Urban Bees and Gardens offers
Simplified, cost-effective educational programs and products.
Coach individuals and groups in nurturing pollinators – an adventure that is both vital and requires some dedication and ongoing involvement.
Even if you are squeamish around insects, we combine knowing how much we depend on them for food with many hands-off ways of helping.
While pollinators likely will not “make news” until then next not-wished for die off, stresses pollinators currently are burdened with can be reversed: hive by hive, school by school, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Brian’s bee-grade story
Got ‘good n bit’ by the bee bug at 14 (1972) while going to a tiny alternative school in Gold Hill – Southern Oregon. 300 acres of grass fields, pine and madrone trees. With Tom, one of the school owners’ sons, we soon pulled out the table saw and built a few hive boxes WITH frames. Teenagers.
Bees we got with help from Delmar Smith: a kind, short, round, bald, energetic guy with a high-register voice and arms that flapped around, yes, like a bee. Delmar was Rouge Valley’s bee guru then. Got us in touch w someone who had a swarm on a low branch. An easy start. Our pains paid back in lots of honey next year – those being the days before mites and general bee decline.
Since then I’ve kept between 3 to 10 hives. When the mites arrived in the early 2000s I used to use chemicals, but soon dropped that after realizing I was making super mites.
In 2010 I became more interested in catching wild swarms, because they are most likely to be genetically stronger to naturally resist mites. In 2011 I made a big string purse (video clip of the purse in use) and upgraded an online bee vacuum design to be more effective at saving as many swarms as possible from occupying the walls of houses.
Since starting Live Honeybees our programs continue to grow, PowerPoints, shows with live bees, making bee homes, pouring candles, apitherapy sessions – the list will keep growing.
What Live HoneyBees has accomplished since our founding in 2011:
- Host a Hive Program – delivering and supporting 43 hives from Clatskanie to Gresham / Ridgefield Wa to Salem OR.
- Reached 750 children and adults through free library and other in-community outreach programs.
- Designed arguably the easiest, least costly method of sustainable urban-responsible beekeeping.
- Built and installed rare public observation hive in the Alberta Arts district.
- Captured 121 swarms and out of wall hives.
- Designed in-school bee club programs for High School honeybee learning projects.
None of this would be possible without the energy of my students and a few volunteers who have staffed outreach tables, poured candles and honey, and more.