2017 Honeybee Removal Information

Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2017

If you are in need of having a honeybee swarm picked up, or a full colony of bees removed from a structure – please see the following links for my contact information:  (These same links are in the top menu bar on this website as well.)

Also please understand that most bee removal specialists are overwhelmed beginning in March with calls.  In peak season I personally receive between 30-40 calls per day – and do 1-3 full removals per day.  If I do not answer the phone, I am probably in a hive – so please do leave a message and I will return the call as quickly as possible.

Removal Information:
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=2

Frequently asked questions (and my answers):
http://www.bohemianutopia.com/wordpress/?page_id=512

Leather (and canvas) conditioner and waterproofer

When the weather turns wet, and the old work boots (or leather hat, etc) just is not waterproof any more, think about using a leather conditioner to rehydrate and waterproof the pores and stitching of the leather.  (note – this conditioner can be used on canvas tent material as well)

Amber’s work boots were dry, cracked, and dusty, and with recent rain – she wanted to make sure they would perform as they did when they were new, and be waterproof for working in the horse arena, stalls, fields, and streams with the horses.

A liberal coating was applied to both boots, then warmed with a heat gun (a hair dryer would work also) to melt the paste into the pores of the leather and into the seams and stitching.

Because her boots had gone so long without a treatment, the paste absorbed quickly into the leather.  Amber applied a total of 3 coats of the conditioner to these boots.

Good as new again!

Note:  Leather conditioner will darken leather.  If appearance is important, apply to an inconspicuous area to test first.  Not meant for furniture or car seats.  (people always ask!).  It can also be used to re-waterproof canvas tent material.

Scented beeswax tarts for potpourri melters

New this fall is an assortment of scents for your home potpourri wax melters.

Enjoy

  • Vanilla
  • Hazelnut
  • Cinnamon Bun
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • ButterScotch
  • Holiday Evergreen

 

Mosquito Spraying after Hurricane Harvey

You may have seen pictures of the massive mosquito outbreaks posted on social media this week.  Because of the numbers of mosquitoes – it looks like some heavy spraying will occur in the affected areas.   If you have hives that will be in the region affected – please take note of the information below.

A statement by the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) and another from the Texas Department of Health is copied below:

—————
Greetings Texas Beekeepers,

Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) has received the following notice form the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in regards to spraying for mosquitoes in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. As I’m sure you can imagine with the massive amounts of rain the state received also comes a huge influx of mosquitos. To get a better understanding of exactly how bad the mosquito outbreak is please see the following article- http://citybugs.tamu.edu/2017/09/06/and-now-its-mosquitoes/

There are a few things you as beekeepers can do to help minimize contact of your bees to the spray. First, if possible, move your hives to locations outside of the spray areas. If you are not able to move your hives you can cover them with a tarp or other solid surface to reduce the amount of spray that comes in contact with the hives. One very important thing to remember is to not completely block the entrance to the hives and to allow for some ventilation so your hives do not over heat. After the spraying, and when you feel comfortable going outside, you can wash down the exterior surfaces of the hives with water to remove any residual residue. Keep in mind that the insecticide is designed to breakdown quickly and is not active for very long after the spray.

Please take the time to read to attached materials and the press release below. If you have questions about pesticide applications please contact your county mosquito control. TAIS does not have information about spray schedules. As more information becomes available we will update you via email.

Thank You,
Mark Dykes
Chief Apiary Inspector
Texas Apiary Inspection Service
2475 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2475
Tel. 979.845.9714; Fax 979.845.0983
mdykes@tamu.edu
http://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu


Subject: DSHS News Release: Texas to conduct aerial mosquito control in wake of Hurricane Harvey

Texas to conduct aerial mosquito control in wake of Hurricane Harvey 

The rain left behind by Hurricane Harvey has created large areas where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. To address increasing numbers of mosquitoes and the risk they pose to the recovery effort and public health, the Texas Department of State Health Services has activated its contract for aerial mosquito control and requested additional mosquito control assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Aerial spraying targeting mosquitoes will begin around dusk Thursday over Refugio and Bee counties, weather permitting.

