Rex Smith’s Honeybee Removal – 2015
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 this time of year with calls. 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.
Frequently asked questions (and my answers):
Honey Cough Syrup
- 1½ tablespoons – Zest of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup – peeled, sliced ginger , or ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 cup – water
- 1 cup – Harmony Hollow Honey
- ½ cup – lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine lemon zest, sliced ginger and 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, then strain through into a heat-proof measuring cup. Rinse the saucepan out and pour in 1 cup of honey. On low heat, warm the honey, but do not allow it to boil. Add the strained lemon ginger water and the lemon juice. Stir the mixture until it combines to form a thick syrup. Pour into a clean jar with a lid. Note: This can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.
For children ages 1 to 5, use ½ to 1 teaspoon every 2 hours. For children ages 5 to 12, use 1 to 2 teaspoon every 2 hours. For children 12 and older and adults, use 1 to 2 tablespoons every 4 hours.*
* Remember, honey is recommended for children after the age of one.
Recipe courtesy of Nurse Practitioner Barbara Dehn, RN, MS, NP.
Fruit & Honey Smoothie
- 1 can (16 oz.) – pear halves or slices, drained
- 2 Tablespoons – Harmony Hollow Honey
- 1-1/2 cups – milk
- 1 cup (8 oz.) – strawberry or other fruit-flavored yogurt
In blender or food processor container, combine pears and honey; process until smooth. Add milk and yogurt; process until blended.
Fruit & Honey Pops – Prepare Smoothie recipe as directed, reducing milk to 3/4 cup. Pour into eight 3-ounce popsicle molds or paper drinking cups. (If using cups, insert craft stick in center of each pop.) For fun pops, experiment with alternating layers of smoothie mixture and sprinkles or chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, approximately 3-4 hours.
Spiced Honey Echinacea Cooler
- 4 – Echinacea tea bags*
- 4 – cinnamon sticks
- 20 – whole cloves
- 1/2 cup – Harmony Hollow Honey
- 1/4 cup – fresh lemon juice
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves ; let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon and cloves and stir in honey and lemon juice. Place in refrigerator until chilled (approx. 1 hour). Pour over ice and garnish with fresh lemon slices. *May substitute chamomile tea for the Echinacea tea.
Yield – (4) Servings
Variations: Add 1 Tablespoon orange juice to each glass. Add 2 Tablespoons rum or whisky to each glass for a “spiked” version.
Pumpkin Honey Bread
- 1 cup – Harmony Hollow Honey
- 1/2 cup – butter or margarine, softened
- 1 can (16 oz.) – solid-pack pumpkin
- 4 – eggs
- 4 cups – flour
- 4 teaspoons – baking powder
- 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons – ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon – baking soda
- 1 teaspoon – salt
- 1 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
In large bowl, cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Sift together remaining ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert pans to remove loaves and allow to finish cooling on racks.
Makes (2) Loaves.
No – Not directly “beekeeping” related – however, when I perform a bee removal in a location too far from electricity – I need my generator(s) to be able to do their job. Since we are about to enter the cooler part of the year when generators are likely to be used more for other purposes – I thought it would be a great time to do a little maintenance on my generators.
Mine have sat for over a year without being used. That means that any moisture in the gas system may have rusted and caused debris to form in the gas tank and/or carburetor bowl.
Sure enough – neither of my generators would start when I tried to fire them up. I sprayed a little starter fluid into the carburetor of each – and they would run for a few seconds. This means that my most likely culprit is fuel delivery. Something is clogged somewhere.
Unfortunately – I took no photos while I was working. My hands were covered in gasoline, oil, grease, and starter fluid. I was not about to touch my phone or camera for the purpose.
My small generator is a 6.5A generator. Yes – a Harbor Freight small portable 2-cycle engine generator. At 6.5 Amps – it will not run my vacuum for doing bee removals – but it will run small hand tools. Since it is 2-cycle, oil is added to the gasoline. This means that any gas that sits in the system (carb bowl) is prone to clogging up small orifices like the carburetor jets. I carefully took the bowl off of the carburetor on the generator, and sure enough – the brass jet was clogged with a gel-like coagulation of oily mess. I quickly ran a small wire gauge through the jet, and used some spray carburetor cleaner to clear the jet – and re-installed it. After putting it all back together, and turning the fuel back on – the generator started on the first pull of the rope. Success!
