Tomas More

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since Sep 06, 2012
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bee chicken dog
Attended Permaculture Voices 1
Geoff Lawton PDC 2014
SBCC PDC with Michael Gonella 2013
Santa Barbara
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Recent posts by Tomas More

I have a client that asked me to set up bee hives next to conventional solar panels. I have decided move them further back to make sure that the reflection of the sun does not effect orientation flights. I remove bees all the time form electrical boxes, panels, and cell phone towers so they don't seem to mind electricity.
2 years ago
My bees are doing great. I did a rescue at the beginning of the month and the bees have fixed all the comb and the queen is laying a near perfect pattern. Most of the gaps are from the x wire I use in my rescue frames.
2 years ago
Carol. Good questions. First suggest getting to know neighbors and know your limits. I always make sure there is someone around when I am going to do something stupid to call 911 or maybe just to film.
1. Dogs are great. But a good dog is worth its weight in gold. My dog protects the animals and the property. Just her presence has kept the thieves away. They hit properties on both sides of us. A dog that is on guard and trained can be trained not to eat strange food. I would not let the chance of poison deter you from getting a dog. I would plan on spending time picking the right breed then training it and making it a good dog.
2. Good dogs bark for a reason. Train you dog to bark at what you want her to bark at. My dogs bark when they feel like they need reinforcements or they get something cornered. In the middle of the night I let her bark unless it gets serious and you can hear the difference. She is a German Shepard trained to be a LGD.
How bad is the crime in the area you are thinking of going.
3 years ago
I received my Garden Knife and I like it so far. I am going to carry it for a few days and beat on it to see how it does then I will leave a review. Thanks and great price.
3 years ago
I like the pie idea and happy to support the forum. Good work everybody!
One of the first question I ask callers is if they see any yellow. If the answer is yes most likely they are not bees. I then ask then to describe where the bees are living, I get a lot of I don't know because it is yellow jackets under ground, bees pollinating or collecting water or propolis, or lots of other wild goose chases. Cell phone cameras are great help but if the person is too afraid to get that close I let them know I would be happy to come out but I have a minimum service charge. If it turns out not to be bees I then spend time doing education, giving honey and finding someone to help them. I help them feel like they got their monies worth and pay for my gas. Each area what you can charge will depend on competition and what people are willing to pay.

I put my tools in a 5 gallon galvanized smoker pail, including knife, rubber bands, hive tool, flashlight, lighter, smoker fuel, swarm commander and bee robber (in little squeeze bottles in seperate closed containers). Bee Jacket, gloves and a nuc or two. I bring a few other things but that is my must have list.

For big jobs I bring my truck but I am trying to do more on my motorcycle. Below is a picture of my bee removal truck after I loaded it up with one of my clients equipment for winter storage.

3 years ago
Observation hives are great for your first year to be able to check on the hive often without disturbing them to much. You may want to look in to building your own top bar beehive. Check out Bee Thinking for some finished examples. There are plans at http://www.biobees.com/build-a-beehive-free-plans.php
3 years ago
Peter

I do lots of bailouts and have a 95% plus success rate. Having a small queen rite colony is the key. Create your one way exit using the bees current enterance and place the bait colony as close as possible to the cone. A few inches works best. I will look and see if I have a video and post it later.
3 years ago
Once the colony is saved you can figure it out from there. The 8 frame langstroth is about the same width as a warre just deeper. I have had some success with getting the bees to build into a standard warre box in the spring with a good nectar flow. Main goal at this point is to save the colony and the good local genetics. Check out the photo below of the frakenhive.

Instgram photo of frakenhive
3 years ago
Ok time to go from bee haver to beekeeper. This is a advanced type of rescue called a cut out. Below is a video of me teaching how to do a basic cutout.



I would go to Mann Lake in Woodland, Ca to get the hive parts. They don't have warre but for your first cut out a warre is tough. If you go foundation-less with a 8 frame Langstroth box it will be close in size to the warre and then you could add a quilted top cover. If using warre zip ties work well to attach the comb.

What is the likely hood this hive will swarm? ie should we focus on trying to capture a swarm?
• Hive may abscond meaning they leave altogether but this late in the season they may try and stick around. With so much exposure it is tough for them to protect from robber bees, yellow jackets, ants, rain and cold.
If the hive doesn't swarm, can we entice the hive to move to our Warre hive? What are our options?
• If you take out the baby bees, and all the comb the bees will follow. You could also try to smoke them up but bees are reluctant to leave established comb.
If the weather holds for a couple of week's how long do you think we have until the hive collapses?
• Rescue as soon as possible as every day any brood they can not keep at about 95 degrees will die, if they are not already at some point they may come under attack and that will cause them to increase there defensiveness.

I have done many of these types of removals. You can post on craigslist or search the internet to see if there is anyone who offers "live bee removal" in your area. You could pay a little to have a local expert help you. Let me know if you have any more questions.

3 years ago