Hive Management

Our Approach

Napa Valley Bee Company is a full service business serving the honeybee management needs of our clients in the Nor Cal region.  Our standard protocol is to consult on the suitability of the site, evaluate the goals of our clients, and implement an apiary plan.  Thereafter, depending on how “hands-on” the client wishes to be, we establish a regular visitation schedule to monitor the health of the bees and perform seasonally appropriate actions.  This typically includes two visits every 4-6 weeks, regular monthly email updates, and a larger seasonal update with photographs.  The time can also be spent in private lessons learning about beekeeping.   The cost of the service in a monthly fee, which is a function of the number of hives and distance of travel.  Less frequent visitation is feasible if the customer or someone on site can be trained to perform some of the more basic procedures.

Hive Management

Overview & Benefits

Bees can provide substantial benefits to your property in terms of increased biodiversity, improved pollination in your garden, and seasonally available honey derived from your landscape. Not to mention, bees are extraordinarily interesting! Over the course of the year,  you will observe young  bees taking their inaugural orientation flights, house bees removing debris, and foragers bringing in nectar and pollen. You may even see the famous “waggle dance” that bees use to communicate the direction and distance to new forage sources.

Successful establishment of your apiary will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • The quality and quantity of seasonal forage.
  • Air drainage and exposure to sunlight.
  • Adequate source of water.
  • Unobtrusive location away from people and pets.
  • Ease of access.

  • We can get you started!

    We conduct the site assessment, supply bees from our own local stock, and install them in hives to be placed on your property. Thereafter, we will adhere to a monthly or bi-monthly management program, whereby we inspect the bees, perform seasonal expansion or contraction, and mitigate for swarming. You will receive customized notes and a full report on the health of your bees after each visit. If available, we will also extract, bottle, and deliver your honey back to you. We will provide protective clothing, should you wish to join the beekeeping inspection and learn firsthand about these amazing and fascinating creatures!

    Custom Hive Equipment
    We are proud to offer our own custom hive woodenware to our managements clients. Our equipment is designed to keep the bees comfortable, provide durability, and look aesthetically pleasing when placed on your property. Incorporated in the design are many years of observations in seeing what works and what doesn’t!

    This quality equipment is produced locally and includes the following items:
  • Oversized insulated galvanized hive top with enclosed desk
  • Wooden feeder box
  • Two deep hive bodies (supers)
  • Frames and follower boards
  • Redwood screen bottom board with galvanized monitoring tray
  • Our oversized galvanized tops keep out rain and provides a convenient storage area for records, pens, pencils, erasers, and entrance reducers. These lids are insulated and properly vented to maintain the optimum temperature and humidity inside the hive body.

    Our wooden hive top feeder boxes aid in ventilation and moisture control of the hive.

    Hive bodies provide living space for the bees to construct their brood nests and honey stores.  Hive bodies are made of knotty pine and are glued, nailed, and screwed at the joints to prevent separating.  All hive bodies are given a non-toxic and beautiful natural finish.  Inside the hive are contained frames which hold the comb, and are flanked by follower boards which allow for proper air circulation within the hive.

    Our screened bottom-boards are ruggedly-constructed from redwood, to allow hive debris and varroa mites to pass through.  They are rot and weather resistant and will provide years of durable service.  A galvanized debris tray  is included  as a means to monitor hive activity.

    *Special order observation hives are also available.