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The owner / Operator of Super Bee Rescue. Santa Barbara's safest live bee removal

Does wasp spray kill bees?

Does wasp spray kill bees

I often get asked, “Can I use wasp spray on honey bee?” by homeowners and gardeners hoping to save money by DIY pest control. In addition to the obvious reason as why this is a bad idea below are a few more.

  • It is rarely effective. 50% of the attempts at using the wasp spray the person applying it end up being stung. This is because as it kills the bees, the bees release a pheromone that causes the bees that are alive to attack. To solve the situation a pest control company or bee removal company will need to come in to solve the problem.
  • The most dangerous expensive and difficult bee removal is after wasp spray has been used. Once you start killing bees, they get much more aggressive.
  • It is illegal on the can it states (It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.) Can lead to state and EPA fines. It also can lead to civil liability if someone becomes stung such as a neighbor.
  • It is designed for small nests of wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets with hundreds of bugs. Beehives are often 5,000 plus bees.
  • Wasps and hornets normally live in exposed nests that can be coated with the poison. Honeybees normally dwell in an in accessible cavity. The exception is temporary swarms, which are very gentle.
  • When the wasp spray does work it works very slowly taking days or weeks very slowly taking days or weeks and the honey and wax is left in the wall to attract bees in the future.

Save time, money and the bees by calling Super Bee Rescue first.

Super Bee Snow Globe

IMG_0289 Bees in tree IMG_2021 IMG_0297 IMG_0307 IMG_0311 IMG_0312 IMG_0313 IMG_0315 IMG_2022 IMG_0318This week, Super Bee team was rescuing some bees that were in the hollowed out trunk of a very large tree facing the street. Safety had to be top priority as children and families walk by before and after school hours. That’s why for this rescue we set up what we like to call, the super bee snow globe!

We set up our canopy tent and fasten down the front and corners, locking the bees (and ourselves) in, while keeping everyone out, safe! After a while, there are so many bees on the inside if the tent, in looks like were in a bee snow globe! Good thing Super Bees loves the bees!

After a long day, the bees were successfully removed, and all were kept safe in the process! Way to go Super Bee!

A big thank you to Planmember Services in Carpinteria for putting the bees first and allowing me to save the bees instead of exterminating.  10,000 bees were removed from the wall and safely removed back to our organic ranch in Carpinteria.  The removal was a lot of fun as the company break room windows over looked part of the removal.  Below is video from inside the hive.  The video is a little shaky so if you get motion sickness bee careful.




Bee Rescue Cut out Class on June 13th

Do you want to learn how to do a rescue of an established colony? I have an old style swarm trap and a clay pot full of bees. I will show you how to safely remove the bees and put them into a hive. My method saves the comb and baby bees. It gives the best chance for a healthy colony. Cost is 2 hrs. of painting or $25. After the class the colonies will be sold for $75 and include a 5 frame wooden nuc box.

We are going to start painting at 10 am. At 1 pm I will show you how to perform a cut out. After the cutout (approximately 2:30) will be an opportunity to help paint again. We will be painting bee equipment and a flat bed trailer.

Please RSVP to let me know if you are coming and if you would like one of these low cost colonies. I may have a few additional colonies available at this low cost, but only to people who attend this class. Please bring bee suits if you have them (if not please let me know to reserve one), painting clothes, water and lunch.

Cutout class 10 am – 4 pm on June 23th @ 4188 Foothill Rd. Carpinteria, Ca 93013

Upcoming Bee Events

May 2nd starting at 10 am, Apiary Build party at Fairview Gardens 
May 3rd 3 pm -5 pm Guild Meeting at Natural History Museum
May 13th 6 pm, Beginning Beekeeping course taught by The Beekeepers Guild
May 23rd 10 am – 4 pm Build Party and Apiary Tour at HeartStone Ranch Please RSVP by clicking link
May 30th, Intermediate Beekeeping Course with Paul the Beeman at La Casa
June ?,  Still deciding on a date but we will have another Sale at Island Seed and Feed
July 18th One day course on beekeeping taught by Nick the Beekeeper at Casitas Valley Farm

Do you have to feed bees

With the drought I have had a lot of questions about feeding bees.  This week I found that in one of my apiaries all 10 hives had started to eat their stored honey and they did not have any new nectar.

These hives will either need to be feed or moved.

As for how what and when to feed instead of reinventing the wheel check out Michael Bush great post at

Below is a video of me filling and installing a frame feeder.

Honey Bees Need Water!

As with all living things, honey bees need water too! Not only do they need it for basic survival, but water is also used for hive maintenance. The bees use it to cool the hive when temps are hot and also to maintain the brood.

