Frequently asked questions
ABOUT THE BEES
WHY TREATMENT FREE?
Bee Found is committed to educating beekeepers in how to manage treatment-free bees which eliminates dependence on chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics found in almost all honey supplies today. We aim to to produce clean, raw, unheated, local honey and we think new beekeepers should too. Even most local beekeepers use in-hive treatments and chemicals. When buying "local" honey at your farmer's market, asked them what they use to treat their pests and diseases. If there's something you can't identify, you may want to question if that honey is right for you.
We don't want chemicals in our honey or wax, and there's an ever-growing movement that wants less (or no) chemicals in their food and products they consume. Bee Found caters to that and more. We are also committed to eliminating dependence on the consuming time and energy intensive manipulations that have come to be a part of today's beekeeping which many traditional beekeepers have indoctrinated into their beekeeping philosophy. Together, we can Bee Found.
I HEARD BEE POPULATIONS ARE DWINDLING, WHAT IF THE HIVE I HOST DIES?
To be honest, there's a really good chance (but not certain) that at least one of your hives is going to die within the first three years. It doesn't matter if you treat your hives, don't treat your hives or use "organic" methods, you'll lose anywhere from 15-50% of your hives (though treatment-free seems to lose less). We recognize that and are so confident that treatment-free works, we'll to give you a guarantee. Bee Found does something that no other bee company would even think to do. If you purchase a hive from us, we'll replace your bess should they die out. If you are part of our rental or host a hive program, and if the bees happen to die, we will replace them at no cost (dependent on availability of nucs and splits). If you're in our host a hive program, you'll still get guaranteed honey to tie you over until we can get a replacement colony.
SO I HEARD ABOUT THE DRASTIC DECLINE OF THE BEES AND COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER (CCD). CAN YOU EXPLAIN?
The media says that no one knows what is causing our bee populations to decline but Bee Found strongly believes that it is due to a compromised immune system caused by a class of pesticides known as Neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides differ from your normal pesticides because they are bred into plants’ genetics. It is a systematic approach that results in a systematic poisoning of the life cycle. The pesticides are in a plant’s vascular system, which means they are in the leaves, roots, pollen, and nectar. It’s killing pollinators, earthworms and probably isn't too great for you either! Neonicotinoids seems to have disappeared from the spotlite, despite research that shows that this type of pesticide weakens the bees’ immune systems in even undetectable amounts. Check out this video of a study conducted in France that shows the effects on honeybees after collecting pollen from genetically modified sunflower and maize. Of course there are other factors that are leading to the bees’ decline. We also believe climate change and loss of habitat are big factors but in our opinion these pesticides are the driving force. We encourage everyone to read up and speak up about what is happening to the bees because of these deadly poisons.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE MY YARD MORE BEE FRIENDLY?
Even if you decided that hosting or keeping bees isn't right for you, you can still attract bees to your garden in a variety of ways. We recommend you plant a variety of native plants that bloom at different times of year. The Honey Bee Conservatory has some excellent tips for how to create a bee-friendly garden. Apart from plants, bees need water. If you have a fountain or a vessel that can serve to feed the bees, put that out with rocks or pebbles at varying heights so that no matter the level of water, bees will be able to safely land and take a sip. If you have a flower and/or vegetable garden, bees will be more likely to keep coming back because of your water source.
I 'D LIKE TO HAVE BEE-FRIENDLY PLANTS BUT I AM WORRIED THAT THERE WILL THEN BE TOO MANY BEES AND I DON'T WANT TO BE STUNG. WHAT DO I DO?
Don't worry. When bees sting they are doing it in self defense or defense of their colony, and then they end up dying. Bees don't want to give up their life if they don't have to and just want collect nectar and pollen when they're out foraging. Drawing bees to your garden will bring more fruit, flowers and healthy plants.
IS IT SAFE TO HOST A HIVE IF I HAVE PETS OR CHILDREN?
Of course! We take special precautions when placing hives but especially when children and/or pets are involved. Every case is different so we’ll discuss the techniques for minimizing the presence of the bees and how to keep kids and pets at a safe distance during the consultation. We believe having a backyard hive is an excellent way to teach children about nature, sustainability, food sources and much more so we make it our priority to work with parents on their concerns. And the pets will learn pretty quickly to keep their distance.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO I NEED TO HOST A HIVE?
Not a lot. Beehives require much less space than you would think. Generally we estimate a 6 ft. radius around the hive but every yard is different. Also keep in mind that some hives can be placed on flat roofs, providing there is sufficient access.
WILL HOSTING A HIVE INCREASE THE YIELD FROM MY FRUIT TREES AND/OR GARDEN?
Absolutely! You'll see an increase in yield and in quality when bees constantly pollinating your flowers and crops.
WHAT IF AFTER HOSTING A HIVE I WANT TO START BEEKEEPING MYSELF?
Our host a hive program is a year commitment and it is intended for people who don’t want to manage their own hives, but we understand how inspiring hosting a hive can be! If you fall in love with your bees, hosted hives may be purchased after the year-long commitment is completed. The price will depend on how many hives you want, but a discount will be applied since you will already know about how to keep them, you've paid for a year already, and they are already established.
AS A ‘HOST A HIVE’ PARTICIPANT, WILL MY FAMILY AND I HAVE THE CHANCE TO LEARN ABOUT HONEYBEES FROM YOU?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it! We want our "Host a Hive" participants to take advantage of the education aspect of our services. We can teach you as much or as little as you like about honeybees and beekeeping.
ALL ABOUT HONEY
WHAT'S THE SKINNY ON HONEY?
Bee Found honey is raw, minimally processed and DELICIOUS! The flavor changes depending on what was in bloom in your neighborhood during the time it was made. In general you can expect a rich mix of flavors guaranteed to be like no honey you’ve ever tasted. The honey could be a dark amber, or a light gold. It depends on the season, but you can be assured that it will be quite satisfying. Also keep in mind that it can be used as a pain reliever and antiseptic topical treatment for minor cuts and burns.
WHY IS RAW, UNHEATED HONEY SO MUCH BETTER?
Raw honey has many benefits. It contains live enzymes that help the body’s digestive system break down foods. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and can alleviate allergies, pain, coughs, burns, acne and it neutralizes toxins in the body. It’s also a natural sweetener and an excellent alternative to processed sugar. True raw honey can be difficult to obtain because most of what is on the shelf has been pasteurized or diluted with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar water, or strained of all it’s pollen or all of the above. These processes negate most of the benefits I have just listed. Even products that claim to be raw or natural are still heated because it makes packaging the honey easier and there are no regulations on the labeling of raw honey. Try not to buy honey from the grocery store as they always deal in quantity and not quality.
WHAT IS “COMB HONEY”?
Deliciousness, that's what! Comb honey is honey that is still stored in the comb. You eat it just like that. It’s chewy, sweet and melts in your mouth. Comb is made from beeswax so after you are done chewing and sucking on it you spit out the wax. You can then use the wax for other purposes if you see fit.
HOW MANY TIMES A YEAR DO YOU HARVEST HONEY?
We will not harvest honey during the first year of a colony establishing themselves, unless they're exploding with it. We want the bees to get used to bringing in the proper amount of nectar to be able to get them through the winter. We also don't want the bees to rely on feeding of sugar syrup. This makes them more reliant on us, and makes them less likely to forage farther. However, when we do harvest honey, it takes place in the spring and summer. Typically we will harvest 1-4 times during the season and what is harvested will last through the winter. With our top bar hives, we do a crush and strain method which also allows us to harvest the wax as well.