The First Step To Rescuing Local Bees Is

Hi, my name is Tony Sandoval, AKA, “Big Bear” and I run the Bee Smart beekeeping project.  It’s all about bee conservation, beekeeper hands-on experience and increasing public information.

The local bee conservation is a big part of the whole thing.  Can’t train beekeepers or give the public unique learning experiences without bees.

Every year, there are calls made by home owners, property management companies and others to have bees, usually honey bees or bumblebees, gotten rid of.  Only some of those removed actually don’t need to be moved, they’re not in a place to hurt anyone, the people just aren’t wanting to tolerate them.

Still others have chosen inconvenient nest locations that result in unfortunate interactions that might be public safety or health issues. Such as when they move into the wall or roof of a house or building.  They might have chosen a ground nest location where there is a lot of human and animal traffic.

Most of these unfortunate situations are resolved by extermination.  What’s really sad is they don’t have to be exterminated.  They can usually be removed and relocated alive.

Why don’t people choose relocation more often?  Cost is one factor.  It’s actually a pest management issue.  The Bees have moved into a location that puts them at odds with people thus being considered pests.

When most people think of “pest management”  they think of extermination first.  However, pest management is more than extermination.  It’s prevention, it’s relocation, it’s release.  Extermination is usually the last resort if there is no immediate, mortal threat.  Yet it’s usually the first choice by people who don’t want the bees there.

Bee rescue begins with public education and is quickly followed by people choosing live removal instead of extermination.  Bee rescue starts before I get a phone call.  You have to want to keep the bees alive.

In Nebraska, by law, any bee removal from a building, any building, includes complete removal of the nest.  Most pest control companies are great at killing bees but rarely, if ever, remove the nest.  They’re supposed to, but they don’t.  It’s easier to apply a pesticide and let them die where they are.

In a live removal though, the entire nest is removed.  When I do a live removal, not only is the nest removed, the space is treated to prevent attracting new critters and filled to prevent re-inhabitation.  To top it off, I consult the contractor on how to properly seal the repair so it isn’t an entry point again.

Most people have no idea how poorly their houses and buildings are sealed to allow pest entry.  Modern, rushed, construction methods and old, settling buildings have hundreds of entrance points for small things to get in.

I work with contractors and bring apprentice beekeepers to get the bees, remove the nest, leave the nest site better than it was before and take the bees somewhere they can have unharmed and productive lives.

You have to make the decision to call me instead of an exterminator before any of that can happen though.  Which, when you do call me, makes you the hero.  You made the important decision, I’m just carrying it out.

Bee a hero, choose bee conservation instead of extermination.  The bees you save could be pollinators to the local farmer market produce you eat.  They could be the producer of the next jar of honey you buy.  They could be the inspiration and teacher of the next generation of beekeepers.

You can make that possible.  Bee a hero and choose live removal.

You can get a free inspection by calling me at 402-370-8018.  Ask for Tony.  We’ll come to an arrangement where every one wins, the bees, you, and the community that needs them.

 

 

Bee Smart, Bee Active, Bee Happy

The Bee Smart beekeeping project is about conservation, education and training, and having fun.

Bee Smart is set up to rescue and relocate honey bees and bumblebees from locations where they are at risk of extermination or due to circumstances of location, pose a threat or risk.  The Bees are taken alive as much as possible and relocated eventually to the new teaching apiary that is being hosted at Scatter Joy Acres, which is an acreage that focuses on animal rescue and animal therapy.

Through the Bee Smart beekeeping project I have developed a series of beekeeping classes for people that want to learn about bees and beekeeping or expand their knowledge base if they are already involved in beekeeping.  There is also an upcoming series of Bee Smart classes focused on native bees found in North America and especially in our local area.  These classes are for a gone curious to know more about how to identify and provide habitat for native bees.

Most of these classes are offered through places like Metro Community College and hopefully soon at nature and garden attractions like Lauritzen Gardens.  They can be provided to private and non-profit organizations as well by appointment.

At the developing Bee Joyful Teaching Apiary at Scatter Joy Acres, apprentice beekeepers can get hands-on experience learning skills by doing them.  These folks are called my “Beehooligans” and are often active in apicultural adventures such as assisting with live bee rescues, capturing swarms, maintaining the hives, and harvesting from the hives.

One of the fun aspects is doing the bi-monthly podcast which is like a radio show on the internet.  These are recorded live at the ranch and any Beehooligans attending that particular day are welcome to sit in and chat about all things bees and beekeeping.

By being a “Beehooligan”, people can gain practical experience, work alongside others with the same interest, and build a network or support for themselves and each other.  On top of that, if a person wants to be involved in beekeeping but doesn’t have the space or other things necessary to keep bees on their own, this gives them the opportunity to still be a beekeeper at the teaching apiary.

Get involved with the Bee Smart beekeeping project.  Learn more, do more, enjoy it more.

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.

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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.

Beehooligans JPtheBeeman and Yappy Went To Get Some Bees

JPtheBeeman not only can do this all day, he does do it all day.  It’s his job.  On occasion he takes a helper along to get things done and you already know a couple of them.

This time it was Yappy’s turn to be helpful.  Here’s what happened…