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Hercules Bees


Hercules Bees

Do you like Honey Bees?

Hercules Bees is a Top Bar beehive supplier and educational resource for beekeepers.  Founded in Hercules (Contra Costa) and moved to Manteca (San Joaquin), Hercules Bees sells beehives, locally-raised bees, and beehive products (mainly honey).

I show the process of up-sizing a top bar hive and also show what to do about unexpected comb collapse. 

Top Bar Beekeeping

Hercules Bees is here to supply and support Top Bar Beekeeping in California.

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This clump of bees is the reproductive unit of the colony.  It is called a bee swarm.  If you see one, you can catch it yourself, or find a beekeeper to collect it for you.  CA Beekeeping clubs are generally organized by county, and can collect swarms for a nominal fee.

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Let It Bee

Let It Bee

Hercules Bees Goals

  1. To promote honeybee health and breed localized honeybee stock for backyard beekeepers.
  2. To produce an abundance of local, wholesome honey from my apiaries and further local, sustainable foodshed efforts.
  3. To educate the public about the environmental and sociological challenges that bees face.  Plant seeds, everybody!
  4. To be a resource for Top Bar Beekeepers in the California Floristic Region.

Beekeeping Philosophy

I try to manage my bees in as much accordance with biological-based beekeeping.

1. I  manipulate my hives based on my understanding of bee biology and Integrated Pest Management Theory.  Bee health and vigor is primary, honey production is secondary.

2. Feeding is a useful stimulant to prop up a bee colony in times of stress, particularly in a colony's first year.  Honey and pollen are the best foods for bees.  I am at a point in my operation where I am now able to feed my bees with honey that they have produced themselves.

3.  I encourage the existence of survivor beestock in my apiaries by maintaining strong colonies in my yards and selecting for best localized lines of genetics.  

It is my goal to keep my bees alive and productive without resorting to the use of even organic acid miticides to prevent my bees dying of disease/parasite overload (the scale of parasite immigration from neighboring coloniest that collapse is big!).  Finding ways to minimize treating is a goal of all beekeepers.



Cost of Startup

Cost of Startup

How much does it cost to start keeping bees?  Well that all depends on your goals in raising these animals.

Many experienced beekeepers could agree that maintaining 2 big colonies and a 3rd, young colony is a sustainable population for recreational and hobbyist beekeeping situations

 Think of this as two full size colonies and a box that is half size, either the traditional Langstroth-style "deep box" or a Hercules Bees 2' model beehive (this empty box remains ready to accept a new colony/swarm, or to make a divide of an existing colony for colony management).  The reasoning is that with 3 colonies, you can help colonies recover from setbacks by sharing resources between the two hives.  Bees do die on occasion, this a reality of modern beekeeping.  Learning to keep 3 colonies alive is an insurance against buying bees every year from outside sources.

Growing Bees is like growing a fruit tree.  It takes some time to acquire colonies that produce hefty honey crops.

And the learning curve for keeping bees takes time too.  New persons to beekeeping are encouraged not to start off with large numbers of hives to look after.  Additionally, beekeeping equipment can be expensive.  What's the most cost effective way to start?








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