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Tag Archives | bee keeping

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]

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ARTICLE: A Sculptor Creates a Stop on the Bee Train
By ELAINE LOUIE – The New York Times 

“Christopher Russell, 52, a Manhattan sculptor, is one of 10 artists commissioned by the M.T.A. Arts for Transit and Urban Design program in its latest project to enhance New York subway stations. Almost all of the new works (seven are scheduled for unveiling today along the D line in Brooklyn) are laminated glass windscreens that edge subway platforms above ground…

Mr. Russell was entrusted with designing bronze gates, 7 feet high and 6 feet wide, at the Ninth Avenue Station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The gates depict honeybees crawling on hives, and the posts of adjacent fences will have honeybees resting on 17 finials shaped like flower heads…

I’ve worked in ceramics for 20 years, and primarily with birds, sea life and bees for the last five years. I became interested in the incredible complexity of hives, the detail of the work bees do and the exactness. I took it upon myself to recreate these hives in ceramic, and that became a three- or four-year project…

I think people understand that bees are a valuable presence in this world, that they symbolize a kind of bucolic peacefulness and simplicity. Bees go about their business. They’re actually very docile when they’re swarming.”

[click here to view the full articles on nytimes.com]

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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) 

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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!]

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KEEP BEES AND LIVE LONG

honeylove.org

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

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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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