Super Bee Rescue is Santa Barbara’s safest live bee removal company. This is a great promotional video created by UCSB students.
Santa Barbara’s Safest Live Bee Removal by a Professional Beekeeper. We are experts in swarm removal!
We can remove and relocated a swarm of bees as described below for only $150. We are licensed, insured and have performed 1000s of live removals.
A swarm is half of a colony of bees with a queen that is looking for a new home. They form a ball as pictured below and stay for 72 hours or less.
If the bees are inside of something or have been there for longer than 72 hours it is not a swarm but a hive. We can safely remove hives as well. Contact us for a estimate at the phone number above or superbeerescue.com
Swarm Removals over 15 ft or from public areas are extra.
We normally answer the phone within 15 minutes and can respond quickly, even same day in most cases. M-F 9 am – 9 pm. Weekends by
Apt. or for emergencies.
Many beekeepers recommend leaving the bees alone as they will leave after 72 hours in most cases. It is our experience that they always go somewhere, usually nearby, and it is very common for them to build inside a home. Capturing swarms prevents the bees from going into a unwanted and more expensive location.
CAUTION: Do not under any circumstance use wasp spray on bees as it rarely kills all of them and those left will be very defensive. Most attempts to get rid of bees that are done incorrectly will lead to a more difficult and expensive removal / repairs. Check references before hiring any beekeeper.
Get Ready – Beekeeping is a series of decisions that leads to a successful colony
To make the best decisions it takes knowledge.
- I suggest starting with a good book and my favorite first book is Beekeeping for dummies . It is an easy read and is a great start
- Beekeeping class – available online or in person locally
- Join a bee club, I prefer the local club: Beekeepers Guild of Santa Barbara
Get Set – There are only a few items that are needed to start beekeeping and below is a short list.
- A safe home for the bees either Langstroth, Top Bar, or Warre.
- Protection from stings: start with more protection, then with experience, reduce to what you are most comfortable with.
- Smoker and hive tool
Go – How to get bees
Package vs swarms
Package – Most common method of getting bees (and certainly not the best) is to purchase a package of bees. A package is an artificial swarm created by a beekeeper by shaking bees out of a hive and adding a queen. Because the bees were not planning on swarming they do not build up as fast as a swarm.
Swarm – A swarm is the honey bees natural reproductive method. The bees are programed to create comb and the queen will lay very quickly. Bees produce many swarms as in the wild they have a low chance of survival. Proper care can increase their chances, but the first few weeks are critical. The issue with the swarm is that the health and genetics of the bees are unknown. The unknowns are more difficult the less experience the beekeeper has. It is a good low cost way to get bees, but the bees have diseases or poor genetics which lead to spiciness or poor mite resistance.
Nucs vs Full sized hives
Nucs – A nuc is short for Nucleus colony which is the smallest colony which with proper care will grow into a healthy colony. The nuc is taken from a larger hive and usually has a queen that has been in the nuc for weeks to prove her laying ability and genetics.
Full sized hive – Often there are opportunities to purchase a full-sized hive that an experienced beekeeper is getting rid of. One of the issues is that the selling beekeeper has greater knowledge about the hive, its condition, and possible diseases than the buyer. It is very important to beware of full sized hives if you do not know the beekeeper. A second and possibly more important issue is that a beginner will not have the skill to handle so many bees at once. The hive will grow and if not cared for properly may swarm or become honey bound.
I suggest getting a swarm trap and capturing a swarm and if interested in getting a nuc, getting in a reservation as soon as possible as historically it has been a 6-month wait. I hope that the rain speeds this up this year. To purchase a swarm trap or purchase a nuc email or call me for details.
Directions: The event will be held at our new bee yard @ 4188 Foothill Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93013. Please go to gate B and look for the yard sale signs. This gate is toward Ventura not the gate that says HeartStone Ranch.
Buzz into Spring!
Super Bee Rescue & Removal
Seasonal Yard Sale
Saturday, February 18th
New & gently used Beekeeping Equipment, Rescue Honey, Hive boxes, and more!
