Aspirations of a Kindergarten Beekeeper
Small Lot Beekeeping
Small Lot Beekeeping
Urban Beach Beekeepers
Urban Bee Rescuers
Beekeeping in Strange Locations
A Combined Hive in Denver for a New Marriage
Kathleen writes: "We started recently backyard beekeeping in Denver Colorado. My interest in beekeeping started several years ago while helping a friend with her honey harvest out in Strasburg Colorado. After setting up our two hives in late May, we waited for swarm calls. The first came from Greenwood Mountain and the swarm was miniscule but we were thrilled. We collected the swarm by hand, which took quite a long time, but we were excited and awed by the process. Our second swarm came to us boxed and I made many newbie mistakes while introducing them to the hive, but somehow they ended up claiming it as home. Towards the end of summer, we did a hive combine. Although we werent able to gather any honey this season, we hope that our hive combine was successful enough for the bees to survive through winter for "robbing" next season!
"Dallas and I recently married and we included our hives in the half-moon cake topper I compiled from photographs of us and our 'menagerie.'"
St Louis Beekeeping
Full Frontal Illegal Bees in Denver
Rooftop Beekeeping in Washington, D.C.
Toni writes: "I keep bees in three locations within Washington D.C., as well as one in the Virginia suburbs. My first two packages of bees arrived and were installed on my roof. My Virginia apiary was started the following year. I now look after seven hives within DC, one of which actually belongs to the DC Parks and Rec Department. I have two hives on my roof, and the picture comes from there.
"The picture shows me with my roof hives at mid-year last year. Every year they grow up stronger than the last, which results in me pressing all sorts of gear into service ahead of swarming -- which I believe must be avoided in an urban context. The electrical cords attach to Bee-Cool units, which make me feel better because roof temps top 110 degrees F at least once every summer here. My bees are really productive, so perhaps it helps them, too."
San Jose Beekeeping
Native Bee Houses in McLean, Va.
Denise writes: "Well — surely you guys didnt mean to discriminate against our native bees, just because they don't make honey! These little girls and guys are fabulous pollinators, and they need our love and support, too. That's why I started raising Orchard Mason Bees about seven years ago, and why I donate the bee houses I designed for them to local schools, native plant nurseries, historical sites, County parks and anyone who wants to help increase their populations. I live about seven miles outside of Washington, D.C. on 1/8 acre that I've jam-packed with all the plants that bees and butterflies adore. So don't forget to count me in, because I'm a dedicated urban beekeeper, too — and I dont even need a bee suit ;-)"
Did you know that it takes only 250 orchard mason bees to pollinate one acre of commercial apple orchards, whereas it would take 25,000 honeybees to accomplish the same task? Learn how to raise orchard mason bees and other native bees.
Charitable Honeybees in San Francisco
Backyard Bee Hive in San Francisco
"Firefly" with the Hive
Bees at a Maine Industrial Park
Erin writes: "I get a lot of swarm calls as I put my information out there as someone who will 'rescue' honeybees. I am one of only four Master Beekeepers in Maine. I have two top bar hives that I am experimenting with. The best way to populate a top bar hive is with a swarm, so I'd been waiting to use it until I caught a swarm for it. I manage about 80 colonies including quite a few at my home in Portland (that's where the top bar hive is). I sell my honey through local grocery stores and at the farmer's market.
"Like most beekeepers, beekeeping is my second job. My first job is as controller for a manufacturing company here in Maine, Sterling Rope. I keep bees on the company's property in the industrial park. Last year I had five of my own colonies there. This year I got a grant from SARE to explore/demonstrate the differences between locally raised bees and commercial Italian bees. I set my SARE apiary up at the office to make it easier for me to feed them when they first started, also it is a great place to have people come and see them (lots of parking, etc.). And I can run out and tend to them at lunchtime, which is great. The forage in the industrial park is excellent — lots of wildflowers and weeds that bees love. Plus, the bees are right under the eye of myself and our employees all the time (so safe from vandals/predators), and the company loves the marketing aspects of the fact that we keep bees on our property; there is even a picture of them in our catalog, and the company purchases honey from me and gives it away at trade shows."
To read more about Erin's bees, see this multimedia feature in The Sunday Best.
Tacoma, Wash. Beekeeping
Pittsburgh "Burgh" Bees
Intensive Beekeeper Training Program
A Moneymaking Hobby in Woodland, Calif.
Backyard Bees in Maine
Christy writes: "Here are several shots of Gold Star top bar hives -- the kit we manufacture for sale. Not as 'surreptitious' as say, a New York City rooftop beekeeper has to be, I mean, hey -- my landlord wrote my bees right into my lease, and even let me grow the lawn into a meadow this year! But it's a lovely little apiary at 5:30 on a summer morning in Bath, Maine ... with the sunrise shining on the sides of the hives."
"Gold Star Honeybees runs a Beekeeping Service, where I place the hives, populate 'em with bees, and then maintain them all season -- sort of like the 'pool guy' would take care of your swimming pool (only different)."
Downtown Fargo Bees
Backyard Bees in St. Louis
Urban Bees in Oakland, Calif.
Newly Legal Cleveland Bees
Adventures in Atlanta Beekeeping
Linda writes: "I'm an urban beekeeper in Atlanta where my bees are on my deck behind my house. They have been there for four years. I also keep a hive at a community garden, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, which is inside Atlanta's city limits. It's within the law in Atlanta and all over Georgia to keep bees. I'm a member of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association and we conduct inspections of our hives to help new beekeepers learn what to do and this photo shows me with other beekeepers on an inspection at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve community garden.
"This spring I got a call at work to go get a swarm from someone's house. I had an hour and a half break at work (I'm a psychologist), so I drove past my house and grabbed my beesuit, a ladder, a cardboard box and a sheet. I drove to the woman's house, captured the swarm in the cardboard box. I put the cardboard box, complete with swarm, into the back of my car. The box was somewhat open because I didn't want to seal the bees into it. I knew with Atlanta traffic that I didn't have time to take off my beesuit before driving the swarm to my backyard hives. Wearing my beesuit, I jumped in the car with the bees in the back. Some of them were flying against the back window trying to leave. I got all kinds of stares on my way home — me driving in the beesuit with a car with bees hitting the back window one after another! I got the swarm to my house, installed them in a hive on my deck with the rest of my hives, tore off my beesuit, jumped back in the car and got to work in time for my next patient!"
Front Yard Beekeeping
Nicole writes: "Im a first-year beekeeper in Gainesville, Fla., a mid-size city of approximately 114,000 people. I have one hive in my front yard along a suburban street. Fortunately, my yard has a good number of trees so the neighbors havent noticed the hive yet! Im proud to say that I will harvest honey very soon!
"Thanks for spreading the word about the value of bees and the joys of beekeeping! Also pictured is my friend Rob Horsburgh, a long-time beekeeper who has been helping me with hive inspections, teaching me about bees, their ways and tricks of the trade."