Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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June 23, 2011

Backyard beekeeping + a time of new queens

Last weekend we were down in San Diego for Father’s Day, and it so happened that our few days at my parents’ house coincided with seriously activity in my mom’s bee hive. Her trusty colony made 4 new queens and 4 new swarms/hives around the backyard, which meant that the bee crew was called in to get the population under control. And luckily I was at home, attempting to get some work done on Friday when they showed up. Which meant little work, but lots of watching and photographing.

The main bonus hive was growing in the canopy over the deck and just above my mom’s finch feeder. Pretty amazing, right?

backyard beekeeping swarm

backyard beekeeping

I love the old smoker. Also, do you notice that the guys don’t even wear bee suits or gloves? The bees are mellow. I was standing in the middle of the swarm with my camera and they didn’t even notice me.

backyard beekeeping

Once they deposit the swarm into a box, they search through the colony for the queen. Which they then but in this little plastic vial to transport her… and I assume use to create a new colony later.

backyard beekeeping

backyard beekeeping queen

In just one week, these bees had already made 4 honeycombs + a bunch of honey. Isn’t that wild? They are amazing.

backyard beekeeping honeycombs

backyard beekeeping fresh honey

So I obviously need my own hive to complete my urban farm. But maybe that will be a project for next year. We’d need an anti-Dashiell fence around it for sure.

comments

  1. Yumii said on June 23, 2011

    Great shots! It’s fascinating isn’t it? :) My husband is really wanting to have a backyard hive. We may be hitting the next Backwards Beekeepers meeting!

  2. Sophie said on June 23, 2011

    Great photos! I’m a bit jealous, our Scottish bees are rather bellicose…

  3. moxiemandie said on June 23, 2011

    That is amazing! I’d be so nervous being around SO many of them, but it’s really incredible that they’re so chill. :)

    SO glad you shared this!

  4. Desi said on June 23, 2011

    that is so awesome. i’ve notice that the bees have been a lot more active this year than the past couple of years. josh and i have seen some swarms out on our evening walks. beautiful.

  5. Tuesday said on June 23, 2011

    Oh. Wow. That just doesn’t happen here in London. At least I have never seen such a beautiful sight!

  6. Kristine said on June 23, 2011

    That’s awesome! I’m so glad you blogged about this! We just discovered that there is a hive in our wall (we can even hear them working), so recently had someone smoke them out and create a hive outside the wall. We’re thinking of keeping them and being beekeepers ourselves, so this is so cool to see!

  7. Marty J. Christopher said on June 23, 2011

    I know some beekeepers, and we always joke that they should release their bees in my greenhouse to pollinate all my plants. Seriously, though, I’ve thought about putting in a little bee hive home in the garden, to lure them in, but bees scare the crap out of me. I’ve never been stung by a bee, but I was once stung by a wasp and it was bad enough to make me keep my distance of all stingers. Your mom is brave!

  8. Rachel (heart of light) said on June 23, 2011

    Lucky! My parents have a hive structure, but it isn’t occupied. They’ve had multiple swarms come through the yard and they keep hoping one of them will decide to take up residence in the hive. It’s sort of a haphazard approach. They might eventually buy a queen and actually get one started for real, which I would be super excited about (honey supply!).

  9. Jamie said on June 24, 2011

    This is fascinating! And from what I understand, natural honey has some sort of health super power?!

  10. g. said on June 24, 2011

    Love this post, Kristina! I’ve been pining over a bee hive for SO long! Honeycombs from the backyard…oh, a girl can only dream.

  11. Cassi said on July 28, 2011

    Very cool! I just sent my husband the link to this post because he has been talking about keeping bees for a couple years now. I hope this motivates him!

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