The S.O.Bee Experiment in 2018

Plans for 2018 beekeeping involve setting up a “distributed” apiary around the South Omaha community.  

The things I am looking at in this experiment are the results of keeping hives further apart from each other than in a typical bee yard where hives can literally be side by side next to each other.

The plan is to place 2 hives per location, no closer than 10 feet part and up to approximately 50 feet apart ideally.  

Some of the reasons for the placement is to see the effects of disease and pest presence and impact on separated and widely distributed hives.  These will be compared to a control group at a standard apiary where hives are within 2 feet of each other. 

The properties the distributed hives are on will be at private residence properties in the general area from the Missouri river to 72nd St and from about Martha St to Harrison St.

The hives will be 8 frame hives managed for honey and beeswax production.   The property owners will not have to put up any money to be a part of the project but “might” be able to get a share of honey depending on if hives survive, produce a surplus and stay healthy.


Bee Better Business

Do you reward staff for exemplary effort?  Do you thank clients for loyalty with perks?  Do you give small, memorable gifts to guests to keep you in mind?

Nothing says “special” like fresh, natural items from the hive.  Decorative jars of honey, hand made candles and soaps, lip balm and skin creams.

What better way to let others know that your business is dedicated to quality and dedication.  That commitment to excellence is more than just a slogan, it’s how you make things happen.

You can have all those things to offer and stand out in the community because of your efforts in conservation.  Bee conservation.

I bring a special and personalized opportunity to local businesses by helping them to establish apiaries where they are or on selected properties and managing those hives in a way that keeps bees alive, healthy and thriving while producing high quality products of the hive such as honey and beeswax items just for their use.

They are your hives, your apiaries and your harvest.  As a professional, certified Apiarist, I can manage the hives, care for the bees, harvest only the surplus and make the items you want to share, preparing them with your choice of containers, labels and presentation.

Bee unique, bee a standout, bee your best.

Contact me, Tony “Big Bear” Sandoval, the S.O.Bee at 402-370-8018 by phone or text to arrange a free consultation on making your business bee even more special.

Welcome to S.O.Bee Apiaries

Yes, I’ve finally gone round the bend and finished my diabolical plans for a honey, beeswax and bees production apiaries operation right here in South Omaha.

This apiary operation is the culmination of much planning and experimentation leading up to this point.I am identifying a certain number of properties in the three zip codes areas that make up the most of the part of the metro area known as South Omaha.  Those zip codes are; 68107,68117, and 68108.

Each location will have 2 hives located on the premises.  Hive management will be handled entirely by me and such apprentices and interns as are enrolled in the training program at the time.  Each property owner will be agreeing to planting specifically to meet the nutritional needs of the bees which includes the gardens and plants they have or plan to have including others in a list they receive.

In return, they get awesome pollination services and a share of the surplus honey produced at their location.

I am very excited to begin this next phase of operations for BBE-Tech Apiary Services and what can bee accomplished to keep bees healthy and thriving while helping an entire community have bees present to make the whole area bee awesome.


How Apiarist certification helps

Here are some questions I’ve been asked lately about being trained in the BBE-Tech Apiary Services Apiarist apprenticeship program.

What’s the difference between the term “apiarist” and “beekeeper”?

For purposes of discussion of the trade of working with bee hives in a production (for the purpose of harvesting resources from the hive) BBE-Tech Apiary Services used the word “beekeeper” to refer to those who practice beekeeping as a hobby.  The term “apiarist” is thus used to refer to those engaged in beekeeping for professional purposes.

What’s does training with BBE-Tech Apiary Services offer me?

As a professional working in a production apiary as a way of making a living, full or part time or even as a volunteer, training as an Apiarist with BBE-Tech offers education and building experience based on best practices and current available information.  Apprentices are trained to standards which can be applied to achieve measurable success with respect to keeping honey bee colonies alive and thriving in a production apiary environment.

What does certification as an Apiarist by BBE-Tech Apiary Services offer me?

Being certified as an Apiarist while working in beekeeping as a trade offers a certain gravitas and a degree of credibility due to having had to prove that you are able to do the many and various tasks and not only know, but actively apply the knowledge necessary to being successful as a professional in the field of beekeeping.  Being certified demonstrates that you have been held to established standards and are committed to professionalism in the field.

What is generally involved in training and certification as an Apiarist by BBE-Tech Apiary Services?

