Category Archives: Step 2: Start your Hive

Requeening——The Pick Up

Since we lost our Italian hive on the roof of Abbot’s Cellar this winter we decided to re-queen with local stock this spring. Our bee jedi in Sausalito hooked us up with a rad local nuc (originally a swarm and has survived two years with no treatment or feeding).

A bit about our queen and nuc from Jennifer herself:
“Your queen was not grafted, rather she was naturally made as a swarm cell when the mother hive was getting too big and the bees were ready to swarm.  The nuc is made up of bees from her mother hive and the ones she’s made since. She’s been laying since around the 1st of April.  If you haven’t seen her already then you’ll soon see she is marked, though the paint wore off a bit.  Green for 2014.”

(Cameo by Jennifer and Chef Adam)

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Abbot’s Cellar Expansion






We’re excited to announce the installation of two new hives on the rooftop of Abbot’s Cellar! We’ll be mentoring the newest beekeepers in the neighborhood and will be sure to keep their progress updated here.

In the pictures above you’ll see the Abbot’s community prepping the hives and installing the queens on their rooftop. These guys are working with an Italian queen and a local queen all procured from the Beekind this spring. More to come!

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Proud Papa!

Cam on the morning of picking up the start of our two new hives.

One final inspection before they go roofside!

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Picking Up the New Bees!

These are boxes filled with new hives ready to get started! Wow!

Cam speaking with John up in Sebastapol. John is the guy at Beekind from whom we took our one and only beekeeping lesson last year. A true lover of all things bees.

Beekeeping is getting popular. This is the line at 9am in the morning, in an abandoned parking lot. Last year there was only 1 person in line!

Photo credit: Gillian Bostock (

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Prepping the (new) Hive

By now you know that the responsible beekeeper preps a new hive before installing his/her queens and setting the hive up in the elements. This past weekend Cam did exactly that, painting the cypress wood with a coat of white exterior paint (never on the inside of the hive) to protect the wood from the elements and help reflect heat on the warmest of summer days.

Photo credit: Gillian Bostock (link:

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New Hive Setup

Over the weekend Cam visited our local bee supply store, Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper, in the heart of San Francisco. With the help of shop owner Bryon Waibel (with the beard) and Bee Somebody’s young apprentice Andrew (in the red t-shirt). They hand selected the frame components, all made from natural woods, and went with 8-frame medium supers and body throughout (instead of a deep body). Hopefully this will help ease our visits by having consistent sizes to all of our components. Many thanks to Gillian Bostock for her photo expertise and for contributing all images in this post.


The many choices in frame pieces and components were baffling!


Bryon helps us select the sturdiest frames.


Cam and young bee-padawan Andrew hauling hive components away from Her Majesty’s. We don’t know why Cam looks so glum—probably because he misses Mr. Combover.

It’s a little bit strange, but Her Majesty’s also sells chickens and the occasional rooster. This little guy in particular was quite proud.

Double Down!

When in doubt – go on the offensive!

Cam and Mr. Combover are excited to announce that we’ve decided to double down, and start the new year with 2 hives, instead of 1. We’ve gone ahead and placed the order with our supplier up in Sabastapole, and we’ll soon be the proud owners of 2 hives later in the month. Now that we’ve got a taste of how much fun beekeeping is, as well as a literally taste of how good our rooftop honey is, we wanted to increase our output – thus 2 hives. We’ll continue to update you along the way, but thank you once again for the well wishes we’ve received from many of you in the past few days. It means a lot.


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Cam and Mr. Combover Build a New ‘Super’

Cam and Mr. Combover building a new 'super' to hold the honey frames.