Complimentary ‘Introduction to Beekeeping Seminar’ with Nick Wigle at 1:00pm
For more information Visit:
How to choose a professional to perform live bee removal in Santa Barbara, CA
Anyone can perform live bee removals. Bees are exempt from the structural pest control license requirements. This means that anyone can advertise to do bee removals. Below are my suggestions for choosing someone how will do a good job solving your bee problem.
Honey Bee Removal
- Insurance – This is the most important factor because when dealing with stinging insects almost anything can go wrong and this will protect you and your home. You do not want someone who is uninsured up on a ladder dealing with 1000’s of stinging insects when you or your neighbors could be stung if something goes wrong.
- Super Bee is fully insured
- Experience – Each bee removal is different and it is important to ask if they have done this type of removal before and what percent successfully was removed. Also ask how likely it is that someone is going to get stung. I think it is important to ask how many removals the person has performed.
- Reviews – Some of the best references are online reviews. Even a few negative can give good information but no reviews at all are a very bad sign. Check Google, yelp and Facebook for reviews.
- We have a average of 5 out of 5 stars. Please see https://plus.google.com/+Superbeerescuesantabarbara
- Business performance – Customer service is extremely important in this in live bee removals because you need to trust the person who is solving your stinging insect problem. Do they call you back quickly, answer calls and emails, professional vehicle, clothing, etc.
- I started my first business 26 years ago and have been a entrepreneur ever since.
Other stinging insects
What about Yellow Jackets, Mud Daubers, and Paper Wasps? These wasps have more of an attitude problem than honeybees. There is not a license requirement to perform a live removal. But without a license they cannot use Moth balls, wasp spray, or any other pesticide. The same rules as above apply, although because most people do not desire to save the wasps you could hire a pest control company.
To perform proper wasp removal the following are best practices.
- Service done in the dark either at sunrise or sunset when all the wasps are home. During the day up to 50% of the wasps could be out foraging, upon returning they will not be happy to find their home destroyed. Many pest control companies only work 9-5 so they spray the area and hope for the best.
- Nest needs to be removed. Inside the wasp nest is baby wasps and if the nest is not removed it can be reactivated when they hatch.
3. Return to check the area for safety in the next few days. There is always a few stragglers so it is important to recheck before clearing the area.
Thank you for reading and hopefully the above information will help you choose professional bee expert for the job. I believe that Super Bee Rescue is the best company in Santa Barbara, Ca to solve your problem.
The bees are in trouble. The loss rate on beehives continues to be much higher than sustainable. See the chart below. To keep bees sustainably it requires splitting hives and putting up swarm traps to keep the hive count high. Keeping one hive year round is much more difficult than keeping two.
I am going to publish several blog articles on this issue this year focusing on
- Varroa mites,
- Drought and poor nutrition,
- Queen Failure
- and other issues
I will announce new articles on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/superbeerescue/ as I create them.
I have built my business on providing the safest live bee removals in Santa Barbara. Reviews help us gain new clients and save bees. I believe that Super Bee Rescue provides the best service and the highest survival rates for the bees.
Below are a few articles that show the benefits of Honey, Pollen and Propolis
There are many good reasons to add honey to your diet. Raw and unfiltered honey being the most nutritious. The bits of pollen, propolis, and wax that are typically removed from the honey have extraordinary health benefits. This honey has a plethora of immune system boosting antibiotics, antifungal , and antioxidants. This article reveals that eating a teaspoon of this liquid gold a day can seemingly reduce one’s seasonal allergies. Learn how to be healthier today.
Bee Pollen is highly recommended for its many benefits. It is 40% Protein and full of many proteins, free amino acids, and vitamins, including B-complex and folic acid. Check out the article for more details.
Many of us are familiar with two types of Apis mellifera (the common honey bee) products: honey and pollen. We sweeten our tea with honey and add pollen to smoothies for a protein kick, hardly aware of the health benefits of another product these amazing insects make; propolis. Propolis is a resinous substance bees collect to seal cracks and disinfect their hive. Propolis has analgesic, anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Propolis is also believed to have higher antioxidant capacities than any other food products out there. Find it in your raw, and unfiltered honey! Save the bees and stay healthy.
There are a few pieces of equipment that are essential for any aspiring beekeeper. It’s not much, but investing in these items will help make your beekeeping adventure much more successful.
You have many options in this category, but depending on your comfort level a full bee suit or jacket is the best place to start. As you gain experience, you may find a simple hat or veil to be all you need.
There are many options on the market, but goatskin gloves will provide the best mix of comfort and protection. Many times you can work a hive without gloves but in this case it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.
My favorite is miniature pry bar. Hive tools are inexpensive but easy to lose. It’s nice to have more than one.
My preference is a smoker with a guard. The guard is a metal mesh that protects you from burns, and lowers the likelihood of you starting a fire. (Side note: Having your smoker lit and working before opening the is very helpful.)
Having a bucket is more useful than you might expect. You can use it to store the lit smoker, tools, and equipment. I use a metal trash can but any bucket will do.
I firmly believe that every beekeeper should have some sort of external swarm control. It helps your apiary grow, and prevents problems like angry neighbors with a tree full of bees. Ideally it’s in the same style, so if you have a top bar hive, top bar Nuc. In a pinch a cardboard box and some lemongrass will do.
With just these few items, you’ll have your apiary up and running in no time. It’ll be easy to check your hives, care for your bees, and have you’ll have a great time doing it.
One last item that can be useful is a hive stand. Many people have found that the ultimate hive stand is useful.
Keep up to date with Super Bee Rescue by following us on Facebook!
Super bee rescue and removal does high quality professional removal of bees. In our work we attempt to maintain a 95% or higher survival rate for the bees while eradicating the chances of another colony settling in the vacancy. Saving the bees and caring for the health of the hive while causing limited damage to private property takes focused time and skilled attention. Removals are difficult to execute well by someone who is a beginner beekeeper and who has minimal construction experience. We consider ourselves skilled tradesmen and carry a high insurance limit because dealing with thousands of stinging creatures on a ladder carries with it a high level of liability.
The bees themselves are inherently precious but not necessarily valued monetarily and there are many costs involved in rescuing a colony from a roof and relocating it, bringing it back to health and productivity. This effort is best done by someone who is a full time beekeeper. Clients often ask beginner beekeepers to remove and rescue hives only to realize that the complications caused by beginners to both facility and colony is often more expensive than what we charge at Super Bee Rescue. After doing hundreds of removals we have learned the best ways to remove the bees and have the tools and knowhow to do so. For all these reasons it is important for us to be compensated for our time and our work.
So how much does it cost? Our costs are similar to other pest control companies in town for similar services. We charge hourly similar to a plumber or mechanic. I would be happy to give your a estimate email is best with a photo and description of the bees but I can also do a phone estimate.
Professional and quality bee removals are never free.*
* There are a few exceptions to this rule. I love local non-profits and support many of them. If your nonprofit has a bee problem and you need help. Second exception if you really can not afford the removal we can try to come up with a creative / barter payment to help you.
Beekeeping is a magical art, one that will bring much sweetness and light into your life. But beekeeping also takes a good amount of preparation, dedication, and know-how. Here are some tips, tricks, guidelines, and resources to help you on your orientation flight!
How to begin
You’ll need to do some basic things before you start.
1. Do some preliminary learning
–Read about the lifecycle of a bee
–Get to know the queens habits and needs
–Discover the beekeeper’s responisbilities month by month
-Find an introductory bekeeping book, we recommend:
Beekeeping in Coastal California
Beekeeping For Dummies
Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees
Check out our blog for book reviews on other books
2. Get equipment
Budget about $300-$500 for hive, tools, protection, and the bees themselves. Read more below on what equipment is essential for your first year! Price will vary depending on method for example assembling your own equipment and capturing a swarm is on the lower end of the spectrum and purchasing assembled equipment and buying a nuc is on the upper end.
Equipment to purchase
Here is a list of what you need to get started. Everything else you can purchase as you need it. You can purchase your equipment from local business Goodland Bee Supply in Goleta.
It’s a starter kit! A nucleus (or nuc) of bees will include
-2 frames of brood (babies)
-2 or more frames of honey/pollen/nectar/built honey comb
-A good amount of worker bees.
The nuc box only holds 5 frames and should not necessarily be used as a permanent home as it’s too small.
You can purchase nucs from Super Bee for $200, this is the going rate for a nuc. Also, the best source for a nuc is not from a commercial Beekeeper but from a fellow backyard beekeeper who has split a healthy hive. Make sure to find a bee source that is local, healthy, from an experienced and trusted beekeeper. If you want to be treatment free, ask for a treatment history of the hive.
