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 Spotting with the Bee Smart beekeeping project

While most of the attention goes to those honey producing, easily managed primary crop pollinators the honey bees, there is a growing awareness of the wide diversity of native bees in North America.  Those under appreciated eusocial and solitary bees that are fantastic and often crop specific pollinators such as bumblebees, mason bees, squash bees, headquarters and many, many more.

Now the Bee Smart beekeeping project is setting up a new adventure called “Bee Smart Bee Spotters”.  The goal I’d to teach people how to identify these incredible native bees, know more about their habitat and share the experience of seeing them work their fuzzy, winged magic.

The best part is that becoming a Bee Smart Bee Spotter is no cost to you.  All you need is some time, an adventurous spirit, a phone or other digital camera and a member account on the Bee Smart beekeeping project website forums page.

Then, you’re a bee spotter.  What Bee Spotters do is upload their own pictures of local bees and provide information about the photo of the Bee.  Where was it taken, what kind of Bee is it.  When was it seen, what season, etc…

Even if you don’t know what type of bee it is, you can post it in the “ID The Bee” sub-forum and we can help you figure out what kind of Bee you spotted.

Do you want to know more about how to identify native bees and their habitat?  There will be classes offered at MCC and Lauritzen Gardens to help you do that starting this Summer.

It’s like bird watching, but more exciting!  Bee Spotting is for any one, any age, whether you are a beekeeper or not.

Come on over and sign up on the Bee Smart beekeeping project website Forums page today and help us build the Bee Smart Bee Spotters community.

Bee Smart is talking about…more bees!

YES!  It’s a great day to bee alive.

The Bee Smart beekeeping project is expanding it’s coverage of bees to actually fulfill the phrase “All things bees and beekeeping.”

This means that beeginning today, you will also see posts, videos, and hear podcast chatter about bees of all kinds but not just limited to honey bees.

We are so excited to bee all about bees of all kinds.  You name it, bumblebees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, miner bees, lots more bees!

Yes, we obviously are still bringing you plenty of content covering honey bees.  After all, they are the primary kept and managed bee out there.

Bees, bees, bees, bees, bees!

 

 

New regs for Friday: Bumblebees and more

The Trump White House has issued an order to delay certain listings that they want to look over before enacting.  Caught up in that is the listing of the Rusty Patch Bumblebee to the protected species list.

Fish and Wildlife has consequently delayed the official listing for 60 days until March 21st to comply with the White House order.

President Trump’s regulatory moratorium captures protections for bumble bees in Friday’s edition of the Federal Register.

Source: New regs for Friday: Bumblebees, farmers, fishermen

Bee Smart Bee Painting Event Paintings

As promised, there are photos here of the paintings that were made on Saturday January 14th during the Bee Creative event we held at Cheers Paint & Sip studio.

We love all the paintings and we love that people came out to have some fun in the name of bees.  Beelieve it or not, only two of the people in the group are beekeepers themselves.  The others are either indirectly involved or not at all which made things even more fun.

The event was dedicated to the Rusty Patched Bumblebee as it had just been added to the Endangered Species List on January 10th.  It was fitting that the painting was of a bumblebee.

Without further ado, I present to you the very encouraging work of our Apicultural Artists.

We Bee Painting

We had a great time doing bee themed paintings at the event this past Saturday at Cheers Paint and Sip in Omaha, NE.  The painting was of a bumblebee in a field of flowers (for most of us, others got uber-creative) which we dedicated to the Rusty Patched Bumblebees which were recently placed on the Endangered Species list.

Here is a photo of our participants and their excellent works of art.  One of their paintings will grace the header photo of this website for the month of February.  The video and results post will be out soon so you can see all the creative fun that was had in the name of bees.

Image by Heather Bell of Cheers Paint & Sip