You Can't Give the Entire Honey Hive and Reserves Back to the Bees
Our rescue honey comes from beehives which were up for extermination but saved just in the nick of time by our friends at the American Honey Bee Protection Agency. These rescue hives are put in a rescue box, relocated to one of our apiaries, and then rehabilitated back to health.
But in rescuing a bee hive you can't give everything that's in that bee hive back to the bees. If you give all of the bee's capped honey back to them, they can't defend it and they become vulnerable to predators.
When you cut through capped honey, you have what's called leakage. This brings out every rodent, every roach, every ant, every silverfish, every beetle, every predator that a honey bee has. They come out and say, "Oh, this hive is weak!" Which it is, since we've injured it in the rescue. Upon seeing this weakness, predators will attack it.
Pulling the Bee Hive Back to its Essentials
In rescue, what we're attempting to do is pull the hive back to its base essentials or egg. This allows the honey bees to easily defend their hive. Bees are not out on the periphery defending the honey reserves, so much as they are in the center of the hive, defending the egg and queen.
If the honey reserves are not leaking, then the predators—to the honey bee—are likely not going to attack the hive. However, when the hive has been weakened, it is much more prone to attack. The predators can just sense the weakened, vulnerable state of the honey hive.
It's analogous to a shark and an injured fish. The shark senses there is weakness and goes on the attack and frenzy.
How Much Honey is Left from Each Honey Hive?
Due to the need to only give rescued bees back enough hive that they are able to defend, we (Epic Honey) are left with about 20-pounds of raw honey on average per rescued beehive. Some have much more honey, some have no honey at all. On average, when calculated over all of the honey bee hive rescues and relocations we do each year, it comes to about 20-pounds of honey per hive.
What Does a Honey Bee Hive Rescue in Texas Cost?
It costs us about $250 to pay a professional bee wrangler on our staff to go and remove that bee hive, once you factor in insurance, gas, truck, tools, labor, etcetera. It cost about $250 to successfully remove a hive without killing the bees, relocating them, and maintaining the integrity of the hive and the honey.
How the Honey Bees Pay Rent
We sell our honey, on average, at about $20 a pound, as this allows us to cover the expenses of the relocation and rescue of each hive. These are incredibly short-run and unique honey profiles. Micro-hyper in every way. We love sharing our honey with the world. In this way, we allow the honey bee to pay their own rent on this world, so to speak.
We rescue and rehabilitate a hive that was up for extermination and the bees get to live out a healthy life at one of our apiaries. You get the most delicious honey you've ever put in your mouth.
It's a win-win-win!
—Walter "Bee'Czar" Shumacher