VIDEO: Beekeeping in the city
Mateo Rutherford shows us the bees in his Berkeley (CA) backyard, the recycled hive boxes (out of scrap lumber) and the very important water source for their bees (an old hot tub).
VIDEO: Beekeeping in the city
Join us at the next HoneyLove event and check out a book from our Library!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR HONEYLOVERS!! What an amazing year for bees in Los Angeles… We are so grateful for all of your support!! ? YAY BEES!!!
VIDEO: A compilation of three summer months from inside a top bar hive.
Video shot using 2 MP Logitech webcam via extension USB cable to a laptop. The hive had a glass pane separating the (small) camera compartment from the inhabited part illuminated by a small low-energy light bulb in the camera compartment.
British Beekeeping Association: “Criteria for apiary sites” –
It will rarely be possible to find a perfect location for an apiary, but below are some factors to bear in mind when searching for a suitable spot.
Family, neighbors and the public: Unfortunately many people are afraid of bees. While honey bees are usually not aggressive whilst out foraging, sometimes the public confuses wasps with bees and may come blaming you when they get stung. To try and make your bees less visible, it’s good practice to enclose the apiary with a barrier of some sort, such as a hedge or fence to force the bees to fly in above head height… Keeping your hives less visible also helps reduce the chance of vandalism or theft…
Forage: Try to find out the amount and type of food sources available within your potential site, by taking a walk about and/or by asking local beekeepers… Bees usually forage within a 2-3 mile radius of their hives. It takes four pounds of nectar evaporated down to produce one pound of honey; it takes about a dozen bees to gather enough nectar to make just one teaspoon of honey, and each of those dozen bees needs to visit more than 2,600 flowers…
A flat site is easier to place hives on!
South facing is warmest.
The site should be sheltered from wind…
It should be a site which does not flood
Keep hives away from the bottom of dips in the land…
Most books advise that sites under trees are unsuitable…
The bees will need a water source to produce brood food, dilute honey stores and cool the hive in hot weather. If a suitable pond or stream is not available consider providing a shallow water source in a sunny position, with stones bees can rest on to avoid drowning. Place this away from their main flight paths to avoid fouling. Adding a distinctive smell, such as peppermint essence, will help the bees find the water.
Access: Easy access to a site throughout the year, with a hard path down to the apiary, is important. Honey supers are heavy, so if you are using an out apiary it helps if you can park your car nearby. Sites which require climbing fences or ditches to enter are a bad idea…
Space: You need room to stand while inspecting and somewhere to put the roof and supers down….
(By Susan Salisbury – Palm Beach Post)
Once again, the American honeybee had a tough winter, but more and more people are pitching in to help save the troubled bees by becoming backyard beekeepers.
Commercial beekeepers reported losses of 30 percent of their colonies, similar to results reported during the past five years, according to survey results released Monday. The survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. Department of Agriculture covered October through April.
Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon in which an entire colony of bees abruptly disappears from its hives, appears to still be occurring. It was first reported by Florida beekeeper Dave Hackenberg in 2006, and since then abandoned hives have been reported worldwide.
About one-third of commercial beekeepers who participated in the most recent survey said they lost at least some of their colonies without finding dead bees. Exactly why the bees are disappearing from their hives is not known, although scientists suspect it’s due to a combination of factors such as stress, poor diet, diseases and pests.
Jerry Hayes, assistant bureau chief of apiary inspection for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Gainesville, said there’s an upside.
“Because of CCD, our numbers of residential backyard beekeepers has grown phenomenally, from 700 or 800 to around 2,000 registered backyard beekeepers. They have heard about honeybees. They want to save the world. It is amazing,” Hayes said.
Boynton Beach resident Judy Leger, a retired Siemens project manager, took up the hobby four years ago and has 18 hives on her half-acre property. She enjoys the many flavors and colors of honey they produce.
Leger’s interest was sparked after honeybees set up housekeeping inside her kitchen’s soffit, and she called the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association to remove them. Aware of the bee’s struggles, she didn’t want them destroyed.
“People are more sensitive to the fact that the honeybees are the good bees and because they are suffering from CCD, people want to save them,” she said.
The Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association, founded in 1974, has grown from fewer than 20 members to more than 130 in the last few years.
Brendhan Horne, a suburban West Palm Beach hobbyist beekeeper who also operates a bee removal business, Bee Barf, has witnessed and helped spur the hobby’s growth in the seven years he has been involved. The honeybee losses have thrust the insects into the limelight.
“People want to try to preserve something they recognize as important, because of bees pollinating the food supply,” said Horne, a past president of the beekeepers association. “With the green movement, here is something they can do. You don’t have to have 2,000 hives; you can have one or two.”
Horne said many homeowner associations prohibit beekeeping, but some other areas allow it.
Through the beekeepers association, Horne organized the third annual Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference in West Palm Beach in February.
Horne and other organic beekeepers say they have not seen any evidence of CCD, but unlike commercial bees, the backyard bees aren’t hauled around the country to pollinate various crops.
Hayes said if it wasn’t for the fact that commercial beekeepers split their hives’ populations so the bees can establish a new hive, there would be no bees left. The process is expensive, and replacing 30 percent of the nation’s colonies is not considered sustainable over the long term.
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