Most mosquitoes that appear after floods are nuisance mosquitoes that don’t spread disease but can have a serious effect on recovery operations by preventing responders and people affected by a disaster from being outside. Areas of standing water can also increase the number of mosquitoes capable of spreading diseases like West Nile virus and Zika.

Aerial application of insecticide, when applied according to label instructions by a licensed professional, is the most effective way to rapidly reduce the number of mosquitoes in a large area and does not present a risk to people, pets or other animals.

A small amount of insecticide, one to two tablespoons per acre, is dispersed by airplanes equipped with nozzles that create ultra-low volume droplets just the right size to kill mosquitoes. The tiny droplets are calibrated to float in the air for a period of time and kill adult mosquitoes on contact while limiting exposure to other animals and people. Once any remaining droplets settle to the ground, they quickly break down on surfaces, in water and in sunlight.

The small amount of insecticide used does not pose a health risk to people, pets or the environment in the area. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people may prefer to stay inside and close windows and doors when spraying takes place, but it is not necessary.

Spraying is also done to minimize any effects on beneficial insects like bees. Applications will be done starting around dusk when mosquitoes are most active and after bees have returned to their hives for the night. The insecticides dissipate and break down quickly in the environment, and when bees emerge in daylight, they are not affected. Although this type of application will not cause a significant exposure for bees, beekeepers may choose to cover their colonies and prevent bees from exiting during treatment.

Flights will be conducted by Clarke, Texas’ environmental services contractor, using three twin-engine Beechcraft King Air planes. Crews will be working from dusk to dawn beginning Thursday night with Refugio and Bee counties, areas identified as priorities. Texas is also expecting additional support from the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing flying two specially equipped C-130H cargo planes in the coming days in areas over the upper Texas coast. DSHS will continue to coordinate with county governments that have requested aerial mosquito spraying and will update information as flight plans are finalized.

People can help control mosquitoes during the recovery effort by dumping out standing water around their homes and businesses and applying a commercially available larvicide in water that can’t be drained. People should also avoid mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered mosquito repellent every time they go outside and making sure their window and door screens are in good repair after the storm to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

-30-

(News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119)

 

Get your honey at the Holistic Festival of Life and Wellness

Harmony Hollow will be a VIP vendor at the 5th Holistic Festival of Life & Wellness on Sunday 25 June 2017, selling honey and more.    The event is free to the public – however, if you purchase a VIP pass – many vendors will have special deals available.  (Purchase (2) pint-jars of honey, and get a 1# squeeze bottle of honey – with VIP pass only)

http://www.holisticfestivaloflife.com/

Now is your opportunity to see the bees up close in the observation hive, and get your local raw honey local raw honey direct from the beekeeper.

 

This event is free to the public to attend!  Get a VIP pass for special deals from select vendors.

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Products available:

  • North Texas Wildflower Honey (2016 and 2017 harvests)
  • Beeswax
  • Wood Conditioner (Currently sold out!)
  • Leather Conditioner (Currently sold out!)

Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/252003808591190/

5th Holistic Festival of Life & Wellness
2000 E. Spring Creek (at the Plano Centre)
Plano, Tx  75074

Artistic and musical performances throughout the day by:

  • Amie Maciszewski
  • Bhakti House Band
  • Parul
  • Here Now
  • Daisy Windsong
  • Little Goddess Trybe
  • Impending Bloom
  • Tribal Evolution
  • Ryan Taylor
  • Daniel KatsüK

Workshops and talks throughout the day.

 

Amma in Dallas – June 17-18 2017 – Green Initiatives / Greenfriends

If you plan to see Amma on 17-18 June 2017 in Dallas – be sure to stop by Amma’s “Green Initiatives” and “Greenfriends” tables.  There you can see the honeybee observation hive from Harmony Hollow Apiaries and talk about our native pollinators, pollinator-friendly plants, and our agricultural pollinators, as well as information about Amma’s global agriculture and farming initiatives.

