Author Archives: bigbear

Follow a useful passion

I actually have two work related passions.  The first is doing things to help make things right.  I love to solve problems, create solutions, do things that support, enable or create success.  The outlet I found that best fits to serve this is being a handyman.

The other work passion I have is bees of course.  Having the desire to do things to create success, I have turned my career outlet into bee conservation and beekeeper education and support.

However, the oft unspoken part of that second passion is also to help non beekeepers understand and deal with bees more positively, thus successfully.  

I run a business that directly provides services to beekeepers and property owners to keep bees alive and thriving.  I also educate beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike by teaching classes and running the Bee Smart beekeeping project website.

At Bee Smart, I write informative articles, answer questions on the user forums, make videos and produce a weekly podcast to inform and entertain visitors.

It’s very important to me that I include content directed toward non-beekeepers as well as beekeepers.  Non-beekeepers live around bees, rely on bee pollinators for their gardens, enjoy eating honey and using beeswax craft products.  It is very important that non-beekeepers be just as informed and are capable and prepared to help bees stay alive and thriving.

I welcome everyone to visit the Bee Smart beekeeping project website and use the resources available there.  If you are interested in helping me to continue my efforts in informing and entertaining people regarding everything bees, then I encourage you to click the link to my Patreon page and beecome a supporter.

Thank you everyone for your patronage and helping me to help bees, beekeepers and everyone who benefits from bee things to bee smart.

Doing Something Different but not that much

I am going to focus more on sharing the experience of being a Apiary Engineer and handyman.  I want to show you the things that I am working on for clients and with bees and beekeeping as part of how I make my living.

So I am going to start doing some videos of myself working on some of the handyman projects I am working on, sharing tips, tricks and techniques on doing everything from building wooden privacy fences to repairing roofs and turning basements into usable storage areas.

I will also do some videos of working on bee removal projects and what goes on beehind the scenes in getting live bees out of walls and other structures as safely as possible,

Stick around and I hope you find something useful and have as much fun watching and reading as I do making the videos and doing the jobs.

Beeing Handy

Some folks who follow along here might know that in addition to being an “apiary engineer”  I am also a handyman for a specific rental properties owner as well.

In my handyman work, like my apiary services work, I focus on a specific market or target group needing those services.  For live bee removal, most of my time is spent on providing services to local construction, tree service and similar types of businesses that need immediate attention due to an immediate need for safety and job workflow.

In my apiary services, I spend the greater amount of my time on local businesses and rural beekeepers who need access to inspections, hive management services and instruction/presentations.

In all of these areas I work in, it requires a flexible mind to create solutions on-the-spot often with limited access to resources and time.  It often requires what I call “sideways” thinking.  That is, taking information and skills applicable to one area, like construction/structural repair and applying it to apiary setup, structural bee nest removal, etc…

I love tools and technology.  Those can make a person much more productive, efficient and effective once the basic skills in use have been achieved.  Having said that, no technology, cool tool or anything else can replace hands-on work.  There are many times I use the “old-school” methods and equipment to get a job done because the situation is best resolved that way.  In other words, just because a cool tool or piece of technology can do something doesn’t always mean it is the best way in any given circumstance.

You have to bee able to think on your feet and have the experience and wisdom to see each job, each task on it’s own to get the best result for that job.  Whether it’s something to do with bees or repairing a roof or building a fence, each job and task in its own way, in its own time.

That’s how I approach my work.  I want to achieve the best solution to make everyone involved a winner.  The client, the bees and yes, me too.

Every handyman has a specialty

Obviously, as an Apiary Engineer, my true calling in life is working with bees, especially live rescue and relocation.  When I’m not doing that though, I’m a Handyman.  Like most Handyman types, I have a specialty.

Mine happens to be storage and organization.  I work with home owners and business people to get the most effective use from their space.

Cabinet and shelving systems, pallet racking and workbenches, closet , garage, shed and basement organization with a variety of popular tack and modular systems.  I live to do this stuff.  well, outside of working as a professional apiarist anyway.

My other area of specialization is fencing.  Wood, vinyl and chain link.  You need a fence installed, I am your handyman.  

Yes, I do repairs to roofing, siding, cement, drywall and more.  If given my preference though, I’d spend any time not working with bees, doing storage and organization.

