Lifestyle

The Valley Hive

the valley hive

The laws in Los Angels are changing and shortly will be reflecting what other major cities have already been practicing: Urban Beekeeping. The Valley Hive, located in Chatsworth, CA is an excellent place to learn about beekeeping, purchase supplies, or utilize many of their other beekeeping services.

I noticed a sign for The Valley Hive driving home one day – urban beekeeping, just a mile or so from my home! We just moved to a larger property to have more room for chickens and a garden. Before we moved, I gave my husband a disclaimer that I also wanted to keep a hive at some point. It seems like a natural continuation of the cycle of our food system and a way to help support collapsing colonies.  (30% of what we eat depends on bees!) And of course, there’s the honey. I couldn’t wait to learn more and recently joined The Valley Hive for one of their workshops.

After checking in with Robin, about 20 of us gathered under a majestic oak as Keith, part owner with Danny, starting telling us about his obsession journey into beekeeping in 2009.  He joked that little kids never say they want to be beekeepers when they grow up – it just finds you.

the valley hive

the valley hive_0001

the valley hive

Egyptians were our first beekeepers.  They realized, as they traveled with their bees down the Nile, that their crops flourished when the bees harvested the pollen. And the way we keep bees really hasn’t changed much since then. The moveable-frame hive that modern beekeepers use now was designed by Lorenzo Langstroth in 1851.

One of the great things about the Valley Hive workshop is the learning hive with glass walls.  It’s a great teachable moment and I couldn’t help but think school field trips here would be fantastic.  (They do offer them!)

the valley hive_0003

the valley hive

We soon suited up and went to the hives, breaking into groups so we all had the opportunity to participate.  I got in Cheryl’s group and off we went.

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the valley hive_0006

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the valley hive_0009 the valley hive

The workshop was a fantastic way to get us comfortable and knowledgeable with smoking the bees, removing the frames, checking for the health of the hive, etc…  This was my first time around an open hive and holding a frame and it really gave me the confidence that this was something doable.

the valley hive

the valley hive

We reconvened under the oak where Danny took more questions. One question was how do bees keep cool, especially in this part of the valley where summer temperatures often break the 100’s. Keeping water available at all times is key.  The bees transport water droplets back to the hives and thermoregulate their homes by using their wings to fan the water out. Hives are a fantastic model of democracy, all working as one for the end result.

the Valley hive

Danny brought some frames from his own home hives and Keith brought us inside as the final part of our workshop to watch as he released the honey from the wax combs.  Using a hand cranked extractor (that you can also rent from them), he proceeded to spin the honey off the frame and we each got a sample of Danny’s wildflower honey.  The best Woodland Hills honey I’ve ever tasted!

the valley hive_0014

the valley hive_0015

the valley hive

I’m a sucker for gift shops and The Valley Hive has the cutest collection of bee-themed items.  But best and most important of all, they sell their own raw honey (as well as their beekeeping supplies and books in the main office and online).  I picked up a bottle of the avocado honey and an adorable dishtowel.  The avocado honey was silky smooth.  It’s really amazing how different the varieties are – in color as well as flavor.  (No, it doesn’t taste like avocados!)

the valley hive

I couldn’t have been happier with my experience at Valley Hive, but I do plan on reading up a bit more on everything before jumping in.  Although you only need to check on them once every 10-14 days, keeping a healthy, happy hive – being a beekeeper, not just a bee wanter – is an important distinction to make. Knowing that I have a knowledgable group to turn to with questions and guidance is a plus!

Check out The Valley Hive for workshops and supplies.
Join the Honey Love Urban Beekeepers non-profit conservation group in LA.

My all time favorite recipe using honey: Honey Cake

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128 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharyl Wolter
    June 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I love using honey in place of sugar, in drinks.

    • