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Tag Archives | bee keeping

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

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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!

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

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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!

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Hipster Animals: Urban Apiarist

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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

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Photo from HoneyLove’s garden this weekend ?
Lemon tree + Honey Bee + Butterfly 

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WATCH: Honey Bee Rescue – HoneyLove.org


Paul Hekimian of Santa Monica invited HoneyLove to rescue a beehive from his backyard and set him up to be an urban beekeeper. Paul is taking advantage of Santa Monica’s new ordinance to allow urban beekeeping. He is just the fourth person to register a hive. Paul’s father was a beekeeper at age 45, and now Paul at the same age gets to pass on beekeeping to his sons. Rob McFarland of HoneyLove.org was able to remove an open air hive from a tree and set Paul up with a nice new colony.

Special Thanks: Santa Monica Daily PressWhole Foods Market, HoneyLove.org, Rob McFarland, Lucas Hekimian, Lisa Zollner

Filmed & Edited by Eric Longden

HoneyLove.org is a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate urban beekeepers.

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Thank you SO much to everyone who came all the way out to our Bee-Day @ the HoneyLove Sanctuary!! What an amazing crew of HoneyLovers we have!!
 

We brought up a rain barrel, and planted some California Native BEE-friendly plants (from Matilija Nursery). We branded and painted 9 medium supers (bee-boxes) with linseed oil, and made starter strips for all of the boxes’ frames… and we cleared and leveled out spots to better situate our hives for some hands-on mentoring!!!
 

More photos coming soon!!

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WATCH: Calif. Man Finds 50,000 Bees Inside Home
via ABC News: Top Stories!!

Thanks MikeBee for the awesome buzz about HoneyLove.org!!


Audree Steinberg reports:

On July 7 a photojournalist discovered an estimated 50,000 bees living in the walls of his Los Angeles home, and he wasn’t even scared.

Spending little time at home because of work, Larry Chen, 27, initially didn’t notice the bees. According to the beekeeper he hired, the hive was an estimated six to eight months old.

A month ago, Chen began noticing bees buzzing in and out of his window, and he decided to investigate. According to Chen, the bees only came out during a 30-minute window in the day.

“I’m not really terrified of the bees… I just remained calm, and I figured they wouldn’t bother me too much… I got stung once, but I was more curious about how big the hive actually was. I figured it was just a small clump of 1,000 or so,” Chen said.

After his investigation, he spent a month on the road, traveling for work. When he returned, Chen found time to call a professional to assess the situation. He explained that he recently saw a documentary about the endangerment of bees, so he wanted to save – not exterminate – them.

He found a man on Craigslist, who goes by the name Mike Bee, who said he would safely remove the bees. He is a member of the rescue organization Backwards Beekeepers, a group that works with HoneyLove.org in order to educate the public about bees.

“My policy is to relocate, not exterminate,” the beekeeper explained.

It took Mike Bee and his wife five hours to remove the bees from the wall. Mike Bee was stung four times.

The bees entered through a ventilation pipe that airs out the attic and an area near a window, according to Mike Bee. Although the pipes were lined with a wire mesh, the squares were big enough for bees to fit through. Since the area was a dark, protective shelter and featured a convenient entry point, the space was very accommodating to a beehive.

First, the beekeeper located the bees and cut the drywall. Then he burned pine needles, creating a smoke that would calm the bees. Afterwards, he began vacuuming the bees in a custom-made device, so that the comb could be visible. He removed the queen and cut out the comb, placing it in a box with the bees.

After removing the bees, he scraped off any remnants of wax from the honeycombs and cleaned the area of the hive. He then stapled screening mesh over the ventilated pipes in order to deter a new swarm from finding the same spot.

The bees filled two boxes that fit 20,000 bees each, but there were still many strays. The beekeeper explained that the bees would be returned to the city after he completes a process called an orientation flight.

“It’s good we caught it at this time because it could have been a lot bigger,” Chen said.

[click here to view the original story by ABC News]

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ARTICLE: Urban beekeeping taking root in Santa Monica
Law allows residents to pick up the planet-friendly hobby
 

“The goal: to get the rather large number of bees currently suspended between 15 and 20 feet above the ground into boxes lined with thin wooden frames in such a way that they would actually create a new hive and stay there…

The discovery of wild honeybees nested in Hekimian’s yard brought back old memories and a keen desire to pick up where his dad had left off, something that couldn’t have happened within Santa Monica’s city limits until early 2011 when the City Council made it legal to have bee hives on private property.

It was a no-brainer, said Dean Kubani, director of the Office for Sustainability and the Environment…

Hekimian contacted Animal Control as soon as he found the hive, received approval and called Rob McFarland.

The two had met just the day before Lucas’ discovery at a beekeeping talk hosted at the Whole Foods Market in El Segundo, one of a series of events the grocery store put on to raise awareness about honeybees and the role they play in the environment.

McFarland and his wife Chelsea were speaking for Honeylove.org, a non-profit organization they founded to protect honeybees and help out the uninitiated with bee problems.

McFarland got started in beekeeping a year ago in true DIY fashion… and now McFarland pitches in where he can to help others learn the ins and outs of beekeeping.

He came over Saturday morning, and Project: Bee Relocation got underway…

McFarland began pumping smoke into the hive. He then cut sections of the hive away from the rubber tree plant and handed them to Hekimian as videographer Eric Longden documented the whole affair…

After the main chunks of the hive came down, McFarland and Hekimian trimmed sections of the wax so they would fit within the thin wooden frames and strapped them in with rubber bands.

Eventually, the bees will seal the existing chunks of hive into the frame and chew away the offending rubber bands, McFarland said.

After the frames have been put into the box, it’s a waiting game. The bees could choose to stay in the box, or they could vacate the area and establish a new hive elsewhere.

Within minutes, it was clear the bees would stay. The little creatures crawled through a slit in the box, turned around and began fanning the air with their wings to spread the pheromone signaling wayward bees to come home.

Hobbyist beekeeping is in the middle of a renaissance…

From an environmental point of view, the more bees, the better. Bees are responsible for pollinating a full third of the food that enters our diets, according to Eric C. Mussen, a professor at UC Davis, in a paper titled ‘Don’t Underestimate the Value of Honey Bees!’”

[click here to read the full article on smdp.com]

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