The Buzz on Urban Beekeeping

Bees strengthen biodiversity in our community and pollinate plants that provide us with fruits, vegetables and nuts, making them vital to our ecosystem. They provide us with delicious honey and serve as a food source for many bird species and various animals. Despite their importance, bee populations are under threat from pesticide-use and global warming, and their populations have been declining at an alarming rate. Thankfully, there are laws in place in California to help protect them and there are several ways that we can help them too!

  • Grow a variety of bee-friendly plants that bloom throughout the season: Native flowers are a great choice because they've adapted to your local pollinators.
  • Skip the pesticides: Pesticides can be harmful to bees, so avoid using them in your garden or yard whenever possible. There are many natural alternatives for pest control available.
  • Support sustainable agriculture: Look for foods labeled "bee-friendly, opens a new window" or buy organic produce from local farms that use sustainable practices. 
  • Become an urban beekeeper: having your own backyard apiary can be a fun and rewarding hobby.

Bee-coming a Beekeeper

There are many resources to help you get started if you want to take up beekeeping. The Bee Keepers Guild of San Mateo County, opens a new window is a good place to start. They welcome new members regardless of beekeeping experience and their membership ranges from seasoned veterans with over 70 years of experience to hobbyists just starting out. In their monthly meetings, you can learn from guest speakers, ask questions and gain valuable beekeeping knowledge. They even offer swarm removal services, in case you encounter a lost bee colony in your neighborhood.

San Mateo County Libraries has many beekeeping resources available. On August 14, we are hosting a live bee program at Atherton Library from 12:00-1:00 PM. We also have a wealth of books to help you learn more about bees and beekeeping. If setting up your own apiary is too intimidating, remember that there are many other small steps we can take to help these essential insects. Let's do our part to protect the bees and help them thrive!

The Bee Friendly Garden

Native Plant Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies

Beekeeping for Beginners

Backyard Beekeeping

Beekeeping Collection

Buzz Into Beekeeping

First Time Beekeeping