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Did you know that a bee's lifespan is based on the distance it has flown? One bee lives to fly about a total of 500 miles.

This is just one of the many things we learned from Betsy and Miguel of East Bay Urban Bees during our hive tour. The tour could not have happened on a more beautiful, warm October day. The combination of clear sunlight and a focused group of busy bees were a feast for the eyes, ears and nose. Seeing the bees freely flying around was a thrilling experience. The surround sound of an intense buzz was better than any Dolby soundtrack and the smell of the smoker added to the excitement.

In addition to learning everything about drones, workers and the Queen, all of our questions about honey production, pollen collecting and propolis application were answered.

We started with an intimate talk with the East Bay Urban Beekeepers, Betsy and Miguel, to talk about hive construction and different types of bees.


Betsy of East Bay Urban Bees


Everyone had a lot of questions


Honeycomb inspection


Miguel with a Langstroth frame

And then, we were off to the hives.



Safety first! Betsy and Miguel helped everyone suit up in the proper gear before meeting the swarm.



I was very excited.


Photo by Khoi

Gathering round the hive:



Betsy fills the smoker with dried out olive leaves from their garden. It dulls the senses of the guard bees so they don't attack.


Smoking it out! 




Tape recording all the buzzz


The bees up close and personal


Hive upkeep





After surviving the hive tour sting-free, we were rewarded with a honey tasting.



What a sweet ending.



We'd like to thank Betsy and Miguel for inviting us to their hive and giving us the grand tour. And thanks to everyone who came out for this sunny Umamiventure!
Column: Umamiventure
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7 comments

  • I’m so excited about this. So succinct and nicely written.

    Bryan Sanders on

  • It’s hard to track down the queen. She is busy laying eggs in the hive. She is the busiest of them all. We did see some of her hiding spots though.

    yoko on

  • Did you meet the queen? I don’t think I can handle the scene though. I have issues with tiny bugs humming around me, and the photo itself gives me chills….

    Moto on

  • Wow! This is awesome! I don’t know if I would have the guts to get up close and personal with the hives. Bees scare me! Great post!

    saaara on

  • This queen is super-shy! We didn’t glimpse her, just the results of her endless egg-laying labors….

    Betsy on

  • You are REALLY EXCITED!

    worm on

  • It wasn’t very scary. The bees were so busy doing their thing they didn’t mind us at all. Some were curious but friendly.

    yoko on

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