I share a bee yard with several beekeepers at Little City Gardens in the outer Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. This urban farm provides a garden-based education for an elementary school, and vegetables and flowers for San Francisco restaurants and florists. The bees love it here because their hives are encircled by tall fennel plants and blackberry vines, giving their honey a delicate taste of both. The bees begin gathering nectar and pollen in spring when the flowers bloom, and by summer we are harvesting honey. My bees have their own Facebook page, or follow them on my blog.

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I also kept bees on the roof of the San Francisco Chronicle, three stories up, right in the heart of downtown at 5th and Mission Streets. The hives shared space with a rooftop garden where members of the Food Staff grew citrus, lavender, sunflowers and vegetables. We produced about 150 pounds of honey annually, and sold it to support the Chronicle’s annual Season of Sharing holiday charity drive. I documented our urban beekeeping adventure in a column called Honeybee Chronicles.


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