Eye-level with the eucalyptus canopy of Golden Gate Park, Charlie Blevins stands on his San Francisco rooftop and begins to “suit up.”
He slips on a white jacket, then pulls a spacesuit- like hood over his head that masks his face with a netted veil. A pair of thick, white gloves drawn on and Blevins is ready for “inspection.” He gently pulls a honeycomb frame from the hive.
This is from one of 35 beehives that the San Franciscan beekeeper maintains in the backyards and rooftops of Bay Area properties. Is the queen laying eggs? Is the colony in tip-top shape? Are honey stores adequate? Blevins, a cheery and warm-hearted man in his late 50s, asks himself these questions as he checks each hive for signs of disease.
“You can tell a lot about the egg-laying pattern of the queen. If the queen is not laying, then the hive will die. Bees only live six weeks,” said Blevins.
Honeybee populations are in deep trouble around the world, but in places like San Francisco, urban beekeepers are doing their part to restore the enterprising Apis to their crucial role as ecosystem pollinator. Urban beekeeping is an outgrowth of the local food movement, which has inspired countless farms in urban pockets and has stoked the dream of sustainable cities. Behind every urban beehive is the beekeeper.
Read the original article here: San Francisco beekeeping: the thrill of the hive
HoneyLove demonstrates how to use a smoker, and explains why we use smoke when working our bees.
PLEASE SIGN OUR NEW PETITION : Legalize Urban Beekeeping in Los Angeles!!
Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and most recently Santa Monica have all taken decisive action and legalized urban beekeeping. Los Angeles currently outlaws beekeeping in residential areas, and the city’s policy is to exterminate all feral honey bees. With worldwide bee populations threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and urban beekeeping more popular than ever, this policy needs to change. We believe it to be a necessary and just measure requiring immediate action.
“The World Needs More Beekeepers” – Bill Compton (True Blood)
Bledsoe Water Meter Rescue
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Duration: 3 minutes
WHITE HOUSE HONEY ALE
Obama has been brewing his own organic beer with honey from Michelle’s garden beehive.
CHINA- HAND POLLINATION
“Workers in the Maoxian county of Sichuan, China, an area that has lost its pollinators through the indiscriminate use of pesticides and the over-harvesting of its honey, pollinates pear and apple trees by hand. In this part of China, the honeybee has been replaced by the human bee, for the past two decades. Every spring, thousands of villagers climb through fruit trees hand-pollinating blossoms by dipping “pollination sticks” (brushes made of chicken feathers and cigarette filters) into plastic bottles of pollen and then touching them against each of the tree’s billions of blossoms.”
The buzz around urban beekeeping
London’s Jewish Community Centre is doing its bit to ensure a sweet new year with a campaign to promote urban Jewish beekeeping. Community members are being encouraged to run their own hives to combat a dramatic decline in honey bee populations…
“I have always been fascinated by the bee world,” she said. “But it’s not like chickens where all you need is some space and some grain. I’m so grateful this opportunity came up.”
Alison Benjamin, who runs the course with Brian McCallum, said: “It’s really important to start keeping bees in cities, there’s more of a diversity of flowers and plants. You can taste that in the honey. In the country, there are fields and fields of the same crop. In a city it’s warmer and more sheltered.
“Bees can also be great for community cohesion. Some schools in south-east London have used beekeeping as a way of keeping kids calm because you have to be very careful and thoughtful when dealing with bees.”
New North London Synagogue also has plans for a hive of its own.”We think it’s a great way to bring people together and teach important lessons around sustainability that are rooted in our faith,” said executive director Claire Mandel.
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