PHOTO: Bees Knees
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.
We just reached 200 followers!!! ? Yay bees!
WATCH: How to Add More Frames to Your Bee Hive –
Permaculture Gardening via TheGrowingHome.Net
“We need bees for the future of our cities and urban living”
-Noah Wilson-Rich, founder of Boston’s Best Bees Company
This week’s topic: Living Sustainably
Today at our monthly HoneyLove Workshop we taught people how to “Bee Proactive” by building a swarm box to put out on their property!
@ Santa Monica Public Library Fairview Branch – 06/09/12
HONEYLOVER OF THE MONTH: Susan
BEES RESCUED FROM: Water Meter in Marina del Rey!
SUSAN: “I am thoroughly enchanted with the bee world—-its history, organization, evolution with mankind, and tenacity in the city. Now, everywhere I go I talk about bees and beekeeping and converse with others about the importance of bees. I love how the bees complete a relationship I already had with botany and plants, food and animals—-a wider world all connected.”
ROB (HoneyLove): “One of the things I love most about beekeeping is mentoring new-bees and getting to watch them fall in love with bees. It makes you fall in love all over again. Getting to experience this with Susan was especially great due to her tremendous passion, and capacity to learn and innovate. She has been one of the most active HoneyLovers, joining us at a spectrum of events, from our 2011 National Honey Bee Awareness Day, to our Honey Tasting workshop. Since then, Susan has been seen buzzing all over town, rescuing bees from every conceivable location and situation. I’m proud to say that Susan has become a tremendous beekeeper, mentor, and HoneyLover.”
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.