1. We use organic pest control will that affect the bees?
The short answer is Yes. Bees are insects like many of the bugs you are trying to control. We can work together to figure out the best solution for you and the bees.
2. I've heard there are three different types of honeybees in a hive, is that true?
Yes! A honeybee hive will have up to three variations of honeybee in it depending on the season.
The Queen: Female honeybee that is responsible for laying eggs and providing the colony with future generations. Usually there is only 1 queen per hive, though not always....
The Worker: Female honeybee that makes up most of the bee population in a hive. She does all the hive maintenance including: cleaning the hive, feeding the baby bees, guarding the hive from intruders, removing the sick and the dead from the hive, tending to the queen (feeding, cleaning, guiding), foraging for food, water and sap, regulating the temperature of the hive, creating wax for building comb, locating a new home when it's time to swarm, and many other amazing things!
The Drone: Male honeybee that is part of the colony from Spring through mid Summer. He is responsible for mating with other queens in the spring to ensure future generations of honeybees.
1. How long have you been a beekeeper?
I've been a beekeeper since 2015.
2. Do you get stung?
Yes. I wear my protective gear when I am working inside the hives, but just like you sometimes when I'm outside I step on a bee or brush against one on accident.
3. Have you ever been scared of the bees?
I have a healthy respect for the bees and try to move as slowly and gently as I can when I am inspecting their hive.
1. How many bees are in an average bee hive?
Depending on the kind of hive you have at the peak of summer there may be upwards of 80,000 bees in a hive. In winter that number can drop to less than 10,000.
2. Other than honeybee hives, are there other homes I can provide bees?
Yes! Native bees like Bumble bees, Carpenter bees, Miner Bees, Sweat bees, Squash bees and many others can also be given habitat on your property. From formal bee hotels made of hollow tubing from stems of plants to small birdhouses that bumble bees may find homey . Even simply leaving a portion of your property undisturbed can give these native bees a place to call home.
3. Are there other types of hives that bees can bee kept in?
Yes. There are several different kinds of beehives requiring different types of knowledge. Depending on what is best for the location, bees and beekeeper one hive style may be chosen over another.
1. What is forage?
Forage are plants that honeybees gather nectar and/or pollen from. Nectar is the energy source for honeybees and pollen is their protein source. Both are required for adult honeybees and baby bees, too!
2. How far will bees fly to find food?
Honeybees can fly upwards of 5 miles in search of forage but average about 2-3 miles from the hive in search of food and water.
3. I have a small lot, will it make a difference if I plant for pollinators?
Yes! Any amount of additional forage that is available to our pollinators is helpful. In some spaces you may simply only be able to have potted plants, but you can make the most of that space and have fun with planting pots that bloom at different months throughout the year.
1. How soon will I get honey if I decide to have bee hives on my property?
There is no specific timeline as it will depend on how much forage is in your area, the weather throughout the year, and if your bees survive the winter. If all goes well, your bees may provide you with extra honey in 2-3 years.
2. How much honey will I get?
This will be dependent on how established your bee colony is and the amount of forage they have access to. An established hive with plenty of forage can provide 4-5 gallons of honey.
3. The honey I have is not liquid anymore but seems to be more solid; is it spoiled?
Honey that has not been processed beyond simply extracting and straining the larger items out will crystalize over time. This is a totally natural occurrence and there is nothing wrong with this honey. It has now become more user friendly for spreading on bread, crackers, cakes as well as staying in your spoon between the jar and your cup of tea!
1. If I have a honeybee colony in my house will you come and remove it?
Bee Focused does not provide extraction services but will be happy to suggest some businesses that do offer that service.
2. I have yellowjackets on my property can you remove them?
If the yellowjackets or other wasps are not in a high traffic area, and if they are not a nuisance to you they will disappear when winter comes and you can remove or cover any abandoned nests. If you are unable to wait until winter then you will need to enlist the help of Sonoma County Vector Control.
3. I believe there is a swarm of honeybees on a tree/bush/ fence, etc. Will you come and get them?
A swarm is a bundle of bees that can range in size from a softball up to a beach ball or even larger!!! They have not been at the location you see them for more than a day or two. Swarms happen most often in Sonoma County between March and June. They are easy to spot as they are a group of bees clustered around an object usually a branch or pole. They have not yet found a home and I would be happy to attempt to collect them.