FUNDING FOR THE PROVISION OF BEE HIVES FOR THE PERMANENT HOUSING OF BEE COLONIES REMOVED FROM PROBLEMATIC LOCATIONS.
Oom Petes Bees is a new venture in my semi-retired years. By all accounts the crazy climate this past few months has left a large number of bees swarming from their homes to expand Very late in the season. The result is an unprecedented volume of swarms needing removal from "inconvenient" positions vary late in the year. I have personally done more than 30 removals of problematic hives in the last few months with varying degrees of success. (Problematic - in as much as they had chosen an inconvenient position for their home) A removal to avoid the exterminator is a partial success, a complete success is to rehome the hive in a bee friendly environment where they will not be moved along again anytime soon. As you can imagine, the forced removal from your home, the partial destruction of your Brood (babies) and the loss of a significant portion of your food stores is extremely stressful on these marvels of nature.
The Immediate requirements are funds to provide more permanent homes - in the form of full size hives for these and even more colonies in the spring. With the first Pollen of the new spring flowers the queens will again switch into overdrive and start producing up to 1500 eggs a day, then just 30 days latter these will emerge as bees ready to pollinate anything and everything as they are designed to do. To house this rapid growth in the colony and to avoid the bees swarming off again to find larger accommodation (in a roof, a chimney, a water feature) that will probably entail close human contact and another removal, OoM Petes Bees is appealing for assistance in providing new hives for these colonies so they can be housed away from unwanted areas and can get on with their own lives at one with the rest of nature.
The usual response to a quote to remove problematic bees is "but you will have the Bees ….. for free...." Ignoring the costs of the equipment to remove and re house the bees, the costs of multiple trips to and from the removal site, liability insurance and other direct business costs, also the time taken to remove the bees plus any additional labour employed for this, the fact that only about 10-20% (if your lucky) of the removed bees will remain in any new home. If Bees do stay they will probably only have honey to harvest in the second year in their new home as they have to rebuild a home and food store to simply survive the removal ordeal. So, In order to prevent the ladies being "doomed" to death, Oom Petes Bees tries to at least recover direct costs for the removals. However, as mentioned above, there are far more costs involved in feeding and housing the ladies to ensure their survival.
Whilst Oom Petes Bees will become a commercially viable venture in the long term albeit on the scale of small farmer or large hobbyist, it is of great concern how to house the unexpectedly large volumes of removals requested and carried out in recent months. I had anticipated wintering just a few hives through this winter, only expanding during the new year, I am however faced with trying to fund 21 additional hives in early to mid spring..... or have them swarm off only to be disturbed again if they choose another "inconvenient" site.
My resources are stretched, having purchased all the catch boxes (30 more than anticipated this past season) for the immediate but temporary housing of the removals (catch boxes are currently around R350 each, full hives are R1000 each and will be needed for each successful removal in the coming spring). Any form of assistance will bee greatly appreciated. Be it part, full or multiple hive sponsorships.
Being A registered Beekeeper with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Strict hive records are kept. So specific "sponsored" hives can be reported on should you wish to monitor your sponsored hives progress.
Its not only Funding ! - Bee friendly sites are also always needed to house these Bee removals. Following bad experiences with wanton vandalism and criminal theft of hives and equipment in addition to the mindless destruction of the Bee colony, my preference is for small secure apiaries on secure stands/plots in urban or semi rural areas. Far less stress on the Bees and me! Carefully positioned Hive or Hives can quietly exist with little to no negative effects on fellow residents in an urban garden but loads of benefits.
I look forward to updating you on the progress of the funds to house the current backlog of colonies. With just A few weeks left to purchase, build and paint the first 15 or so, Time they say, waits for no man.... or bee!
For up to date progress you can also like www.facebook.com/oompetesbees/