Backyard and Backwards Beekeeping

I did a natural beekeeping Zoom talk for the Pasadena Public Library last month and they’ve posted it in the YouTubes for all to see. Fun fact: if you watch until the Q&A you’ll notice that my desktop computer is installed in our closet thus making my Zoom background a pile of folded sheets.

In the talk I give a brief intro to bee biology and then go over the way I keep bees here as taught to me by “backwards” beekeeping guru Kirk Anderson.

Beekeeping resources I mention during the talk:

Organizations/Websites local non-profit that provides hands-on education and resources for backyard beekeepers.

Principles of Beekeeping Backwards, a manifesto by Charles Martin Simon:

Xerces society: for information on native bees and how to provide habitat.

Backwards Beekeepers how-to videos on YouTube:

Save the Bees with Natural Backyard Hives: The Easy and Treatment-Free Way to Attract and Keep Healthy Bees by Rob and Chelsea McFarland

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer (believe it or not a good intro to natural beekeeping practices). Not to be confused with the Dummies Guide to Beekeeping.

Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies by The Xerces Society (Author), Dr. Marla Spivak (Foreword).

Help I’ve got bees in my wall!
Henry Balding Balding’s Bees (213) 422-8444

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  1. I like the idea of using nothing but mediums, especially for having all “equipment “ interchangeable . Have you thought of using one or two deeps as the brood boxes and just add mediums as conditions dictate ?

    Also- do you use a hive tool? I don’t recall you mentioning that.

    • Hey SDD, I use mediums so that everything is interchangeable. But if I had deeps around I’d use them too. The big problem with them, as you probably know, is that they’re really heavy. The advantage is that I think the bees probably appreciate the extra space. That said I’ve never used them and I like keeping things simple.

  2. If you live like in Silver Lake/Echo Park area and you keep bees, and

    your neighbors have a loud party, and the bees go to the neighbors’ yard (i guess sensing threat from the loud noise),

    and ends up stinging a bunch of people at said party,

    then there’s like one person in that party who turns out to be allergic to bee sting,

    and goes to the ER, then dies,

    can you go to jail– like for manslaughter??? I wanna keep bees, but I just live so closely to neighbors.

    I heard that this happened in Palmdale. What’s the legal stuff of bee keeping in like the city area.

    • We’re in fairly tight quarters here. My neighbors know that I keep bees and I put them in a spot that’s out of the way and surrounded by fences. It’s true that not every yard is suitable. That said, bees are really only interested in gathering resources. Loud parties are not something that will interest or bother them. As long as you don’t bang on the hive boxes you’d hardly know they are there.

  3. Hey Eric.. could you potentially share the resources you mention? Thanks for sharing this recording!

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