Author Archives: bigbear

So, you chose “free” bee removal, what next?

Did you have or will you have a hobbyist or amateur beekeeper offer to remove bees for you for free but they don’t do repair?  I can help.  I am an experienced live bee removal professional and handyman.  My specialty is opening and repairing buildings for the purpose of live bee removal and ensuring they get repaired so as to prevent future inhabitation and proper procedures and exclusion methods to prevent environmental integrity issues after the bee nest is completely removed.

My services are not free but you won’t regret getting things fixed right after a bee nest removal.

Beekeepers, are you offering to do live bee removal for “free”?  Structural and repair work not your “thing”?  Consider collaborating with me to open and repair the location properly.  You get your “free bees”, the property owner gets things repaired properly to prevent environmental hazards and having bees move in again.

Because they aren’t paying for the bee removal part, they can still get things handled more affordably and done properly.  

Make it a win-win for everyone bee-cuz you know an S.O.Bee always gets your back.

Working with integrity

I am a general contractor focused on small scale repair, assembly and installation AKA  a “Handyman”.  My specialty is in relation to working with live removal of bees nests from structures like houses, commercial buildings, roofs, walls, sheds, garages, decks fences and other places the bees prefer to find to move in.

Any work on buildings and related structures requires a focus on types of integrity.  For example;

When working to repair something because it’s unsafe, unstable, needs to be reinforced, enhanced, etc… is “structural integrity”.  

Doing work to make a change in appearance, design, to improve visual cohesiveness and to take something that has become an eyesore and make it presentable again are cases focused on “cosmetic integrity”.

When doing work to achieve the effective removal and prevention of safety and health concerns such as insects, mold, water, rot, etc… are examples of a focus on “environmental integrity”.

Being that so much of my work is related to removal of bee nests, it stands to reason that my primary focus is on environmental integrity.  Not only do I need to remove the pest presence, I need to exclude it and prevent it from recurring.

Most contractors and handyman types are most familiar with structural and cosmetic integrity.  Far fewer know what needs to be done when it comes to environmental integrity.  I am able to include that knowledge and experience with me as I have worked extensively in the pest management field and as a professional apiarist.

Of course, even when I am working on jobs that are not bee related, I am focused on integrity.  People have a desired objective in getting any work like this done.  It needs to be more stable, stronger, versatile, specific in appearance and more.  I work to give the client those desired results or an acceptable alternative.  Let’s face it, sometimes we face obstacles that require a different approach than originally planned.  My goal is to provide the best possible outcome to the intent of the job.

If you need a bee nest removed from a building and cannot hire me to do the live removal, but are able to find a beekeeper who will get the bee nest entirely removed, make sure that whoever you get to finish up the repair work has a good understanding of environmental integrity so as to not have to go through that again if at all possible.

If we’re gonna do it, let’s do it right.

What Do I Do When I’m Not Working Bees?

As a registered contractor in Nebraska, I can take on certain specific jobs outside of bee related services.  Because bee related services are weather dependent and seasonal, I also am able to provide some outdoor and indoor repair and assembly/installation services.

  • Fence installation and repair
  • Siding repair
  • Roofing repair
  • Gutter cleaning and repair
  • Cement repair
  • Office furniture assembly and installation
  • Office equipment assembly and installation
  • Office/warehouse shelving

If your business or residential/commercial properties management needs some attention to any of the above tasks, please consider contacting me at 402.370.8018.

When a cutout is more than a cutout

I love to see videos and photos of live bee removals.  I learn something from each one I watch.  That and I really like to see bee stuff.

Something that I think that bears mentioning though is how often the repair of the structure goes unaddressed.  Putting the structure back together is just as important as getting the bee nest out.

As a matter of fact, there are some that too often leave the impression that once getting the bees out, it’s all over but the relocation.  Sadly, I know too many beekeepers who are just in it for the bees and will leave the structure worse off than they found it after they have gotten the bees.

No, I’m not saying every beekeeper who does live removals does this, but there are still far too many who do.  

