Tips For Bee Health


We're sure you've read the articles, seen the posts, and watched the videos. Bees are in trouble. Often times people wonder to themselves, "But what can I do to help save the bees?" Before getting in to our hosting program details, we are first and foremost here for the bees. So here are a few small things you can do without us to help the bees.

• Place a bird bath / water source in your yard. Bees need to drink water too. Providing drinking sources not only help them but other wildlife.
• Do not use chemical pesticides on your plants / lawns. Bees will pickup these toxins out of your flowers and bring them back to the hive.
• Plant pollinator friendly flowers. A simple google search for 'pollinator friendly plants' will give you THOUSANDS of options!
• Buy honey from local beekeepers. This will help them continue to grow their apiaries and provide better care for their bees.
• Support a local beekeeper. Funds are one of the biggest obstacles to keeping bees. If you know someone who wants to keep bees, encourage them by purchasing some of their equipment for them.
• Encourage others to do the same!


What is hosting?


Hosting, plain and simple, is allowing bees to share your property. The second largest (after funds) obstacle to responsible beekeeping is space! B-Town Bees would place a hive (or two) on your property. We would perform all aspects of care, treatment, and hive health. We'd stop by every week (or two, depending on the strength of the colony) during their active season. You get to actively take part in helping the bees and the joy of watching them build their colonies.


Duration


We ask that anyone wanting to host a hive commit to at least a full season. This allows the bees the best possible chance of survival. They are MOST active from Mid-March to the end of September, but you may see them flying around in February and October. March to September is the time of year that we will be doing our weekly/bi-weekly visits.


What makes a good hosting location?


While all of these points are ideal, some of them are negotiable. We will come out and evaluate the site with you to determine the best location for the bees. Here are what we'll be looking for:

• A dry area. Excess moisture can be detrimental to bee hives.
• Good sun light. It gets cold here in the PNW. The more sunlight hitting the hives, the better.
• Property lines / fencing. There are requirements set forth by the state. We will look up your local codes and ensure all hives will be placed legally to ensure you no trouble from "that" neighbor.
• Flight paths. Bees fly. They need room to be able to do that.
• No pesticides. If you or an immediate neighbor spray pesticides on your plants, this is a deal breaker. No exceptions.

Again, these are ideal. Colonies can survive just fine without some of these. Contact us for a free consultation.


Costs


As with everything else in life, there are always costs. B-Town Bees breaks this down two ways:

• Option A: $50/mth for the ACTIVE months of the year (Mar to Sep). Or it can be spread out over the whole year for $25/mth ($300/yr total). At the end of the season, you'll receive 3 jars of raw, natural, local honey.
• Option B: NO COST. It won't cost you anything to have the bees in your yard but you won’t receive any free honey. Hosts however do have "first dibs" on honey we produce for sale.
• See our FAQ as to why there are costs.


Coverage Area


We host hives within the "square" of Auburn, Bonney Lake, Parkland, and Graham. Although, our range for hive cutouts and swarm captures is much further! If you're unsure if you'd be included in the hosting range, send us an email or reach out on Facebook!


FAQ


Here are some frequently asked questions:

• How much yard space is needed? Honey Bees vary in nature depending on time of season, health of the colony, population of the colony, genetics, and other reasons. For this reason it is hard to define the safe distance around a hive. It also depends on the activity around the hive (high energy kids yelling/running/splashing vs. a quiet garden). It’s safe to assume a 10-15ft radius around the hives as a “warning” zone with a 5ft radius being the “danger” zone. If any bees are identified as particularly aggressive, they will be re-queened. If that doesn’t work, they will be relocated and replaced with a less-aggressive colony.
• I have pets / children? Can I still host? YES! Animals and kiddos are not an immediate disqualification on our end. Our hosts will have to sign a waiver explaining they understand that bees sting and people may be allergic to them. With that said, we know plenty of people do both but extra caution is recommended. See “How much yard space is needed” in the FAQ for more info.
• Are the bees / hives mine? Do I care for the bees? All hives and colonies belong to B-Town Bees and we are responsible for all work done to the bees. With that in mind, we ask that the bees be left closed while we are not around.
• Do I get honey from the hives? The hives are placed as pollination hives, not honey producers. And harvesting honey store from a hive may lead them to starve in the winter. If Option A is chosen above, you’ll get your jars at the end of the season, but they may or may not come from your exact hive.
• I own a business, can I host at my business? YES! If your business falls within our range of operation, we’d be glad to have you as a host. Bees love a flat roof!
• The bees are here and I need them gone! What happens now? Things happen. If for whatever reason your bees need to move, we ask for two weeks to find a replacement home for them. If a two weeks’ notice cannot be given, we charge $500 for emergency relocation costs.
• Why is there a cost? Beekeeping is expensive. Hives cost several hundred dollars to purchase and a few hundred to operate each year. Gas, food, sugar syrup, medication, gear, and colony replacement when needed. These costs add up and will shut down our business. The fees help offset a fraction of those costs.

If you're interested in hosting, or have more questions not answered here, please click the contact link on the top right to contact us.