Eco Honeybees Hive Maintenance Services

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The Key To Eco Honeybees

The cornerstone of what makes Eco Honeybees a groundbreaking new concept in beekeeping is our willingness to come back after the sale to maintain your hive to ensure its continued success.  The vast majority of our clients, while they want to do the right thing for the environment, do not have the expertise to care for their hives or have the time to acquire that knowledge.  

And frequent inspections are very much needed, especially in this era when hives collapse very easily and beekeeping is very challenging.  Just because bees are flying around outside and the hive LOOKS active doesn’t at all mean that everything is going well or that something bad isn’t lurking just over the horizon.  In our experience, one of the biggest issues facing the bees is that hive owners don’t inspect their hives often enough.  Quite often we’ll be called to troubleshoot someone’s hive only to find they haven’t opened it up in months or even since they started it.  They judge their hive’s health only by external activity and, by the time they call us, it’s often too late.

When inspecting hives we’ll usually be stopping by an average of once a month.  In the early season it might be every 2-3 weeks to ensure a hive has adjusted to its new environment and the Queen is doing all the right things.  In mid- to late-Spring we might also want to come by more often when hives are most apt to swarm so we can know exactly what is going on inside of yours so as to stay on top of it.  From the mid-summer onwards we’ll start taking close assessments of the honey supply and what the bees are doing with it.  Chances are very good we’ll be doing supplemental feeding and asking clients to also feed their bees throughout the fall.

Please click on the Bee Zen page here to learn more about our philosophy on hives and hive maintenance.  


Standard Hive Inspection _______________________________________$75

Our Inspection visit includes taking the hive apart to inspect each frame/bar, assessment of brood quantity/condition and Queen’s laying patterns, feeding, cleaning and inspection of mite and/or beetle trap(s), preventative treatments for mites and parasites, and assessment of the amount of honey in the hive.  We've NEVER raised the price on our Hive Inspections since we started business!

For more on hive inspection logistics, please click HERE (the bottom of this page)

Emergency Hive Assistance (Non Exisiting Client) ___________________$90

Every now and then something catastrophic happens. A hive gets knocked over, a tree falls on it during a storm, or a hive owner notices something else that they feel requires immediate assistance and attention.

Our existing clients know to call us immediately.  But we care deeply for all bees.  So depending on the emergency, Eco Honeybees is here to support you. 

The price given is for emergency support, assessment, and diagnosis and doesn’t include replacement of the hive, its components or bees. Obviously assessments will need to be made onsite. 

Additionally, if you’re not an existing Eco Honeybees client and we’re meeting you for the first time in a crisis/emergency situation, we’ll have to take things on a case-by-case basis because we’ll know nothing and have no information about your hive, its history and current situation.

The best thing to do is call us to apprise us of your situation.

Honey Extraction ____________________________________________(POA)

Eco Honeybees is proud to have it’s own honey extractor.  It is an investment we made to be able to service all the needs of our clients.  For our existing clients we don’t charge for our extraction service.  That’s just another reason for being one of our clients!  Since we're not in the honey sales business, it's not a huge extractor and we don't do honey grading.


For non-clients, just contact us with your extraction needs and we’ll work something out on a case by case basis.  If you're located in our service area and we're pulling the honey frames from your hive the price we give you for extraction pretty much includes an inspection.  But remember, if we're pulling frames from your hive, you'll either need to have replacement frames on hand or be prepared to purchase a few from us.

 

When we extract honey, we'll return it to the client in plastic jugs ranging from one quart to one gallon depending on how much the total amounts to.  And, just so you know, no matter how cute and special your little custom bottles are, the fun job of bottling your honey after extraction is up to you!


For more on our Views on Honey, please click HERE.

Swarms __________________________________________ Call FOR QUOTE

First off, SWARMS ARE NOT DANGEROUS!  We have a page dedicated to Swarms that you can click on HERE.  That being said, please click on our Swarms page to make sure you've got a swarm.  Honeybees are the ONLY bees that swarm and a swam is very different from a Wasp's nest or Yellow Jackets or ground bees or the like.

Every swarm is different.  Whether or not we can capture the swarm and what a charge will be (if any) depends on a few things:

1.  How long the swarm has been there or when it was first seen.  A swarm usually (not always) sits in one place for 2-3 hours before it moves to the new location the bees have found.  So time is of the essence.

2.  Your Location.  Because of what you just read, if the swarm has been in place for two hours before you called us and its going to take us 45 minutes to get to you, you'll be incurring a charge for time and travel for no reason. 

3.  The Swarm's Location.  Right off the bat, we enjoy living.  And, as passionate we are about bees, we're not going to risk our lives trying to capture a swarm that's 50 feet up a tree or hanging from the roof of a five story building.  So swarm accessibility is kind of a big thing.  Picture yourselves explaining to the Fire Department the dead guy in a bee suit lying in your yard.

Usually, most swarms can be accessed by a simple step ladder and the most damage we'll do is clipping small branches away to get to the actual swarm and remove it en mass.

More On Hive inspections

When Do You Do Inspections?

O.K.  Good Question.  And this can sometimes cause some friction with clients who wish to help or otherwise participate in the process.

Generally we do residential hive inspection on weekdays from mid-morning on till the early afternoon.

WHY? Call it public relations, if you will.   Experience has taught us that beehives get rather agitated when they're opened up and disassembled for inspection.  Every hive is different but it's a general rule.  So we've found that it is BEST to do this process after the neighbors are all off to work or the kids are in school.  On the flip side, we'd like to finish the process early enough in the afternoon so that the hive has time to calm down before human activity builds up.

So most often you won't be there when we stop by.

For this reason, we generally don't inspect hives on weekends.  No one wants 30,000 mildly agitated bees flying around a neighbor's family reunion backyard potato sack race (like many, we grew up watching the Brady Bunch and assume these races happen). 

Of course there are exceptions.  If your hive is on a roof or balcony then you have to be there to let us in.  Likewise, if your property is huge, then neighbors aren't an issue. 

Do you schedule Inspections ahead of time with clients?

Usually not.  Unless, like above, your hive is positioned in such a way that we need access to a roof or balcony.  


Inspections are hard to schedule for the following reasons.

  • Inspections are weather dependent.  Bees are the best weather predictors.  If they know a thunderstorm is close by, they will be very agitated if you start pulling apart their home.  
  • Not to say we won't inspect a hive during a gentle rain but that only happens after it's been raining for over a week and the bees are used to it and we're desperate to keep hives on a schedule. 
  • Our own energy levels.  While we're not young, some things will be a danger for anyone.  This area can get very hot and humid in late Spring and Summer.  Now picture me in a full coverage bee suit inspecting hives in the direct sunlight.  While I might PLAN to inspect eight hives that day, if hive number three has an issue that requires 2 hours of work, then I might be physically unable to continue.  Trust me.  You don't want a beekeeper collapsing from heat stroke in your yard.  He'll be covered in bees and the Fire Department won't want to get near him.
  • Logistically, to keep our prices down, we work on a service route and try to inspect as many area hives as possible in one day.  It is impossible to coordinate with that many households especially if there's a chance we won't be able to follow through for the above reasons.  Because of the number of hives we're committed to servicing, we'd like to avoid having to make special trips to service just one hive. 

Once a new client's hive has been worked into our service routes and each individual hive's situation has been assessed, we'll work to keep everyone happy.  Our biggest commitment is to the bees.  Hives need care and attention throughout the season to remain healthy.  Having to continually put inspections off due to client requirements only hurts the bees.