In any structure that is inhabited, the removal of both bees and the next are crucial.  The nest must be removed even if the combs won’t be kept or used.  Leaving pollen and honey filled wax combs behind is leaving “roach bait” to create another problem.

Left behind old comb in a structure can attract other pests such as roaches, ants, spiders, mice and many others that if not attracted to the combs, are attracted to those critters that are attracted to the combs.

This represents a health threat because of diseases and sanitation issues caused by the presence of those pests.

It also represents a structural threat because the melting of the wax leads to rot of pollen and fermentation of the nectar and honey.  This can stain walls, floors, and ceilings and smell horribly.  The presence of the rot, decay and fermentation can also lead to mold, mildew and fungus growth in the walls and voidspaces.

The old comb, ALL of the next, MUST be removed.

Once bees and nest are completely removed, the job still isn’t properly finished.

The voidspace should be filled so that new comb cannot be built in the same space.  In addition, exclusion methods should be implemented to prevent bees from even accessing that voidspace again.

Reasonable efforts should be made to not only remove bees and the nest but to prevent it from happening again.

I can’t tell you how many cutouts I’ve been called to finish up after a hobbyist came and hacked open a hole in a roof or wall, vacuumed bees out and then walked away with their “free bees” leaving the residents high and dry with a mess and more problems.

This is why I approach live bee removal as a pest control service first.  I am there to help people solve a problem.  I am a registered contractor with the state.  I have business liability insurance to cover my work.  I have invested in having the right tools and equipment not only to remove bees alive but to do structural repair as well.

If the bees survive the removal, and sometimes they don’t, it’s a great thing, mission accomplished in terms of bee conservation.  Even if the bees don’t survive, I finish the job at hand.  I make sure that the client not only has the bees removed, the nest is removed also.  The opening made to access the bees is probably cleaned, filled and closed as completely as possible to make it look like it hadn’t even been opened.  At least to not have it look like a hack job.

There is so much more to live bee removal from houses and buildings that are in use besides getting the bees.  

Bee Rescue Scheduled Friday May 12. Watch It Live

I have taken to posting live updates during bee rescues on the BBE-Tech Apiary Services Facebook page.  The first one this year was last Friday and seems to have had some good response and local following.

I plan to do live updates again throughout the removal of a honey bee nest this coming Friday from a house.  The bees built a best in between the floorboards of the house above the garage.

Once again, I intend to take you along in each step of the process to help people appreciate the industrious-ness of honey bees.  I also want to show people why live bee nest removal is important for safety, health and structural concerns as well as conservation.

You can find the Facebook page by clicking on this link or by searching for @gbacrescue on Facebook.

Bee A Better Mentor

Beekeepers and mentoring go together like honey and tea.  Part of it is the natural enthusiasm to share the experience.  Another reason is along the lines of giving back to the community after having gotten mentoring oneself.

Whatever the reason, beekeepers are all about mentoring for the most part.  The problems come when there aren’t enough or any mentors available.  Most mentors are volunteers.  They often have day jobs, families and bees of their own to take care of.  Their time is limited and then is the ability to be available for others.

Many want to be a mentor but lack the confidence.  That’s understandable.  No one wants to feel as though they aren’t doing the best they can or might be letting someone else down.

As a beekeeping coach, I provide training for beekeepers on their schedule and their terms.  They pay for the opportunity to get professional support and assistance.  Many people aren’t looking for that type of help though or perhaps can’t afford to.  For them, they can only hope to find a volunteer mentor.  

I offer training and support to help beekeepers who want to be a mentor but want to learn how to teach and guide.  It’s one thing to show others what you do, it’s something else entirely to take the next step and teach beekeeping beyond your own experience.

I can provide the education, training and support resources so that you can be the best mentor you can be.  Not only that, I can provide you with support and access to resources beyond your own so that you can really go the extra step to help those you mentor be their best as well.

Sign up to be a BBE-Tech Apiary Services “Metro Mentor” and bee the best mentor you can bee.