Here is a sample photo of what some carburetor jets look like if you have never seen them. There is a tiny hole going through the brass – that lets a metered amount of fuel to enter the engine as it is mixed with air for combustion.
My larger generator (3600 watts @ 120v – and WILL run my bee-vac – and is *NOT* from HF) has a 4-cycle engine on it – so no oily gas… The carb bowl was rusted, though – and again – there was debris clogging the fuel delivery jet. More cleaner, a bit of air blown through the system… put it back together – and again – started on the FIRST pull. Success again!
Maintain your motorized equipment – especially when it’s seldom used. A lawn mower is (or should be) used pretty regularly – so there’s less opportunity for the carburetor to clog the jets. However, when a generator or pressure washer sits for a long season – expect to do a little maintenance to keep things running smoothly.
These honeybees had never stung anyone living around the hive. The hive was 19′ in the air – externally built on a limb of a magnolia tree. The homeowner called around to get information on having them removed… and another “removal company” (that is really an exterminator with a “beekeeping related” company name) diagnosed these bees as being Africanized – while on the phone with her – and told her that they would show her that they were Africanized by waving a teddy bear in front of the bees – and when the bees attack it – that they would be *confirmed* as Africanized. I’ve heard this line of BS from other clients who have dealt with that company as well. The teddy bear has probably got a TON of alarm pheromone on it from other hives – making ANY bees want to attack it.
They KNEW that the bees were not aggressive, and yet gave a diagnosis of Africanized. Some companies try to sell FEAR to customers to get them to make rash and irresponsible quick decisions.
Luckily, this homeowner called around for a 2nd opinion. The situation (and the bees) were evaluated, and in the video you can see how atrocious their demeanor is towards me. lol…. This short video clip was taken just before removing the comb and transferring it and the bees to a 5-frame nuc box.
One of my best harvests this summer was from a few hives that had been near a LOT of mesquite trees while they were in bloom. The honey is some of the lightest, sweetest honey that I have seen.
Unfortunately, though, mesquite nectar tends to crystallize. Quickly. Did I mention that it gets granular and crystallized fast? It does. Really…
Here’s a shot of my last jar of my personal stash of mesquite tree honey:
The entire jar has crystallized almost solid.
The fix is to warm it. I put this particular jar in my truck – with the windows rolled down a bit to keep it from getting too hot. A few hours later, I checked it – and it was completely liquid again.
Here it is AFTER being in the cab of the truck for about 2 hours.
Be careful not to get the honey too hot. If it gets above about 110 deg. F, then there is a potential to destroy beneficial enzymes in the honey.
Earlier this summer I built an observation hive which holds one frame from a Langstroth hive. This hive is a great tool for teaching at events where I speak and interact with the public regarding the importance of our pollinators.
The oak wood as well as the plexi sides and the hardware were all obtained off-the-shelf from one of the big box stores (the blue/grey store if you want to know).
I cut the wood to length and mitered the corners to 45 degrees, and used the table saw to cut a groove for the plexiglass to sit and provide a viewing window for the bees to safely observe the humans outside without danger. 😉
7 holes are drilled around the edges for ventilation, and screen is stapled across the vent holes.
Though you cannot see them for the burlap in the photo – there are “feet” to give a stable stand for the hive to be sturdy – and to raise the hive a bit and allow air flow from underneath.
Below is a link to a fantastic 17 minute documentary on solitary bees (hosted on Vimeo.com). So many more pollinators are just as vital to the health of our Earth – not just our European honeybees.
These bees had a GREAT demeanor! They have been in the joist space for about 2 years according to the comb color and condition.
When I found the queen – I carried the comb down off the ladder to capture her in my queen cage – however she fell off the comb on the way down off of the ladder. I sat down to review my video to see if I could figure out where she dropped off – and while sitting there in the shade under the tree – she just walked right up to me. I grabbed her, put her into a queen cage, and continued the removal.
(background music: Shiva Shambo by Namaste’)