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I manage around 90 hives on organic farms and in backyard settings all over San Diego and surrounding area. I use both Top Bar Hives and Langstroth hives and practice bee-centric beekeeping with natural combs.
Hilary Kearney is a full-time beekeeper in her hometown of San Diego, California. Her business Girl Next Door Honey provides educational opportunities for hundreds of new beekeepers each year. Her beekeeping exploits and unique business model have inspired people all around the world. She is the author of the beekeeping blog Beekeeping Like a Girl and maintains a popular Instagram account. When she’s not rescuing bees, teaching about bees, photographing bees or managing one of her ninety colonies… she’s sleeping and dreaming of bees.
Finding the queen bee in your hives can be challenging— even for veteran beekeepers. Some queens are plump and shine like a gold beacon on the frame, while others seem to have camouflage. Not only does your ability to find her depend on her size and color, but her behavior, too. Some queens flaunt themselves […]Read more »
If you live in an area with the invasive Argentine ants, chances are you have issues with them getting into your hives. These non-native pests have colonized most of California and the southern parts of the U.S. Their massive super-colonies make them difficult to control, especially in the bee yard. These ants can easily overwhelm […]Read more »
When temperatures rise to miserable or dangerous levels, your bees may be at risk. Much of the country is suffering higher than normal temperatures this week, but some beekeepers are also suffering colony losses. Most of the time, bees are best able to control the temperature inside the hive themselves, but when thermostats rise above […]Read more »
Catching a swarm is one of my favorite parts of beekeeping. Even though my phone rings off the hook in spring with live bee removal requests, I still feel a thrill when someone calls about a swarm. Most beekeepers love to catch swarms because they are docile and easy to remove. But even the most […]Read more »
Many experienced beekeepers go without gloves and for good reason— they are cumbersome! These beekeepers trade comfort and dexterity for the occasional sting. But, if you are a new beekeeper or in an Africanized Honey Bee zone, you are probably in for more than just an occasional sting. Personally, I rarely work without gloves. So, […]Read more »
When people ask me how they can help bees, I used to say, “Plant a pollinator garden!” I would then rattle off a list of bee-friendly flowers and shrubs to get them started. Then I had an epiphany. A tree provides much more forage than any patch of flowers ever could. It’s so obvious, but […]Read more »
Every beekeeper longs for the romanticized version of beekeeping. We like to imagine we have an understanding with our bees. A magical connection that keeps us from getting stung. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality. Bees have good days and bad, just like us and they aren’t always in the mood for visitors! So, what do […]Read more »
In my experience, most new beekeepers are worry worts. They spend a lot of energy fretting over their bees, but mostly they focus on the wrong things. Read on to find out what you can stop stressing out about! 1. Cooling the Hive Honey bees like to keep their brood nests between 90-97F (32-25C) degrees. […]Read more »
When other beekeepers observe me working my hives, I often get comments about how gentle I am with my bees. I make a conscious effort not to crush any bees, but until recently, I did not realize how abnormal this was. Unfortunately, all you have to do is get on YouTube to see how most beekeepers […]Read more »
Last year I wrote an article on the ten most common mistakes I see new beekeepers make. The continued popularity of this article and the high volume of mistakes I see beekeepers make has prompted me to write a sequel! So, here are five more beekeeping mistakes I hope to help you avoid. 1. Poor Record Keeping Not […]Read more »