By Krissa Smith, Assistant Web Editor, Urban Farm magazine
Because bees are responsible for more than one-third of our food supply, citizens are becoming more concerned with preserving bees and their bee hives. Enter Bee Catchers, a southern California bee-removal service that takes bee hives from backyards and relocates them instead of exterminating them.
Bee Catchers, a bee-removal company licensed through the Structural Pest Control Board, is family owned and operated by Steven and Nicole Downs, a couple passionate about saving bees for the better of the human race.
Bee Catchers charges a flat rate for their bee-removal service (around $150 when no honeycomb is present), and offers warranties, as well as performs structural repair to roofs, stucco and drywall, as many jobs require when honeycomb has been built in the structure. Nicole Downs says bees start to produce honeycomb about one week after finding their new home.
“Honeycomb should never be left in a structure, because if it is, bees will return, as they will smell the pheromone left behind,” Nicole says. “The bees will no longer be able to cool the honeycomb; therefore, it will end up leaking and melting down into the structure, becoming a food source to a myriad of things.”
So how does Bee Catchers remove bees without harming them?
“If bees are in a backyard, let’s say, for instance, hanging from a tree branch, we smoke them with a natural smoke made from pine and eucalyptus to relax them; then they are taken live by hand, ensuring the proper capture of the queen, and moved into a well-screened, ventilated box,” Stephen Downs explains. “They are then transported to other beekeepers, apiaries, orchards, farmers, backyard beekeepers, et cetera within the next day or so. We give our bees away at no profit to people who need them.”
If you’re looking for a bee-removal service, do your homework, as many companies say they perform live bee removal, but may not. The Structural Pest Control Board’s website at will perform a license lookup for California residents in just a few minutes