Beekeepers thank Benicia gardeners

These past two years have been hard on all of us, and always on my mind is my beloved community, Benicia.  My partner and I wanted to share our gratitude to the gardeners around town. We especially wanted to let the Benicia residents know that beekeepers such as ourselves really appreciate the thoughtful, environmentally friendly gardens Benicians create, mostly without the use of chemical pesticides. This enhances the survival of our pollinators! And your considerate gardening has helped make our lives a little sweeter. As I take my walk to the pier, I admire everyone’s gardens and appreciate the numerous bee-friendly signs stating, “No pesticides are used here.” I even saw a bumper sticker commanding us to “bee-friendly.” Bees typically travel a radius of approximately 5 miles to collect pollen, and are healthiest when they have a variety of pollen sources. Monoculture farming is not good for bees.  Bees can weaken and suffer if they don’t have enough diversity of pollen in their diet. Benicia is truly bee-friendly and a real honeybee’s delight. Back in October 2020 we wrote about how we had just started raising bees. In May 2020 we set up two hives in our Benicia backyard. We had a flush of liquid-gold our first year, then we lost one of our hives to mites. (Apparently mites are a top killer of bees on the West Coast but as first-time beekeepers we weren’t fully aware of how serious the situation was.)  In April, 2021, we were able to establish a new nuc (nucleus: bees and queen that are already familiar with each other) to replace the hive we lost. The good news is that this hive that is thriving! And we have the entire town to thank for this. As your friendly neighborhood beekeepers, we just want to remind you that spring and summer are swarm season for honeybees.  And if you see a bunch of bees in a tree or bush clustering together, PLEASE call a beekeeper, not pest control!! If you are interested in beekeeping, please reach out to us!

~Sincerely, your bee denizens, and Robert & Elise : )

Beekeeper with bees
Bees and honeycomb