like Facebook follow Twitter watch YouTube subscribe RSS Feed
Tag Archives | bee keeper

ARTICLE: Close Quarters With Honey Bees

By the way, we have about 8,000 honey bees in our living room.

As conversation-starters go, this is one of our better ones. And it’s true – we do have about 8,000 honey bees in our living room – give or take 1,000. Thankfully they are all very safely contained, with a clear path directly to the out-of-doors.

We started keeping bees in spring 2011. Our interest was partially driven by the plight of the honeybees, and partially by our own curiosity. However, we also wanted to help foster our little homesteady ecosystem. Thanks to my husband’s organic green thumb, we have a number of blueberry, currant, and raspberry bushes around the property, as well as apple trees, plum trees, peach trees, grape vines, hazelnut bushes, asparagus, cherry trees, and a big garden as well. Although the honeybees do not pollinate all of these different species, they do hit some of them – and it’s nice to know that we’re also helping out native wildflowers.

Our bees are and always have been raised treatment-free. They are a more persnickety variety, but this breed is apparently more resistant to varroa mites – one of the many things thought to be contributing to colony collapse – and generally hardier. As much as possible, our hope is to help keep an organic, more natural balance on our property.

Back to the bees in our living room. During the winter, my husband decided to build an observation hive to hang in our living room. This is a glass-walled hive that gives a clear view to 3 frames of bees. I was leery of the idea, but it has proven to be an amazing experience. It has frequently been our go-to evening entertainment. The kids have been deeply intrigued, and love to spend time looking for the queen, seeing what has changed, and telling our guests all about our observation hive.

During their time in our living room, we have watched:
the bees make a new queen
the  new queen kill off the 2 dozen or so other potential queens
the colony population triple
Queenie (our pet name for the queen) lay eggs
the drone (male bee) population die out and new ones take their places
new bees eat their way out of their brood cells
bees making honey
bees feeding larvae
and so much more!

The observation hive has been an invaluable tool teaching us how to better care for our bees, and has given our young kids a unique education that they can share with friends and family.

[click here to view the original article on seventhgeneration.com]

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

Thank you Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council for UNANIMOUSLY voting in support of URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES tonight!! YAY BEES!!!

PLEASE TAKE 30 SECONDS TO SIGN OUR PETITION (you do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign):
http://www.change.org/petitions/legalize-urban-beekeeping-in-los-angeles-2 

Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils that officially support our urban beekeeping motion so far!! ? 
1. Mar Vista (11/8/11) 
2. Del Rey (12/8/11) 
3. Greater Griffith Park (1/17/12) 
4. South Robertson (1/19/12) 
5. Silver Lake (3/7/12) 
6. Hollywood United (3/19/12) 
7. Atwater Village (4/12/12) 
8. West Los Angeles (6/27/12)
9. Boyle Heights (7/25/12) 
10. Lake Balboa (8/1/12) 

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

Bees Thai Basil - 

Thai Basil is another honey bee approved plant for your garden! It is a type of sweet basil (native to Southeast Asia) and has “purple-flushed, lance-like leaves with a sweet licorice scent”(1). When it is blooming you’ll see bees busily buzzing around it and drinking nectar all day long!

In general, bees seem to gravitate towards blue and purple flowers, and Thai Basil is a great example of this! Click here to view a list of other bee-friendly plants!

[Thank you thewhimsicalgardener.com for letting us post your beautiful photos!]

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

KEEP BEES AND LIVE LONG

honeylove.org

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

WATCH: Urban Beekeeping in Amsterdam
You don’t have to speak Dutch to understand this video – “Yay Bees!”

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

We are really excited to invite you to this month’s HoneyLove Workshop:
OUR 2ND ANNUAL WAX SYMPOSIUM!

8/11/12 @ Cella Gallery in North Hollywood

Topics include: DIY Wax Foundation & Starter Strips, Beeswax Candles, Solar Wax Melters…

Come and get your hands dirty with us!!
FREE!! All ages welcome!!

More information: facebook / meetup

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/303150_284383398242088_587775848_n.jpg

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

ARTICLE: The Buzz on Urban Beekeeping by Rick Paulas KCET.org 

If you’re trying to raise money to save puppies or kittens or other adorable creatures, it’s simple. You find the cutest ones around, snap a few photos, get rights to a Sarah McLachlan song, throw some information up about where to send donations, and bam! Work’s done. But bees? A creature that mostly elicits the emotion of run-away-as-fast-as-you-can? They’re not exactly the easiest sell.

Which is the problem that’s been keeping Chelsea and Rob McFarland — husband-and-wife team behind the non-profit organization HoneyLove — busy for the past 18 months. Their goal of trying to make Los Angeles the latest city to legally allow urban beekeeping — in this regard, L.A. is a bit behind the curve; New York, San Francisco, Seattle and even Santa Monica are among the growing list of cities that allows beekeepers within city limits — isn’t an easy one.

Rick: Is there evidence you’ve seen that the disappearance of they honeybees is slowing down or stopping?

Chelsea: We have not seen the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder in our hives. We believe this is because the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Traditional agriculture has put bees in to a tight spot for many reasons — pesticides, antibiotics, miticides, trucking bees across the country, feeding them high fructose corn syrup instead of allowing them to eat their natural honey, placing contaminated beeswax foundations in their hives… too many reasons to list!

As organic urban beekeepers we do not do any of that. Our home gardens are generally free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar for the honeybees.

See more – and take the poll – here!

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/227564_221441461216137_7548598_n.jpg

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

WILL THE CITY OF LA ‘BEE’ NICE?
WATCH: HoneyLove.org on Fox 11 News!!

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/375612_496058500407909_1730903189_n.jpg

Click here to sign our petition to legalize urban beekeeping in Los Angeles:
http://www.change.org/petitions/legalize-urban-beekeeping-in-los-angeles-2
**You do not need to live in LA to sign!

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

Hipster Animals: Urban Apiarist

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

UrbanFig “Farmer of the week” - 
Rob McFarland (Co-Founder of HoneyLove.org)

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

GARDENING ADVICE:
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?
Connect with us online!
HoneyLove.org

http://urbanfig.com/wp-content/themes/thesis_184/custom/images/logo-small.png
Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized