Bee swarm catching like from the text book

This week I caught a Swarm and all really worked like in the textbook. So I felt the need to write a few lines about it.

  1. Local bee swarm (I was there in 7 minutes)
  2. A super nice person calling in the bee swarm
  3. Bees were in a tree just on chest hight with concrete below. This makes it so easy for the bees to find their way to the queen from the floor.
  4. The swarm dropped into the bee bucked like a charm. ==> Not too many panicked bees at the time of drop.
  5. The ~1000 bees left in the tree and in the air all seem to get the message of where the queen moved to and within 20-30 min almost completely moved in with her into my bucket, it was a true sight of beauty how nature works beautifully. (The march of the bees)
  6. During the drive home in my Fiat 500, the bees stayed in the back and did not bother me or freak out in any way.
  7. After being dropped into their new home, they accepted it right away and started building out their new home almost on arrival.
  8. Beautiful. I love bees, try to help as much as I can, one bee at a time.

Here is a short Video of the March. 

Feeding your bees in the winter has a good chance to REDUCE their chance of survival

I found this really interesting article about the effects of feeding bees during the winter months.


These results are very surprising. They are counter to my intuition. But until something strongly suggests otherwise, I must rethink my feeding practices. When I find honey left behind by a dead colony, I may harvest that honey for human consumption, but I will no longer pass that honey on to another colony. And when I find a struggling colony that I think I need to feed, then I might consider some candy, but I definitely will not be stealing honey frames from another colony to help them out.

Up to now, I thought I was helping my colonies when I provided supplemental carbohydrates. In fact, I have jars of syrup on several newly installed packages right now (5/12/2014). But these results will definitely change my practices where honey is concerned and may change my practices where syrup is concerned as well. Why would I want to go to all that extra work to end up hurting my colonies?

Bee-Swarms === What not to do

Here is a nice article on what NOT to do with a Bee Swarm.

Please call me or e-mail me if you have one, I either will help you out or direct you to who can help you out.




The unusually warm weather this February and March lead to an abundance of nectar and pollen forage for bees which they eagerly took advantage of. As such, many beehives have multiplied and when things get too cramped some of the hive moves to a new location.

The process by which this occurs is called swarming, and is a natural cycle of honeybee colonies. After receiving reports by scout bees of possible new homes the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. Sometimes the swarm will land on a tree branch, building, telephone pole-and even a car’s windshield- while they prepare to make the trip.

“Bee swarms are happening about a month early, and many beekeepers are caught off guard,” says Sydney Barton, social media manager for the Chicago Honey Co-op.

I spoke with her after noticing reactions to bee swarm online this week ranging from fascination to fear. The sight of thousands of bees swarming may natural trigger a fight-or-flight reaction in us-but, in reality, there’s isn’t anything to fear from them.

1st Bees arrived on the West coast in San Jose 1853

I found this interesting article in Atlas Obscura. LINK

bee markerSJairport

Though now an integral part of large-scale agriculture throughout the United States, honey bees were unknown on the West Coast until they arrived at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. Well, at least what would one day become the airport.

In 1853, Texan Christopher A. Shelton purchased 12 hives of bees from an unknown beekeeper in what is now Colon, Panama. The bees, already transported to Panama from New York, were then sent up to San Francisco and Alviso, the nearest port to San Jose, by steamer. They then continued their journey via train and mule to the 1939-acre Rancho Potrero de Santa Clara where Shelton settled.

Only enough bees to form one hive survived. These German black bees (Apis mellifera mellifera) endured the tedious trek and were propagated throughout California and soon the whole of the West Coast. Shelton was not so fortunate and died alongside other prominent South Bay Residents of the time on the infamous Jenny Lind steamship explosion just a month after the receipt of his bees. His three hives—it didn’t take long for his original stock to multiply—were sold at auction for $110 each, 22 times the price of a beehive on the East Coast.

Today, the descendants of those immigrant bees are indispensable assets for North American farmers. In the spring, honey bees are trucked into California almond orchards to pollinate the blossoming trees. They’re then packed up and shipped to Oregon and Washington, where they pollinate berry fields and fruit orchards before continuing on their nationwide circuit.

Though not native to the U.S., honey bees are absolutely essential to U.S. agriculture. Their introduction into California was key to the state’s rise as a major global agricultural producer. A marker commemorating the historic introduction of the honey bee sits in front of the international terminal of the San Jose Airport.

Pollen for eating

Many people have asked me if I sell Bee Pollen for Human consumption.
No, I don’t sell pollen. Here is why
  1. It is more work than I want to do
  2. If you actually are allergic to the pollen I sell you, the chances are pretty high you will experience an allergic reaction (itching, upset stomach, … all the way to extreme allergic reactions to the pollen you just ate)
  3. Eating Honey containing the pollen you are allergic to will not cause this reaction (or only very rarely) as there are inhibiting agents in the honey, signaling to your body not to react to the pollen.
  4. I heard from a native bee scientist that pollen is concentrating the naturally occurring toxins from our environment.
He stated that for some yet unknown reason bees seem to offload many of the environmentally occurring toxins into the pollen. ==> if you eat the healthy pollen, you also eat a relatively high concentration of toxins.
The pollen in honey is extremely helpful in the fight against allergies caused by pollen. The amounts of pollen in the honey are minuscule and also the honey has ingredients that dampen our bodies readiness to allergic reactions caused by the pollen in the honey ==> making it safer to use seasonal honey for allergy treatment.

Honey Subscription by the month

I have been asked by a number of my customers about the chance to get honey when they need it most for their allergies. I decided to give it a try and offer to keep honey of the month you want for each customer separately.

Here is how I want to make it work:

You figure out which month you have allergies — Table of CA flowering schedule

  • You decide how much honey you will need for this time, you go to the table I provide and order it, I keep it for you till you pick it up, or if you want, I ship it to you. Here is where you can order it.
  • You go to the table I provide and order it, I keep it for you till you pick it up, or if you want, I ship it to you. Here is where you can order it.
  • I keep it for you till you pick it up, or if you want, I ship it to you. Here is where you can order it.
  • You pick it up, or if you want, I ship it to you. Here is where you can order it.
  • Here is where you can order it. LINK

I have created a table showing which flowers are blooming which month in our area. You can find out there which flowers you might be allergic to.