To start out your beekeeping journey we recommend full protection. Get a full bee suit with a dome shaped veil. Don’t forget gloves. When you get more comfortable ditch the gloves and eventually you can ditch everything but the veil.
Bees associate dark colors with bears so make sure to wear light colors when checking the hive. Wear a hat, if the bees get in your hair they also think you’re a predator and will sting.
Build a hive stand
Make sure your hive stand is at least 18 inches above the ground to provide ventilation under hive, to protect bees from ants and other predators, to avoid rot, and for a good working height. Build a sturdy stand out of wood, old tires, cinder blocks, etc.
All you need to start is a brood box (also called a deep). Decide whether you want an 8 or 10 frame deep. Purchase 2-3 to start. We recommend you paint hive boxes with non toxic, light colored paint to avoid wear, tear, and rot. The light color also helps with heat deflection making temperature control easier for the bees.
You’ll also need a bottom board and a hive cover (top and bottom)
This is where the bees live and build their comb. Purchase 10-20 frames to get started.
Beekeepers have 3 different strategies for their frames, wax, plastic, foundation-less. We recommend foundationless as it allows the bees to build their comb in whatever formation they like. Plastic is best for large scale beekeeping and wax foundation is fine too although when we tested commercial wax foundation we found a plethora of chemicals and disease residue. Use at your own risk.
-Feather to brush them
-Smoker + smoking fuel
-Notebook + pen to take notes
-Water source (dog water stand, add rocks so bees don’t drown)
It’s super important to choose a spot wisely! Bees are particular and if you don’t cater to their needs they might just ditch your hive to find a better hole in a tree or empty attic.
Because bees need early morning sun to let them know the its time to start forgaing. This also helps protect them from cold northern winds.
Wind and rain protection
The bees MUST keep the hive at 95 degrees farenheit so the queen stays fertile and brood (baby bees) stay warm. moisture in the hive hinders the heat regulation as does wind.
Ants can take down a weak hive by eating honey reserves and baby bees. Take precautions. I use tangle foot, you can also try a moat technique or ant traps.
When you’re in the hive
Remember that beekeeping is really all about space and pest management. When your in the hive you are asking 3 questions:
1. Is the hive growing?
2. Is the hive getting full?
3. Is the hive healthy?
Brood pattern that is tightly packed
Good brood pattern Bad brood pattern
Look for eggs
Notice how many frames are full of bees
See the queen if possible
How many frames have built out comb
How many frames are full of brood
How many frames are full of honey
Is the hive box ¾ full? Is yes, add another box with empty frames.
Health and pests
Even a healthy thriving hive can be wiped out by these threats. Learn to identify and spot them and create a management plan that works for you.
Varroa mites (pest)
-tiny mite attaching to the backs of bees and spawning and living inside the brood chamber
Small hive beetle (pest)
-black beetle living on the edges and among the bees
American foul brood (bacteria)
-sunken capings and rotting smell
If your hive is week or smaller these may effect it too:
-Stone Brood (fungus)
-Chalk Brood (fungus)
-Wax moth (pest)
Basic beekeeping tips
- Get two hives so you can compare one to the other.
- Start early in the season, give your bees a fighting chance to overwinter
- Visit your hive at-least 6-8 times a year.
- Get involved with your local beekeeping association/club. It’s a good way to continue to learn, to share resources, and to find mentors that can assist you.
- Keep records of what you see and do to track the hives progression. Some good record keeping templates: (link)
- Comply with local regulations. Here are some links to Santa Barbra County and city: (link)
- Don’t expect to get honey the first or second year.
- Stick with it. Know that you’ll most likely lose a hive or two and this doesn’t make you a bad beekeeper! It’s hard to keep bees and good management comes with time and experience.
- always manage the hive from the back
- observe your bees often, and notice if they are bringing in pollen
- smoke the bees just a bit, wait for the smoke to take affect (15 seconds) before handling hive, make sure smoke is heavy and cool as to not burn them
- educate your neighbors to avoid conflict
Article by Nicholas Wigle and Rachel Binstock
By Nicholas Wigle and Rachel Binstock
As beekeepers we are required by law to register their hives on the first of the year with the county in which the apiary is located and we do so in the hope that registering will help protect our bees.
