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.