When registering in the Apprenticeship program, you will take classes on basic and advanced bee areas such as biology, behavior, hive management, pest management, queen rearing, honey production, pollination, and other important subjects.

You will also be assigned to work with live hives in real teaching apiaries that are also functioning production apiaries as well.  While helping to work those hives you will be assisting and following the directions of current Apiarists, Apiary Managers and Master Apiarists in all aspects of hive management and harvesting over a full season.

Once education and training components have been or are near completion, you will take written, verbal and situational exams to demonstrate knowledge, experience and the ability to actively apply those in real apiary situations.  Having successfully passed those exams, you will then be issued a certification at the level of Apiarist that you have been training for.

Are there benefits to training and certification beyond being certified?

Yes, once successfully being certified as an Apiarist, you will be inducted for the first year at no cost into the fraternal trade organization, Associated Certified Apiarists (APA), an group operated by BBE-Tech Apiary Services in the interests of providing ongoing support, community, referral and recommendations for those successfully certified at any of the three Apiarist levels.

ACA members receive news about ongoing and upcoming information in the field, invitations and discounts on workshops and advanced topic classes and training.  ACA members also are prioritized or are given privileged access to new Apiary opportunities to work in.

After the first year, members may continue their affiliation with the ACA by renewing their membership on the BBE-Tech Apiary Services website.

BBE-Tech Helps You Help Bees While Bees Help You

What can an apiary do for your business, organization or school?  

Many things actually.

Having an apiary can provide you with products of the hive such as honey and beeswax to use as gifts, unique promotional items and supplies for your own needs.

Having an apiary connects you uniquely to the local and community n ways that hardly anything else can.  The bees in your apiary are pollinating your neighbors gardens and trees.   Having an apiary allows you to provide unique experiences for community members, customers and visitors.

Having an apiary gives you an entirely new perspective on the issues facing bees and beekeeping that can only be understood by an “insider”.  You become an advocate for bees and beekeeping that carries gravitas and authenticity.

How can having an apiary help bees?

By operating an apiary of your own, you are providing an environment that is supportive of bees.  A well managed apiary allows bees to not only survive and live but to thrive and be productive.

Another benefit of having a well managed apiary is that you are being a good neighbor in the community providing desirable nesting space for bees and working to facilitate the natural development of bee colonies instead of them being forced to seek those growth opportunities out in the community beyond your apiary, leading bees to often unsuccessful  nesting locations and possibly becoming problematic structural concerns for neighbors.

How can BBE-Tech Apiary Services help you?

Tony “Big Bear” Sandoval is an experienced professional apiarist specializing in the setup and management of productive, successful apiaries.  Big Bear has been offering beekeeping instruction, mentoring, consultation, live bee removal and apiary management services in the Omaha/metro area  professionally for over eight years.

As a Master Apiarist (a trade level of qualifications and capabilities) Big bear is able to design and implement and apiary to meet your goals and objectives.  He is able to provide the requisite training and education to help your designated personnel be successful Apiarists and Apiary Managers.

Tony is also able to work with apiaries over long term after setting you up to provide apiary program success as a consultant as well as providing successful apiary services such as audits, inspections, organic certifications and troubleshooting.

Bee part of the solution, not part of the problem

Whether you maintain an apiary as part of a business operation, a non-profit community program or individually as a hobbyist, BBE-Tech Apiary Services and Tony “Big Bear” Sandoval can help you bee successful.  You hep bees, the bees help you, everyone wins!  

BBE-Tech getting closer to begin apiarist apprenticeship programs in Omaha

Very exciting news.  Working in collaboration with a local community services agriculture program, I am very close to getting the certified apiarist training program off the ground.

This program provides a two year apprenticeship for interested persons culminating in becoming a Certified Apiarist by BBE-Tech Apiary Services.  The candidates will be trained in all aspects of organic beekeeping as part of a crew that maintains a Certified Organic Apiary.

Participants will be able to take these skills and apply them as hobbyist beekeepers who have the confidence, knowledge and experience to be successful individually or to be part of a larger apiary project as a volunteer or even paid beekeeper.

This, if successful, will be the first of two, possibly three, BBE-Tech apprenticeship locations in the Omaha/metro area.  There will be opportunities for both paid and no-cost participation in these training programs, depending on whether the participant is seeking to become certified or not.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this as it goes along.  Keep your fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.  

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