We met with Mary Ann Rajala on January 25th 2016, the supervising Biologist at the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, to register our hives.
How does registration help protect bees? Well, many local agricultural growers use pesticides to treat various agricultural pests. Some of these treatments have been known to affect bees. Since it’s in everyone’s interest to protect our pollinators, the county goes into their hive registry and gives beekeepers 48-hour notice that an agricultural pesticide applicator will be spraying a product labeled as harmful to bees. This is not just a courtesy call, the idea is to provide beekeepers time to take the necessary steps to either cover or move their hives.
Here are some of the other questions we asked the county:
Who can/should register a hive:
Any beekeeper with hives, whether it’s 1 or 200+, should let the county know through this registration process. It’s best for the beekeeper to register as they are the hives caretakers and will be notified with 48 hour warning. If your beekeeper is out of state its best to put the hives closest caretaker, think emergency contact.
Where to register:
You can register your hives here. Print out the form and mail it to 263 Camino del Remedio, Santa Barbra, CA, 93110.
What happens to the registration:
Processing starts as soon as the registration is received. The address you provide is put on a map so when sprays are scheduled, all reported hives within a 1-mile radius is notified. Please make sure to provide a phone number AND email (even if the form doesn’t ask for one).
When should you register your hives?
Register your hives at the beginning of the year, or as soon as you bring bees into the apiary. Registration doesn’t transfer year to year so make sure to re-register every January. If you know where your hives are projected to be, but aren’t sure, it’s best to provide that info to the county just in case.
What circumstances warrant a notification?
Beekeepers are notified when the chemical labeled by the EPA as toxic to bees. Check out the EPA’s page on pesticide risk assessment.
Any other benefits to hive registration?
The county is able to do outreach around specific issues when they know your keeping a hive. If there’s an event or a problem they are able to bring the community together through this database and
coordinate meetings and resource sharing.
Mary Ann Rajala told us they only normally have 50 beekeepers registered. This is a tiny fraction of all the hives out there. The county can’t notify unregistered hives when toxic to bee pesticide applications are scheduled. We believe that the more beekeepers that register there hives and follow city and county rules the more beekeepers have influence over policy decisions. A silent minority is never heard.
Mary Ann Rajala wants you to know:
Beekeepers are caretakers. It’s really important, as beekeepers to make sure bees are inspected regularly. Don’t forget to provide a water source so they don’t end up in your neighbor’s pool. Also, especially during a drought, check the area to ensure there is enough forage for the bees to survive. Make sure to let your neighbors know you have a hive and are following ordinances concerning bees.
Super Bee would like to thank Mary Ann Rajala for taking the time to speak to us. We would like to see the number of registered hives at least double for 2016. If you have questions about whether your hive is in compliance or need help checking your bees please contact us for a consultation.
On Wednesday evening I met with the CDFA and Citrus Liaison at an ACP open house. CDFA was talking with people about the Psyllid that has been found in our area citrus fruit trees and will be spraying residential citrus trees, unless residents opt-out. The most important thing we learned is that CDFA is not currently planning to use the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on their first round of spray but will be on the next treatment in 6 months and on future treatments.
THINGS TO KNOW:
You can opt-out
- Several people, who have decided to opt out of the CDFA spraying, have contacted me. The reason they have decided to opt out is because they are organic gardeners, beekeepers, and neighbors of an ecologically sensitive area such as a creek, and/ or suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities. The people who have opted out want to help fight the Psyllid and help save the citrus. To opt out wait until you receive your 48 hour notice and call CDFA at 800-491-1899. A friend emailed me a sign that you can post in addition.
If you opt-out, consider still monitoring and treating your citrus
- After much searching I found a research paper by Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Dept. of Entomology that suggests an Organic ACP Treatment Protocol. UC riverside ACP organic treatment
Looking for organic pest control applicator
- If anyone knows a local pest control applicator that would be willing to help monitor and treat residential citrus with organic methods please email the address above and I will share contact details.
Let’s continue the conversation
- A few of us are hoping to meet together and discuss. If you are interested in joining in please email firstname.lastname@example.org.