Love Apple Farms: We Got Bees

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suzanna fredrickson

This is great information! My husband and I would like to get a beehive in our backyard and I was wondering if their are any liability issues with our neighbors. The hive would meet the restrictions of being "x" feet away from every neighbor, but I was wondering if there is any other liability issues? What if my bees sting someone who is allergic? Can they trace the bees back to my hive and hold me liable for injury? I hate to even think this way, but there are a lot of folks who don't like bees and I want to do my research. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I live in Santa Cruz unincorporated.


I really enjoyed this post. I'm actually afraid of bees, but they really are wonderful creatures and I'm glad to hear you got your bee population back at the farm!

You know, every time I hear about fires out your way I always worry about your farm a little bit. Hope everything stays safe and green over there! My five tomato babies that we bought at your farm this spring are doing well, although one guy had a hard start to his life and is a bit on the crooked, stunted side. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to move my beauties to a new apartment- AFTER my husband and I go on a 2 1/2 week trip to Japan. A friend will water them on HER balcony (these are going to be the most well traveled plants around, poor things) and then they will move with us. Cross your fingers that they make it! The gray, cloudy weather we've had has definitely slowed them down this year, and I'm hoping that will be in our favor.

-Sea in Mountain View

Sandra Bourassa

When I lived in Germany, I knew a woman, Agnes Otto, who genetically engineered bees to make them more docile and productive. The bee company she worked at made the most delicious honey wine. Hope I'm the white wine and herb jelly winner. Perhaps your mama will also be making some honey jelly.


HI Cynthia and LAF staff,
First...I'm grateful to have found your site and your farm! Thank you for all you do! I recently read an article on how to hand pollinate veggie blossoms as many aren't producing well due to lack of bees! How sad that is...and how grateful I am to hear you've got a healthy hive back! Beeeautiful!

Cathy S.

I would love to have bees. I do need to research them a bit more. Oh, and own my own home. LOL! Someday.

Doug Whitmore

I wish I had the time and space to have a hive. There is a dearth of bees in our neighborhood. I've been planting lots of flowers to try and attract more, but there really doesn't seem to be very many. Last year we had a family of Bumblebees living under the porch, but nothing this year.
Please keep us up to date on your hymenoptera friends.

Sandra Cadell

First of all, I want to thank you for making a fantastic home for bees. I have, of late, been sad at the news that our bee population is declining and that we in California have been losing crops to the fact that we need more bees.

Secondly, I am thrilled to know that a neighbor (we live in Boulder Creek) is helping to raise the bee population so close to us. It will help with my poor little flowers that I am trying desperately to eek out of the soil.

I will try to find you on Saturday to get a tomato plant and talk to you a little about where to put it so we can have some of your WONDERFUL tomatoes.

Keep on beekeeping!


Congratulations on your new bee hive!


I just discovered your post this week and am so happy to find a great source for gardening. I like to see plump bumblebees sleeping in the flowers on cool mornings. It lets me know that even if i do have a few more weeds than i care for, the bees and ladybugs are busy and happy.

Jeanette Howeth Crumpler

I love bees too. We had an old dead tree next door that had wonderful docile Italian honey bees in it. Over the years, they pollinated my veggies & flowers, but 10 years ago when a younger couple moved in, they cut it down despite my telling them how beneficial bees were. It was in the alley and didn't detract from their yard. They also "landscaped" the yard and it looks great, but no bees. Finally the lady put in flowers that would attract bees. Hmmm, kinda like when they took out all of the streetcars in Dallas, and now want them back! Now she wants to be a Master Gardener! Yoicks.
I just keep planting bee-friendly flowers and lots of veggies. And I put out extra sugar water feeders for them too.
Jeanette in Dallas, TX


Wow, what a wonderful post. And how great for your young apprentices to learn about beekeeping as well as farming. I think it's a great learning experience. Wish my kids lived closer--I would get them to volunteer at your farm!

Helen Russo

Hey Cynthia, enjoyed the post with the gentle humor. Bees are a joy in the garden and while I don't have room for a hive, I do leave plants around that they love such as alyssum and borage. Eventually the plants have to come out as they age but new ones are always coming up. Thanks for all the tomato information. My seeds came up (mostly) including an oxheart 60 days later! The plants are in the containers and I can't wait for tomatoes :)

Patricia Messer

Dear Cynthia,
Isn't this a sweet reward? Better fruits &
vegetables and honey too at the end of a years hard work.
We also have bees this year. Through our buy local concerns I found a man that is co-opping with growers to place hives on their land in exchange for polinators and honey.
They come service the hives each week, we provide water and growing thing for them to pollinate. We are learning so much more about growing and about ourselves every day.
On Tuesday evening, we were still working outside clearing more areas, when Jeremy called to his mom to come quick. Thinking her husband was hurt, she ran to where they were and then she called to me to "come now" also!
A branch of the pear tree had a swarm of honey bees about 14" wide and 3 feet long.
I immedialtely called our beekeeppers as well as neighbors who also have bees to see if theirs' were missing.
They didn't belong to our neighbors. So, Our keepers suited up and contained the estimated 50,000 bees. We'll have to email you the photo Heidi took with her phone.
What an amazing adventure for us all.
Thanks for all you do. What a blessed life we have to help each other learn better methods in such times as these.
Patricia, Heidi and families


I love bees and I love honey! I also wanted to give a shout out to our native pollinators and native bees who have been filling in for all the gardens and plants that don't have a hive of honeybees to tend to them. Do you think that Chef Kendra (Manresa's fabulous desert chef) will be able to use the honey from your new hive?

Gary Millwood

Cynthia, One of my Tomato Growing Buddies is a Bee Keeper. I am passing along your post to him.
Every message I receive from you I find something new and helpful! It is good to see what others do in growing those good tomatoes! I love looking at your beautiful tomato variety pictures.
Keep up the good work. Wish I was located near by so I could take advantage of your gatherings.


Hi - I love reading your blog and I have 3 hives and two nucs - have been beekeeping for four years in eastern NC. Check out my blog
Everybody needs bees - they are just wonderful.


That is so great that you have bees again. So great for any garden and crucial for anyone growing crops. Make sure your beekeepers are scrupulous with inspecting the hive and maintaining it weekly.


Bees are such an important part of any garden. I wish I had more bees, but the neighbors are afraid of 'em. Silly neighbors!

randy rucker

i admire and envy the relationship you have with chef kinch & manresa. its incredible when two passions find each other in the middle. I really dig your style...


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