

The “point” of professional bee removal

There is a purpose and a point to being differentiated as a “professional” live bee removal specialist.  That being that it introduces the person as someone who is doing this as a means to make a living and that they will complete the task to the needs and requirements of the customer.

Most hobbyist and amateur live bee removal people are in it for themselves to obtain more bee colonies.  That’s fine as long as everyone involved understands that.  The amateur/hobbyist fills a need in the marketplace for low cost or even no cost to the customer removals.  They generally take the “low hanging fruit” or the less challenging stuff.  That’s a good thing.

Being a professional though requires bringing more to the table.  Proper tools and equipment, liability insurance, sometimes having certain required or desirable certifications or registrations, etc…  these are all overhead that need to be covered.  The cost of doing business if you will.

The paying customer needs someone who can de-escalate a potentially unsafe situation with bees.  They need someone to, at a minimum, remove the nest whenever possible and prepare the voidspace to prevent re-habitation by future swarms.  Also, there is a need to prepare the newly emptied space to be closed up again and repaired properly.  This is important whether doing the repair yourself or if someone else will follow up afterwards.

The professional live removal specialist has to accept that not every colony will be able to be saved and finish the job as best as possible regardless.  It’s not just about getting bees to take home.  That’s not guaranteed.  Getting the job done right should be the first focus for the professional.

Live removal professionals often end up taking the more challenging jobs because they have the experience, time, equipment and resources necessary to do so.

You have to bee honest with customers about what you can do.  If you bite off more than you can chew, your setting yourself, the customer and likely the bees, up for failure.

Live bee removal as a professional service specialty is still a burgeoning area.  More and more pest control companies are reluctant to kill bees and in some jurisdictions, is even illegal or highly discouraged.

In many situations, insurance companies or localities require that work be done on buildings and other structures by an insured, professional service provider.  In many of those situations the bees do often end up being killed because there are no professional live removal specialists around.

There’s no need for animosity or negativity between hobbyists\amateurs and professionals in this area.  As awareness grows and urban sprawl continues to take harborage away from nesting bees, there is plenty to be done for the industrious and self initiating bee person.

Bee Smart Retool

Hello folks, as some have observed, between some glitches with the podcasts and a slowdown in posting here on the website, we’ve seen a slowdown in making content available.

Direction has been one part of it while tech troubles have been the other.  If there’s one thing I dislike the most is re-inventing the wheel.    I want to help beekeepers be successful by knowing how and what to “do” in various and different situations.

So I would like to hear from you.  What would you like to see a “walk-through” done on?  We will be putting together beekeeping project “walk-throughs” as posts, videos and discussed on the podcasts.  Is there something you would like to see a step-by-step done on?  

We will be putting out spec sheets, check-lists, fan’s and more strategic and tactical content for beekeepers here.  Essentially, the point is to help people know what to do, how to do it, why to do it when and even if it should be done under certain conditions.

Not only that, we want to use the member forum here on the website to ask and answer questions about things you are working on.  Not just how-to but talk about your creative and inventive beekeeping related projects.

I’m thinking “Chilton’s” for beekeeping.  Hopefully, you find it useful as we try to get you content that helps you do what you want and need to do.

Podcast Peculiarities

Hey folks,  I apologize that the podcast hasn’t gotten posted for a bit.  I’m working on a tech glitch that doesn’t want to go away.  I should have the next episodes up shortly that will be available regularly again.

I always try to remind folks, we’re professional beekeepers here, not professional podcasters so there is still a bit of a learning curve.  Thanks for sticking with us though.