Have you spotted a swarm in your backyard? Contact us so we can give them a home!
Have a hive already established somewhere around your house? Let us take a look and see what we can do!
At Ventura Bee Rescue, our mission is to provide education and protection for our winged friends. The bees work hard to pollinate our crops and flowers all around us!
At Ventura Bee Rescue we are committed to the preservation of our pollinating friends. On their own, honey bees are resilient and industrial creatures! Our aim is to help the ones that find their way into your life and make their home in an inconvenient location, like your children’s treehouse! It is with this goal in mind that we will collect swarms that land in your backyard so that they have a chance to thrive before they are committed to a place that may not be hospitable to them for long. If they have already taken up residence on your property, we will work to extract them and rehome them in a way that will not disrupt their quality of life.
We take pleasure in all of the joys that beekeeping offers, which include not only honey but beautiful gardens and delicious crops.
What is a swarm?
A swarm is a group of bees that have split off from their old colony in search of a new home. These usually will form in the Spring and into Summer depending on weather and resources available. Honey bees will decide to swarm when they feel that their old home has become crowded. Once the bees decide to swarm, the worker bees will begin to raise a new queen and the old one will stop laying eggs. On swarming day the queen will leave the hive and take half or more of the workforce with her. Worker bees will prepare for swarming by filling up on honey to fuel their expedition for a new home.
Once out in the open, the queen is vulnerable to predation so the workers will keep her covered by forming a ball around her once she lands. When you see a cluster of bees in a tight formation, it is likely that the queen is in the center of that mass. It is possible that a swarm contains more than one queen! This occurs when multiple swarms congregate and coalesce at the same location. Normally, there can only be one queen per hive, but during their swarming activities, bees are docile and less prone to attack as they do not have a hive to protect.
Swarms will settle on a branch or other surface while the queen rests, surrounding and protecting her while scouts are sent out to search for a new home. It is at these times that capturing a swarm is possible. Call us when you see a swarm as soon as you notice as they can leave just as soon as they arrive!
I have an established hive!
Bees that have already found a home and are building comb is considered to be an established hive. You will be able to identify a hive by a few telltale signs, such as regular bee traffic to and from an opening and comb already being built. In these cases the method of removal depends on the location and size of the hive. If left alone, the bees will expand the comb to fill whatever cavity they are in which could be problematic if it comprises the integrity of a structure.
In cases of established hives, removal is a more involved process as it requires a study of the location and further preparations. Bees are going to be defensive during a removal as they have a home to protect, this is a dangerous time to be around without adequate protection as bees in our region have Africanized genetics.
What happens to the bees?
Any bees that are rescued are placed in locations along the coast where they will be free to pollinate and be tended to while they live out their lives in safety.
Swarm removal - If the swarm is on a branch or other flexible surface the process can be completed quickly. Otherwise allow a few hours for complete collection of main swarm and foraging bees returning after dusk.
Established hive removal - The hive is assessed for a proper plan of action before introducing smoke. You can help by submitting any photos of the location and beehive before scheduling an appointment. Established hive removal can be completed in two days (allow one day for straggler bees to move out of old location).
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We service Santa Barbara to Ventura counties!