Naming Honey Bee Colonies In 2017

I always name my hives.  I see each colony as an individual organism.  This year, I will start hives from swarm captures, structural removals and from hive splits.

I have decided that all new colonies originating from a swarm will get their names from Greek/Roman mythology.

All new colonies originating from structural removals will get their names from Norse mythology.

All new colonies originating from hive splits will get their names from songs.

The first structural removal colony is coming next Tuesday.  It’s name will be “Frigga“.

The first hive split that will happen will be done this coming Sunday from my existing hive “Lucy” (named after “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”).  The split’s name is going to be “Arlene” from “Who Do You Love”.

As I conduct each action, removal, capture or split, I will document it on this website and it’s name will be decided then.

As long as they fall in with the above described parameters, suggestions are welcome.

First Cutout of 2017 Scheduled…Again

A very patient man in Bellevue, NE has contracted me to rescue and relocate a honey bee colony from his house.

He waited all Winter and according to forecasts at the beginning of the week,  today was the today.   Until it wasn’t 

Instead of the sunny, 70 plus day we anticipated, it was only low 50’speed not warming up to like 61 until about 4pm.  Not ideal conditions to remove brood in.

 

I was able to use the endoscope to see inside the entrance the bees are using.  So now, next Tuesday will bee the big day.  Thanks so much to this very patient guy who is willing to wait to get things done right.

Say hi to our bees-to-bee.

I Do Bee Rescue For A Living, You Can Help

So yes, I run a business which is rescuing honey bees and bumblebees.  When I’m not doing that, I am a beekeeping coach, instructor, train beekeeping mentors, teach beeswax crafts classes, and do presentations for people who are not beekeepers.

l remove honey bees and bumblebees from locations that conflict with health and safety with people and animals.  I do charge for the professional removal as they were going to pay an exterminator to remove the presence, why not pay me?  This service requires me to have the things you would expect from a professional.  The proper tools and equipment, the necessary training and knowledge, business liability insurance, etc…   I ran a local pest control business for over five years, finally I had to choose between bee conservation and pests.  I choose to remove the bees and the bee nests (according to the State of Nebraska, bee nests should be completely removed whenever possible to prevent structural damage and health concerns).  I then work to close up the area so as to prevent future occupation by bee swarms.

After successful removal during which great care is taken to keep the bees calm and to prevent inciting a stinging frenzy, I take the colony or swarm to one of two locations.  Before moving them from the removal site, I test and assess to determine health conditions.

If the colony is strong (usually common in a good sized swarm) they are taken to the teaching apiary at B &  B Farms.  This allows them to build for future production and to be included in the hands-on beekeeping trading workshops and retreats conducted on site.

If the assessment determines the colony is not healthy or strong enough for the production/teaching apiary, they are taken to a special “recovery” Apiary to begin the process of being self-sustainable.  Once future assessment indicates they are strong enough and healthy enough to be self-sustainable, the hive is moved to the production\teaching apiary.

The “production” is honey, beeswax, nucs and queen rearing of our collected, successful “survivor” colonies that have shown successful adaptation and desirable traits important to managed beekeeping.

Want To Bee A Hero?

While I do charge the clients for the removals as it requires the appropriate tools, equipment, training and knowledge about bees, that pretty much covers the removal itself.

The ongoing care and equipment necessary to help build up distressed colonies and get them to the point of being healthy and self-sustainable requires ongoing nutritional care and equipment.

This is where our Bee A Hero program comes in.  For $1.00 a month, you get a monthly digital newsletter that updates you on our activities, events and the ongoing status of various rescued bee colonies. 

Those contributions help me to keep up with nutritional and equipment needs of those colonies at the “recovery” apiary.  Our goal is to build an “army” of Bee Heroes in the number of 2,500.

 Imagine a group of people that big helping bees to survive and thrive who are also learning more every month about the beehind-the-scenes work of bee rescue.

You are the next generation of bee ambassadors to teach and influence others in your community about helping our beneficial pollinator bees to be self-sustainable and have thriving colonies.

Sign up by clicking the button link to Bee A Hero.