Next meeting: Sunday, August 26

Thinking about becoming a beekeeper but have no idea how to start?

Want to meet a bunch of friendly beekeepers ready to share their knowledge?

Come to the next meeting of the Backwards Beekeepers!

Backwards Beekeepers meetings take place on the last Sunday of every month.

The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 26 at 11am. As always, we'll be at the Atwater Crossing arts complex.

Here's what we have planned:

–Kirk takes questions from new & aspiring beekeepers

–Ruth discusses trap-outs, which are a great way of removing bees from somewhere they're not wanted and giving them a new home

–Susan and Laura share their experiences from attending the Northeast Treatment-Free Beekeeping Conference in Leominster, Massachusetts

–Update on the Michael Bush speaking event happening in October

–Lots of experienced beekeepers answer your questions about all things bee!

Atwater Crossing
3265-3191 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039-2205

There is ample free parking in the complex parking lot  - PLEASE park in the lot so the residents of the neighborhood can park near their homes.

The Atwater Crossing Cafe now serves a full breakfast! Come early and make a morning of it.

Map link

Closest freeway exit is Fletcher off the 2 freeway
Casitas is between Minneapolis St & Silver Lake Blvd…
1 long block SW of N. San Fernando Road (across the railroad tracks)
1 ½ blocks NW of Fletcher Drive
2 ½ blocks SE of Glendale Blvd

Upcoming meetings (mark your calendar!):

•September 30

•October 28

See you there!
Anne & Gwen

Viewer mail: Bees in a Paris park

A reader writes:
Hey Beekeepers:

Friends traveling in Europe sent the attached from the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. I agree with them that these hives are stylish, and a closer look at the photo above is worth the time. Here's a detail:

Kirk, next time you’re in Paris ask them if those basket-like things are skeps—and what are the tin things in the fire pit?

George B.

The Jardin du Luxembourg (aka Luxembourg Gardens) is the second largest public park in Paris. Amy and I got to wander through it last October, and we came across this very apiary. The public walking path leads right up to it, and there appears to be a very peaceful coexistence between people and bees.


This weekend: National Honey Bee Awareness Day

Rob and Chelsea of HoneyLove.org have a big event in West Los Angeles this Saturday. George Langworthy (co-director of Vanishing of the Bees), Kirk Anderson (co-founder of Backwards Beekeepers), and David King (of West LA's Learning Garden) will all be speaking.

Organizations representing bee-related interests, urban farming, and community affairs will all be attending.

There's even a party afterward!

More information is on the HoneyLove.org events page.


Looking for a speaker for your group or class?

James and Ruth, bee educators.

LA Backwards Beekeeper (and bee educator) Ruth writes:
Backwards Beekeepers has a small but committed group of individuals who go out and make presentations to schools and other venues. We provide this free service as part of our mission, which is to help the bees survive—their survival is literally ours as well.

Here are some of the groups we have hosted presentations for:

—Whole Foods Pollinator Awareness Month in-store presentations
—Boeing Corp. Pollinator Festival booth
—Unitarian Church of Rancho Palos Verdes
—Chabad Preschool Santa Monica
—Westwood Charter School
—Billy Mitchell Elementary School, Lawndale
—Canfield Elementary School
—Goethe International Charter School
—Topanga Canyon Earth Day
—Mission Viejo Earth Day
—Ballona Wetlands Earth Day
—Zoo Magnet School
—Park La Brea Earth Day
—Lunada Bay Earth Day
—Compton Sustainable Cities Event
—GROW Festival at the Los Angeles Arboretum
—Beach Cities Moving Planet event

We gear our presentations age-appropriately if working with youngsters. We bring along a collection of posters that help tell the story of the life cycle of the bee, and show pictures enlarged of the different members of the hive.

We also bring a glass-walled frame of live bees, which is endlessly fascinating, as well as honey which we distribute on ice cream sticks for the participants to taste.

A half-hour is about the minimum required, although often there are many questions that can take it well beyond an hour if allowed.


Want a Backwards Beekeeper to speak to your group or class? Here's how to make it happen.


Viewer mail: Bees on display in Taipei

A reader writes:


I live here in Los Angeles with one hive and lots of enthusiasm for organic beekeeping!

I recently took a trip to Taiwan, and came across an interesting stand in a Taipei flower market. They were selling local honey, but they also featured the ever popular pyrex bee box. The language barrier made it difficult to figure out much about their beekeeping practices.

They do have an interesting drink they sell that is essentially just honey and water and completely divine. Anyway, I thought it might be fun for backwards beekeepers to see something from Taipei!


I sure hope they give the bees a chance to leave that box at the end of the day.


Backwards Beekeeping in the LA Times

Here's a great article in the LA Times food section (appearing in print August 4th) about Backwards Beekeeping and what a great year we're having:

Kirk Anderson, who along with Seidenwurm and Bates founded the progressive apiculture group Backwards Beekeepers, recently dropped off nearly 100 jars of his honey at Lindy & Grundy, the organic butcher shop on Fairfax Avenue. Anderson tends bees all over Los Angeles, and this is the latest haul of Kirk's Local Honey from hives in Studio City.

"I can taste the difference between Bel-Air, Altadena and Los Feliz," says Lindy & Grundy co-owner Amelia Posada. "This is the first time we've had Studio City honey."

Overall, it's been a bumper season for urban honey in L.A., and summer is when worker bees are at their busiest. Corey Brill has three hives on a rooftop downtown and sells his Old Bank Honey to stores including Coffee Commissary on Fairfax. He says he harvested at least 50% more honey this year than last year.

"We'd like to take the credit" for the bonanza of honey, says Seidenwurm of Feral Honey & Bee, standing in a three-layer protective suit and pulling a frame bulging with honeycomb from one of the quintuple-level hives as hundreds of bees buzz around her. "But they do all the work. We just steal from them."

It's a sweet season for honey (LA Times)


Your bee rescue hotline at work: North Hollywood

Bob called the Bee Rescue Hotline today about a swarm that had landed at a North Hollywood construction site where he and a crew are installing solar panels. Bob needed the bees gone, but he didn't want them to get killed.

These bees were about 20 feet off the ground, but fortunately there were plenty of scissor lifts available. Up I went, and there I met the calmest bees I think I've ever seen. I sprayed them with some sugar water and brushed them into a box with no trouble at all.

Liana Aghajanian of the LA Weekly came along for the ride; she needed photos for an upcoming "Best of LA" feature. She was also fearless about holding the nuc box while I scooped straggler bees into it from overhead. Thanks Liana!

After the trip home to Silver Lake, the bees were eager to get out and start exploring.