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This is intended for the LSI team. Others may not participate.
There is significant advantage to being hooked up with Honeybee Keep and LSI for swarm season. I have already put in many hours calling every Animal Control Department, every Fire Department, every Police Department in the metro area to ensure we are on their swarm list. Because I commit to arriving on scene within two hours, we are the vendor of choice for Westminster and Golden. We are also vendor of choice for Denver Public Schools. We will have swarms, 100% guarantee. How many? No one knows. We got four in 2011. We got 15 in 2012. We probably ran on 25 calls in 2012. In 2013 we were back to four again.
My goal here is to fill the LSI team hives. It's a lofty goal. I have many other hopeful beekeepers contacting me and asking to be on the swarm team, but I have to turn them down because I know all our swarms are already allocated. These are people willing to pay me for a swarm, but the swarms delivered to LSI will have no charge. In return, you will share any harvest you get with the team. Our goal is to produce abundance so that everyone may have as much honey as they need for a year. This will likely take multiple years to achieve.
This is the swarm team phone tree and guidelines. Direct questions or comments to Don Studinski, but only after you have read this entire page which may already answer your questions.
Participation is by invitation and is voluntary. You are responsible for taking care of you. Your swarm coach is not responsible for your safety. You are. You are LIKELY to get stung. If you are not ok with that, then please do not participate. Your committment for participation is from mid April through end of June. You are required to provide your own protective clothing. You should keep these things in your car the whole season, ready to run any minute: bee suit, veil, gloves, nuc box with ventilation.
Picking up a swarm is a service that beekeepers "give" to their community no charge. But that's the case where it really is honeybees and retrieval is relatively easy. If a customer "fools" us into running on some wasps or yellow jackets, then I would not hesitate to give them a bill. If the honeybees are especially hard to retrieve, I may also bill the customer. I charge $50 to roll the truck if it turns out to be wasps. Likewise, if it's a difficult retrieval I would charge $50. If you choose to charge, I suggest you at least act like you know what you are doing.
This is about more than just getting honeybees. It's about education for the participants and for the public that may be looking on. We will call all the participants until they request to be removed from the list, assuming they want to run for the education. We will always wear protective clothing to set a good example for anyone watching. Yes, I know it's probably not necessary. Too bad! Set a good example, kids may be watching.
This phone list may change during the season. New members may be added and someone may fall off. I will give you heads up about updates as best I can. The list is who is on the team according to Don's latest knowledge. This is team work, both for getting swarms and for keeping this list accurate. If you know of something out of date here, please let Don know.
Swarms are intended for specific receivers in a specific order. See status below.
You may live in Golden and run on a swarm in Denver that is intended for a receiver in Boulder. You are expected to either deliver the swarm where intended or arrange for someone who can. This may cost you in terms of time and gas. Your expenses are not reimbursed. Please prepare accordingly. Catchers are those with beekeeping experience and should make the delivery just in case the receiver has no experience with bees. Catchers load the hive, that is, they perform the installation.
Here's how it works:
Don will play a primary role. Don gets a call about a swarm at some address in the Denver metro area. Don will get the address and phone number for followup. Don will start the phone tree by calling David Whitehead and David Braden. Each David will then call the people on their list, two people. Each of them call the people on their list, two or one. In this manner, we can call everyone in just minutes. If someone doesn't answer, please leave a message and make their calls for them. Assume they are not available and those people down the tree will be left out if you don't make those calls. Please make the call. Do not assume a text is okay.
We commit to have a beekeeper on-site (for honeybees) within two hours of the original call to Don. If, for any reason, it seems like we will not make that committment, please keep the customer up to date about progress. Remember, customers are usually afraid. Personally, I also want to know these things:
- Are you sure it's honeybees? You can see a picture of a honeybee, a yellow jacket and a honeybee swarm here: Reference Articles. Refer the customer to the webpage and get them to confirm they are honeybees.
- How high are they? Consider whether you or the customer have the necessary ladder to get to the bees. There is no point in rolling on bees too high to retrieve.
- How big is the swarm? Football size or larger has a better chance of living. We can choose not to roll, but should give the customer an alternate contact, Colorado State Beekeepers Association.
- How long have they been there? Remember, they will not stay forever.
Generally, an experienced swarm catcher will be there to show new folks how to catch a swarm. These are:
- Don Studinski
- David Braden
- David Whitehead
- Ruth Rinehart
- Peggy Gates
Later in the year, you may feel comfortable running without a coach. That's fine.
- Don Studinski, 303-248-6677, Any area, calls David Whitehead and David Braden
- David Whitehead, 303-725-0052, Any area, calls Ruth Rinehart and Spike Brown
- Ruth Rinehart, 720-290-5715, Any area, calls Eric Smith and Denise Conrad
- Eric Smith, 303-355-9553, Denver/Lakewood/Golden, Peggy Gates and Deb Neeley
- Spike Brown, 720-480-9415, Lakewood, Jeffco & Denver calls Sid O'Connell
- David Braden, 303-549-9787, Any area, calls Delicia Beaty and Nancy Griffith
- Denise Conrad, 303-279-5422 then 303-653-5291, Golden, Arvada, Wheatridge
- Peggy Gates, 303-668-3761, Golden
- Deb Neeley, 720-217-6263, Arvada
- Sid O'Connell, 303-995-2388, Lakewood
- Delicia Beaty, 720-771-4654, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, northern metro denver, Westminster, boulder, lakewood and golden
- Nancy Griffith, 720-785-4568, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Golden, North Denver metro area
We have no idea when your swarm will arrive. You should be prepared, now, hive positioned and leveled. Please try to be on site when we deliver. You may get an hour or so notice. If there is any difficulty delivering your swarm, we will move to the next receiver, but we will not eliminate you unless you ask us to.
Those of you who are new beekeepers, you may request coaching from Don, for a fee, if you wish. Details are on the website under Services/Consulting. Another option is to contact one of the coaches above. Don does not speak for them, nor does he set their prices.
- Don may take as many as he needs or wants to keep Honeybee Keep going.
- Nancy Griffith, got Golden Stone colony on 4/10/2014
- Spike Brown 4/21/2014 Macon Way, Aurora
- Eric Smith got HAM Wilder from 74th Way in Arvada
- Delicia Beaty got Irving 5/2/2014 out of Broomfield
- Peggy Gates, 5/32014 tiny swarm, may not live due to poison
- David Braden, 5/4/2014 big swarm, Swarthmore
- Sid O'Connell, 5/6/2014 small swarm, Blanca
- Denise Conrad, 5/6/2014 small swarm, Syracuse
- Deb Neeley, 5/9/2014 small swarm from Northglenn Dr. medium swarm from Saulsbury with two queens out of a truck hood.