If you are in the Omaha metro area and need someone to help make your spaces more effective, efficient and productive, I am your handyman.

Call me at 402-370-8018

Bee Related Onsite Job Support

I rent PPE gear (personal protection equipment) such as beekeeping jackets and hats/veils to businesses involved in outdoor work that occasionally find themselves interacting with flying, stinging insects such as bees, wasps, and hornets.

I also offer “bee management” services to help calm bees and offer advice to workers to minimize stings and avoid distressing bee colonies or inciting a stinging frenzy.

Work areas that find these types of support services very helpful are free cutting, structural restoration/construction, pest control, lawn maintenance/gardeners, etc…

If you find yourself facing bees or other similar stinging insects, having access to PPE and support to minimize stinging behavior can help get jobs done safely, quickly and in higher quality due to not being distracted or rushed.

PPE: These items are available for rental on a daily or weekly basis.  (May be picked up, jobsite delivery is available at a nominal extra fee)

  • ventilated, “sting proof” jackets and veils.  
  • Leather, elbow length gloves to reduce stings to hands and reduce accidental “squashing” which causes pheromones to be released, inciting increased stinging behavior.
  • Cuff straps to close pant legs and shirt sleeves to prevent stinging insects from climbing underneath clothing.

Jobsite Bee Support

  • It can be very useful and effective to have a professional apiarist on-site to help reduce bee colony distress and consult on effective methods of working around flying bees and reducing stinging activity.    
  • Scheduled on-site job support is available billed by the hour.   Emergency  support (apiarist on-site within 2 hours) is sometimes available.

Bee Support For Storm Repairs

A day in the life of a professional apiarist.

Got a call today from a local company that specializes in rebuilding buildings after structural damage.  That would be Paul Davis Restoration.  They called while a crew was stalled in the LaPlatte, NE community waiting to cover roof damage to a historical building.

The crew noticed bees, not being sure what type of bees they were, and instead of calling an exterminator, called me for assessment and assistance to keep their crew safe during the cover up until official action can be determined.

 

I worked the bees at the nest entrance, they were indeed and obviously honey bees, and made beekeeper jackets and veils available for the crew to use.  I advised them how to work around bee traffic and nest entrance activity to reduce possible distress to the colony and causing aggressive, defensive behavior.

No one was stung by the honey bees and no harm was done by the crew to the honey bees.  Hopefully, when it comes time to determine what to do next, they will call me to do a live removal of the colony.

I really do want to thank and commend Paul Davis Restoration and their crew for taking such care and giving such consideration to beneficial pollinators such as honey bees in the course of their work.

 

I’ll Bee There For You

I was at another of my beekeeping coaching clients place recently to make my preliminary inspection as I prepare to take on apiary management duties while they are out doing their work in the upcoming busy season for them.

Basically, it’s what I call my “back-up beekeeper” service to step in for short times while clients are otherwise occupied focusing on things taking a higher priority in their lives for the time being.

I manage hives for people when they have to travel extensively for work.  I step in for those experiencing sudden illness or similar issues.  I hold down the fort when people find themselves about to go on extended leave for a vacation or educational endeavor.

It all starts with my sitting down with the beekeeper to find out their objectives and strategies

 

Mind Your Beeswax at Mangelsen’s

I will teach my first beeswax craft class at Mangelsen’s on the last Saturday of June.

I am pretty enthusiastic about teaching beeswax crafts classes at Mangelsen’s.

As for now, the schedule looks like beeswax crafts classes will happen there once a month on the 4th Saturday at 11:30 am.

What’s up for the very first class?  Think picnics and packing lunch to go.

More details coming very soon.

Bumblebee Nest Relocation 130th & Q

Bumbles found a place to build a nest in a compost heap.  Unfortunately, the people there still work that compost heap and the bumbles weren’t very thrilled with that.

Fortunately, the people, Lexie and Geoff Sutton in the Millard area of Omaha, are avid gardeners and friends of nature.  They think it’s great the bumblebees want to hang out and take care of the flowers.  Just not in a place they have to interrupt the bumbles to do the gardening.

So, out we went today to take the bumbles out of the compost heap and move them to a better place still on the property.  Awesome people to bee such good friends to bumbles.

 

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.