Kirk needs a hug

A morose Kirkobeeo reports:

I took this trap out down last night and put a screen top on the nuc box as I normally do. It has been so hot they died from the heat while I was transporting them. Here are some pics. I feel bad—they were going to be for John L, I was going to give them to him at the club meeting.

I thought we should post the mistakes too.

kirkobeeo aka IFEELBADOBEEO


Pacific Northwest Bees

I just spent a week kayaking in Puget Sound, Washington. We camped for three days on Jones Island, a tiny state park island in the San Juan Islands group. A beautiful spot to hike, relax, paddle to and from....and watch bees! My camera is rudimentary: so-so zoom and no macro, but I did get these shots of the most adorable fuzzy bees noshing on the wild thistle flowers. (Also, yellow jackets.)
I bought some wild flower honey from a woman in Medina (Bill Gates neighborhood of Seattle) and I don't know if it came from virtual bees or what, but I was very disappointed in the taste (blah). Came home and bought some of Kirk's. Give me Lake View Terrace any day!


Kirk and Amy at Farmlab today

Kirk and Amy gave a Backwards Beekeeping salon today at Farmlab, a downtown L.A. space that's a combination of garden lab, think tank, research collective, art studio, performance space, and probably several other things I haven't thought of.

There was a big turnout—and despite the pounding heat outside, it was nice and comfortable inside the Farmlab space.

Thanks to Meredith and everyone else at Farmlab for putting such a great event (and lunch) together.

Kirkobeeo: Making a new beekeeper

Kirk reports:

I have been talking to Jules for a few months. She has joined the bee club and had bees in her wall. So she got her equipment together then called me to come over and do a trap out.

Now in about a month she will have a hive. Her kids are also very excited about having bees. These bees have been in the wall for a couple of years now.


Who needs a thermometer when you've got bees?

Though I had read that bees will sometimes "beard" on the outside of their hive in hot weather, I'd never seen it in person.

But it was well into the 90s in L.A. today, and when I got home (after 6pm), I found that our super-achiever hive was in full-on bearding mode.

I hope this doesn't mean they're getting ready to swarm. They still have lots of room in the top box, and we even removed a couple of frames of brood over the last few weeks. We shall see.

UPDATE (the next day):

On Kirk's advice, we opened up more room in the hive by moving some honey frames upwards and adding a fourth box. There's plenty of brood, so it looks like the queen is happily working away.

This afternoon there was far less bearding, despite the day being hotter. Thanks, Kirk!

Dennis captures a swarm

Backwards Beekeeper Dennis, whose bees absconded recently, has this triumphant post on his blog about going to the rescue of a swarm in Redondo Beach, and getting new bees for himself in the process:

Time to go to work. Okay it is a swarm and the bees might be friendly but I have the fine bee suit and need to use it, the public demands it.. The crowd, Terra and her neighbor were very impressed.

I could not come up with a better solution so I sprayed the bees with sugar water, tilted the container and gave it several mighty whacks. The bees were sort of annoyed but the main group along with the queen seemed to have fallen into the nuc.

Read the whole post here.

Well done, Dennis!


Kirk encounters an avalanche of bees

Holy Kamoley, what a day Kirk had today. I'd start to describe it, but I really couldn't do it justice.

Suffice to say that there are no photos of the Studio City trap-out; the first nine photos are from hiving the swarm Kirk caught with Pshairyn; the tenth shows a hot-tub-trap-out; and the final three show the process and outcome of melting beautiful clean wax from Backwards Beehives.

Follow along as Kirk tells the story.

Here's Kirk:

Dusty the dog, ready to help:

Starter strips made from cardboard in the recycling bin:

Ted assembles a box for the swarm:

Hot tub trap-out:

Melting clean wax:

Wax ready to go in new hives:


Bees at the Ballpark - Part 2

I can't find all of the facts yet, but it appears that the hometown Dodgers have handled a swarm in the stands with far more humanity than the Padres did. The team simply cleared people out the swarmed section of stands and left the bees alone.

The rationale for this may have been based on a goat-removal curse that vexed the Cubs for years, or maybe they learned something from their rivals to the south.

What they did with the bees after that I do not know. Will do my best to get in touch with the team and find out.

Here's a link to the story from LA Times



I'm participating in this group art show inspired by our friends the HONEY BEES.

Opening reception Saturday Aug 22nd @ 8:30 PM
The Apiary Gallery @ The Hive Salon
1402 Micheltorena St. (coner of Sunset) LA 90026 - Silver Lake


Hope to see you all there!

Kirkobeeo: Out of the meter box, into the trap-out box.

Yesterday Kirk removed some bees from a meter box (what is it about bees and meter boxes?) in Pasadena, then put them to work in Hollywood. Here's the story:


Kirk and Amy at Farmlab: Mark Your Calendars!

Our own Kirk Anderson and Amy Seidenwurm will be presenting a salon about urban beekeeping on Friday, August 28th at Noon at Farmlab, a downtown L.A. space that's a combination of garden lab, think tank, research collective, art studio, performance space, and probably several other things I haven't thought of.

Kirk and Amy will be showing and telling their audience about the fun and simplicity of urban beekeeping. The event is free, and Farmlab's site has more details.

The particulars:

Urban Beekeeping Salon @ Farmlab
Free Admission
Friday, August 28th, 12:00pm
1745 North Spring St, Los Angeles
see the Google Map; parking on Baker St


Kirkobeeo: Flowerpot bees and top entrance hives

Here's the latest from Kirk. Hit "play" and then wait about five seconds for his voice to start.


Kirkobeeo: It's swarm time

Kirk says:

This guy named Dave called about a swarm in Santa Monica. I couldn't get to it, so I forwarded the email to Pshairyn—she lives down that way.

She took a nuc box over there with a frame of brood, but couldn't reach it. I took my paint pole over and lifted the nuc box up then got the bees inside.

Nancy wanted to host the bees, so that's where they are now.