Dennis Broderick only has one hive, but don’t let that fool you. He knows his way around bees pretty well.
It all started in 2009 when Dennis was growing an heirloom garden and then, as these things do, it all snowballed. He got a worm farm. And a composter. And when he looked around he decided he needed more pollinators. One day later he heard about the Backwards Beekeepers on KPCC and within a week Dennis had been to a meeting and was making arrangements with HoneyLove mentor Kirk Anderson to bring a swarm.
A few weeks later Dennis was doing his own feral colony rescues all over Los Angeles. (His ringtone cries “Help!” when a rescue call comes in.)
Dennis still has just one hive. “I had two but one of them was mean so I sent them off to a beekeeper in the high desert,” Dennis explained. “One hive is plenty. And if they abscond, I just get more.”
His hive is five boxes high and Dennis only goes in for a few frames of honey every now and then. “I want them to be bees and pollinate. That’s it.” When asked if his colony has a name he laughed. “They’re bugs! I don’t name bugs.”
Dennis also owns and shows Grand Champion Cairn Terriers. Better yet, he has his dogs Betty and Deuce in Earth Dog and Lure Coursing competitions because he believes that dogs not only need a job but that they should get dirty and have fun.
After a stint in the military, Dennis worked for ABC TV for 25 years in Network Operations, retiring as Department Head. “It got fun when things went wrong and you had to fly by the seat of your pants.”
Sounds a lot like bee rescue, doesn’t it?
Follow Dennis and his bee adventures here:
Thanks to Donna Strong for donating a copy of her “Harmony of Bees” CD to our HoneyLove Lending Library!
Bees bring the sweetness of the flowers to us, making the world more fertile and abundant. This bee recording gives us access to sounds of nature that few people will ever hear–the high hum of bees busily pollinating a field full of flowering lavender. It is magical.
This recording has been named The Harmony of Bees; Healing Notes of Nature based on the comments of an Ecuadorian shaman who sleeps atop a hive because he finds the bee sounds so healing. The sound of the bees in a summer field of lavender is a unique experience of hearing a peak moment of pollination in action.
We humans have a new art form to cultivate–appreciating the beauty of the bees as they so productively apply themselves to the work of pollinating. Just as the plants transform sunlight, water and earthly elements into green life and pollen grains of reproductive abundance; the bees continue this caravan of nature’s alchemy through their vital work of pollination.
Bees are threatened by habitat changes, pesticide usage, and stressful commercial practices of trucking them over long distances and feeding them junk food such as sugar water, while expecting them to pollinate and produce honey without the food that nature has intended for millennia–their own honey and pollen.
This recording has been made to increase awareness of these endangered pollinators while helping us regenerate ourselves with this unique healing sound of nature. As you listen to this recording, I invite you to begin a new way to listen and heighten your perception of the bees in a kind of ‘moving meditation’ as it were, of being fully present in the moment as they move in and out of the lavender flowers in the field.
Mark your calendar folks because today was a big day…
Say hello to HoneyLove’s 1st School Garden with Bees!! Yay Muir Ranch!!
We are making a sweet tea table for our office from upcycled top bar hives!!
An animation showing you how easy it is to make a bee hotel. These will encourage solitary bees to your garden which are brilliant pollinators! Do it!
Filmed on a Nikon 300s by Alex Lanchester over 4 days in a dark shed!
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
Urbanfig is excited to introduce you to Rob McFarland, co-Founder of HoneyLove.org a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers.
NUMBER OF YEARS URBAN GARDENING: 8
FAVORITE THINGS TO GROW:
Blueberries, artichokes, and lettuce
URBAN FARMING LOCATION:
Del Rey Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Soil is alive and compost is your friend.
YOUR OWN GARDENING TIPS AND TRICKS:
In order to grow something, you must first plant a seed.
WHY DID YOU FIRST START GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD?
I started growing food because I wanted a tangible way of living more sustainably.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO GROW?
Any food crop. Nothing more satisfying than getting to eat (or drink) something you’ve grown.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO COOK OUT OF THE GARDEN?
Broccoli, my favorite vegetable. I love the simplicity of steaming some broccoli that is fresh from the garden.
WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO GARDEN (OR HOW DID YOU LEARN)?
I learn something new almost every day, mostly from reading and talking with fellow gardeners. My Mom taught me the gardening fundamentals, and also taught me the love of gardening (and learning).
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BEGINNER GARDENERS?
I don’t have advice so much as I have encouragement: JUST GO FOR IT. Even if you don’t think you have room, you can always start with one container and one tomato plant.
HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND IN THE GARDEN?
Totally depends on the week, but I try to spend time in the garden every day.
DO YOU RAISED BEDS, CONTAINERS, THE GROUND OR A COMBINATION OF WHAT?
I have stuff growing in a combination of containers, raised beds, and in the ground.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE GARDEN?
Not having enough space or direct sunlight. Also, birds LOVE to steal my berries.
WHAT ARE YOU GROWING RIGHT NOW?
Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi berries, strawberries, goji berries, passion fruit, pomegranate, figs, lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, guava, grapes, avocado, lettuce, summer squash, borage, sunflowers, artichoke, carrots, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, chocolate mint, and spearmint.
HOW HAS GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD AFFECTED OR CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Growing food has given me a new understanding of what it means to be successful.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT´S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE GROW THEIR OWN FOOD?
Growing food is one of those activities that helps us see behind the curtain, and gives us an appreciation of the natural world. It brings you to the core of what it means to be human. Agriculture after all is one of the forces behind our evolution as a species.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVORITE THING ABOUT GARDENING?
It sounds cliche, but at a fundamental level, my favorite part of gardening is feeling connected the natural world. That and getting to eat delicious garden-fresh food.
OTHER THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS?
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Photo from HoneyLove’s garden this weekend ?
Lemon tree + Honey Bee + Butterfly
Help us save the honey bees!!
Your contribution directly supports the educational outreach, community action and advocacy efforts to protect the health and well-being of honey bees. HoneyLove is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible.