Q & A with Los Angeles Beekeeper, Staci Valentine
4 minutes, 29 seconds
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When I learned that my landlord was set to exterminate them because he was told they were “˜killer bees’, I called a local beekeeper to help me move them from the garden wall to my newly purchased house. I always wear my protective gear when working with them, which consists of a veil, gloves and white coveralls, which are tucked into gardening boots. ($30 – $75.00) Thick fabric gloves $20.00 White coveralls: clean is good because it’s reflective and it can get darn hot in the suit.
Urban beekeepingBeekeepingUrban agricultureApiaryMichael S. ThompsonI Have a Bee
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I distinctly remember my senses awakening. The scent of the honey mixed with the melting butter on the crisp waffle and then the flavor exploding in my mouth. I was hooked at that moment and somehow knew that bees would play an important role in my life. However, it wasn’t until about five years ago when a colony of bees built their home in my garden wall. When I learned that my landlord was set to exterminate them because he was told they were “˜killer bees’, I called a local beekeeper to help me move them from the garden wall to my newly purchased house. Many exterminators use the term “˜killer bees’ as a scare tactic. How long have you been keeping bees? It’s been a year now. I currently have four super busy hives and have empty hives waiting for when I get a call to pick up a swarm. What is your favorite fact about bees? Gosh, there are many but one that is not too well known is that the scent of bananas is similar to a bees alarm pheromone. so the scent could very well trigger them to sting. Needless to say, I don’t seem to be eating too many bananas these days. Is it true that the girl bees do all the work? Do you think that applies to life as well? IT is indeed true that the girl bees do all of the work because the worker bees are all female. The hive consists of the queen, her workers, and drones (the male bees). The workers are the ones that make most things happen in and out of the hive. The key responsibility of the male is to wait in designated drone “˜meeting areas’ and mate with a virgin queen from a different hive. Once they mate, his privates are ripped from his abdomen and he plunges to his death. Not a fun fate. I do believe that in many cases, the female makes everything run like clockwork in a home. Have you been stung and have you ever panicked when the bees swarmed? I have been stung but not since I’ve been keeping bees. I always wear my protective gear when working with them, which consists of a veil, gloves and white coveralls, which are tucked into gardening boots. I’ve never panicked when bees are swarming. This is when they are the most docile because they are looking for a new home. Once they settle at a location they send scout bees out to find a suitable new location. There is typically a short window before they find their new home and this is the time that I get calls to pick up a swarm. I have heard the behavior of bee colonies be compared to “one mind” is this true in your experience? I think bees function as an amazing cooperative and people should learn more from them. at various steps of their short lives, the workers graduate to different tasks in and out of the hive. There is no resentment, just a shared responsibility to create a thriving colony. What is the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen bees do? I was emptying a box of 40,000 bees into their new home. First, I placed a white sheet in the area I was working so that if the queen fell onto the ground, I could spot her and place her inside the hive. Once the queen is safely inside the hive, appointed worker bees will raise their little tushies in the air at the entrance to the hive and fan furiously. This releases their queen’s pheromones into the air and all of the bees belonging to the colony start marching into their new home. It’s an amazing sight to behold. For people interested in keeping bees, what kind of time and monetary investment can they expect? I say before even spending any money, observe another beekeeper to see if it is indeed something you’d like to do. You can then decide whether or not you want to purchase the protective gear, which I highly recommend. I’ve listed approximate prices. When I first started I purchased the following: Veil: I purchased a veil separate from the coveralls. They do make some veils that attach to the coverall. This is all a matter of preference. ($30 – $75.00) Thick fabric gloves $20.00 White coveralls: clean is good because it’s reflective and it can get darn hot in the suit. $70.00 Smoker: (this is what you use to smoke the bees so they remain calm) hive tool: (to open the lid and separate hives/frames that are sticky with propolis) $6.00 bee brush: $5.00 hive boxes with tops, bottoms and frames: The price of these is all dependent on if you buy them unassembled or assembled and the size of the boxes. If you’re handy it’s definitely cheaper to buy unassembled. I like to paint my boxes (only the exterior never the interior) because this helps prevent them from weathering as quickly. Once can also purchase bees, but I found the best way to get them is picking up a swarm. Swarms to be quite plentiful in the spring. What is the most useful piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out? This free text article has been written automatically with the Text Generator Software https://www.artikelschreiber.com/en/ - Try it for yourself!
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