So, do your bees have water? If they don’t, this should definitely be on your to-do list. The State of California requires that all apiaries have a water source. An apiary (also known as a bee yard) is a place where beehives of honey bees are kept. If your bees are not given water they will have to seek it elsewhere. This usually means that your bees will end up in a much less desirable location, i.e. the neighbors fountain or swimming pool. We assure you, neighbors don’t like this sort of thing and it can end up turning into a big headache for everyone involved. Also, if they are obtaining water from unreliable sources, ones that don’t provide a place to land while drinking, it is safe to say that many of your bees will drown.

 A water source can be as simple as a drip tray filled with gravel, set on a drip irrigation to refill weekly. You can also go with something more elaborate such as creating a small pond or using a stock tank with an aerator, mosquito fish, azolla, and duckweed. The bees can land on top of the floating plants and drink water without drowning.

Another option is an automatic dog waterer with several pieces of floral foam and netting so the bees are able to climb in and out of the water.

There are countless reasons to ensure your bees are getting water from a safe source, especially because an average hive can drink over 2 pints a day. Your bees will definitely be grateful to have a go-to spot for daily water consumption.


Amazon is selling a hive feeder / water that seems to have promise see link below.

Ultimate Hive Feeder for Beekeepers 2 Pack from Farmstand Supply (In Hive)

Where to put your Super Bee swarm trap

Swarm traps are an effective method of capturing feral bee colonies. The trap has been carefully designed to mimic the size, material, and entrance preferences of the Honey Bee.

The trap can be painted any color desired, as the bees have shown no preference other than it helps to have contrast between the dark hole and the front of the box. I prefer lighter colors such as white or tan.

How to hang your swarm trap.

The swarm trap has a handle with a hole, which is perfect for hanging the trap with nail or screw. The nail or screw is easy to attach to a wall or tree. A second option is to use rope or chain to attach the handle to a tree. Then use a ratchet strap or tie down around the swarm trap and use wood shims to keep the hive level.

 Where to place the swarm trap

The best place to put a swarm trap is a location that has had a hive move in. For example, any place that a bee removal has been completed. This is because there is a high likelihood that there is a mother colony within swarm traveling distance and the bees searching found that spot to be the best out of all available homes.

If this is not an option, then I use bee patterning to place the trap in a location that has the highest likelihood of attracting the swarm.

  • Tree or building line edge where there is a change from open area to forest or taller buildings
  • 6-14 feet above the ground (Lower is safer.  If you can avoid using a ladder it is recomended )
  • Entrance facing south or south east
  • Prefer semi shaded in the middle of the day visible as the bees fly by
  • Best locations are along creeks or near water sources.

How to get started in Beekeeping.

I wanted to share my recipe that I have used to train 50 plus beekeepers over the last 2 years helped them get from zero knowledge to a intermediate level.
For the last 2 years been having 1-week interns that stay on my ranch and live and breath bees for the time they are here.  They accompany me on rescues, hive inspections, build equipment and visit clients. 
 Cute kid in a bee suit
I start my student out by watching More than honey and Vanishing of the Bees.  Both are great movies that present the plight of the bees and some of the causes.  They also have great images that help people get ready to work with bees.  Then we read Beekeeping for Dummies.  This book is great as it is laid out well and covers all the basics. 
 Beekeeping for dummies book
From here it is time to get into the hives. Most beekeepers have one hive that they check 6-8 times a year.  This limits how quickly you can gain knowledge about bees.  We try to get into at least 25 hives during the week period with several inspections and lots of rescues.  The rescues are great because you see where and how the bees live without a beekeeper.
 Bees in a log hive
After one week my students generally have the equivalent of 1 years beekeeping experience.  For those who don’t want to rough it on the ranch for a week I am working on an alternative program.  I will be hosting several events this year to help move new beekeepers in to the intermediate stage.     

I will also be inviting people to various rescues.   I will personally invite people as I am able but most notices will be made on the google group.!forum/bee-rescue.  Rescues will start in ernest in February and continue
I will also have several sale days at Island Seed and Feed where I will bring equipment and bees for sale.  That’s right this year I am going to be selling bees.  My plan is to take rescued bees back to my hospital apiary and watch them for 3 weeks then find them a new home.  Let me know if you would like to be on the waiting list.  If you are looking for bees for the spring please consider buying 1 or more swarm traps.  The swarm traps work great and will get you the bees you need and it is reusable.  I recommend that anyone keeping bees have a swarm trap to help reduce some of the nuisance and fear that a swarm can create in our neighbors.  We hope to place 100 swarm traps in and around Santa Barbara this year and if we have success like last year this will translate into lots of colonies available.