Bee Talk, Marion Nestle, Bee Class, Ron Finley, yeah!

We know: we keep using exclamation points on our posts, but come on, look at all the bounty! Hope to see you at one of these events in the next two weeks!

xome architectsFirst, Friday June 14: Bob from Urban Bee will be presenting at Om Culture in Wallingford as part of the Permaculture Now series SUPPER! (Seattle Urban Permculture Practice, Education, and Resources). Bring food for Potluck at 6:30; talk starts at 7. Subjects covered: how bees went from gods to slaves; new practices in urban beekeeping; biomimicry; how a bee would ride the Tour de France; and the spirit of the hive. Gratuitous quotes from Sylvia Plath to Maurice Maeterlink to Wendell Berry. This is a really fun series and we hope you can make it!

Marion-Nestle-Books-940x626THEN, Tuesday June 18, we are proud to support the appearance of Marion Nestle, writer of the renowned FOOD POLITICS blog and numerous books on the subject. Dr. Nestle will be speaking at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church as part of their THE WELL series.  If you don’t know:

Dr. Nestle has received many awards and honors including the 2011 National Public Health Hero award from the University of California Berkeley School Of Public Health.

Dr. Nestle has written many articles and blogs regularly. Two of her books that will be of particular interest for this presentation are Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health and Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics.

BFFOn Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm we are offering Field Sessions at the Beacon Food Forest apiary. The classes include a guided tour of the food forest (itself an amazement), plus an introduction to bees and urban beekeeping, a conversation about local food systems and more. Veils and gloves provided. Cost is $25. There are about five spots left, so get in touch now to make a reservation. Details here!

Lastly, Wednesday, June 26th, also at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church. Again we are happy to support their series THE WELL and the presentation of Ron Finley, urban gardener from Los Angeles. Listen to Ron’s TED talk here and come out to see him in person in a couple weeks.

Think Global, Act ÜbrLocal

ubrlocal-300x300We are happy to announce that Urban Bee Company is the first producer for the new venture ÜbrLocal! Besides our honey, ÜbrLocal also carries a variety of other good stuff: vegetable starts, organic jam, and low-glycemic granola, to name a few.

Founded by students from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the start-up intends to create a new distribution system for local food. Make that “ÜbrLocal” food — that’s food from within ten miles of the buyer. ÜbrLocal sources from producers near their markets, offers online ordering, and regular pick-up at the venues.

Our honey, salve, and seed are available for purchase online, and pickup in Pioneer Square and Wallingford. Details are here.

ÜbrLocal is looking for more locations for their pretty neat line-up of local goods, so if you want them (and that means us too!) in your neighborhood, drop them a line!

Good press for the new kids on the block:

And an interview with Urban Bee Company: “Beehives Are the New Water Cooler!

Book Clubbing! And you?

bee books!We are pleased to announce the inauguration of our Urban Bee Book Club with this very post. Here’s how it works:

1) You nominate books; we pick one.

2) We all read it.

3) After a couple months, conversation ensues: post your review online, make comments, answer other comments. For you Seattle folks we will also go to a local coffeehouse and chew the fat (I guess it should be honey eh?).

4) Do it again!

Any avid readers out there? What book is on your list? Think broad… we are interested in books on beekeeping, of course, but also on the history of bees, alternative pollinators, urban gardening, urban farming, the food system, the history of Agriculture. On our short list are:

What about you? What book should kick off the UBBC?

Our Seed Mix Is In!

Seed MixOur Urban Pollinator Conservation Seed Mix is in!

Recommended by the Xerces Society for Pollinator Conservation, this mix is specially designed to provide foraging resources for a diversity of pollinators. It includes sixteen wildflower species that provide sources of nectar and pollen thoughout the growing season, and is appropriate for planting in gardens, vacant lots, industrial sites, and other urban areas.

The Seed Mix includes: Plains Coreopsis, Mexican Hat, Purple Coneflower, Blanketflower, Lance Leaf Coreopsis, Lacy Phacelia, California Poppy, Crimson Clover, Wild Bergamot, Poached Eggplant, Cosmos, Partridge Pea, Perennial Lupine, Annual Lupine, Butterfly Milkweed, and Dwarf Sunflower.

We’re packing it in sizes for parking strips (250 square feet) and yards (2500 square feet) this week! Watch this space for updates on pricing and delivery, or email us for information.

Busy Bee

What, it’s already September? Yes… and gorgeous here in Seattle as summer wanes, with a hint of fall in the crisp morning air. We’ve been busy with a new baybee and the day job, plus bicycle-delivering to our CSA subscribers, prepping hives for fall and winter, and extracting honey.

Our way of extracting dates from the 1860s… with movable frames (via Langstroth, 1851), and a centrifugal extractor (Francesco De Hruschka, 1865). We uncap the frames (see pix), then put them in a big steel extractor which flings the honey out. Then we bottle it—that’s it. Wow, techniques that are 150 years old!

That’s all well and good, but there are older and simpler ways… check out this Kattunayakan boy from Southern India, with his giant honeycomb… it will be crushed and strained of honey. (We came to this link via the excellent Ethnobeeology page.)

So when will our honey be available? Soon, very soon. We are bottling now and will have news on CSA enrollment, the new salve, and more. Stay tuned, and enjoy the sunshine!


Hello Earth

hello-beesWhy, hello there. This is our very first post in the synthetic web of the world. Thanks to design guru Shaun Swick for creating the site, and to Dan Smith for the artwork. And thanks to you, too, for visiting! We look forward to spending time talking flowers, honey, bees, and how to support the real and fertile earth.