Through the day on Saturday and Sunday – activities and information will be available for both children and adults.

Event website link:  Amma in Dallas 2017

Event Facebook Page:  Amma in Dallas 2017 – Facebook Event Page

 

 

Metal Roof Bees (video in link)

This video really shows more of the opening process and then the closing up of the structure afterwards.  These bees have been in this space for a few months. The thermal camera was almost useless on the days I was trying to get a reading. The metal roof was hot, even on cloudy days. (I think the bees would have regretted moving in if we had gone through summer!) A fairly simple removal – new enough that I treated the bees as a swarm, and have them re-hived in a new box without any of their comb, since theirs was so soft.

(Background music: Trevor Hall – Hanuman Chalisa)

 

Cauldron Bees (video in link)

This honeybee removal was about the size of a valve-box removal. The bees had lived in the inverted decorative cauldron in the bushes since this spring. The comb was pure white (new) – and the queen had a solid laying pattern of eggs and brood. They had a decent amount of nectar in there as well.

SS Minnow – Boat Bees (video in link)

Bees have been in this boat for at least 2 years, according to the comb color, texture, etc. The comb wound up being quite a challenge to remove, as the fuel lines, steering cables, electrical lines, and more were all running through the rear space of this boat. The bees, however had a very good demeanor (despite having been vacuumed into a collection box) – and were moved to the bee yard with minimal protest by the bees.

Golf Course – New Hazard in the Rough! (Video in link!)

The City of Allen owns a golf course – and it was reported by a patron that honeybees were in a knothole of a tree on the 14th hole.

The facilities manager was concerned both for the safety of their customers (the public) as well as having a humane and live removal of the honeybees performed.

After evaluating the tree and surrounding area, I offered 3 options

  • Trapout
  • Forced Abscond
  • Cutout (chainsaw the tree)

My recommendation to them – when taking safety of the public into account, was to perform a trapout.  A 1-way exit would be placed over the bees’ entrance, and an alternative box be mounted to the tree for the bees to use until they all are out of the tree.  After 2 days, I added a frame of eggs and larvae for the bees to create a new queen with.  (getting the queen from a trapout is a tricky proposition – and when she finally absconds – it’s sketchy as to whether she will use the box provided)

Here is the timeframe of the trapout activity:

4/12/2017 – Inspection/Evaluation
4/14/2017 – Trapout Begins
4/16/2017 – Frames of eggs and brood added
4/21/2017 – (queen cells *should* be capped)
4/24/2017 – Trapout complete – all bees out of tree (and 5+ queen cells on the frame of eggs/brood) –  Box FULL of bees and nectar.  Tree hole screened over, and nuc box removed at dusk – and taken to one of the Harmony Hollow bee yards
4/28/2017 – (Queen cells *should* be hatching)
5/3-4/2017 – Appx Mating Flights dates

This trapout was VERY fast compared to others.  In many cases, it can take 6-8 weeks for all the bees to exit the hive.

Below is a fairly long video.  It may be a little dry for some folks… but for us bee geeks – it’s as golden as the contents of Marseillaises Wallace’s briefcase in Pulp Fiction.  😉  (Yes – there’s an Easter egg in the video)

Enjoy…

Stargate Bees – Downed Tree Limb

This property houses a Stargate portal to an inter-dimensional bee hive located in a tree limb that fell from it’s host tree last summer.

The rotted section of limb fooled me at first (as this WAS performed on April 1 !) – and the bees were ABOVE the knothole, instead of below it.

The queen was found a few yards away from the workspace when a cluster of bees started to form about 10-15′ away from my work location.  The queen was quickly captured and placed with the rest of the comb, bees, etc in the 5-frame box.  Then they were all left overnight to re-assemble in their new home – and picked up the next day.. and exit through the Stargate portal to the Harmony Hollow Apiary bee yard….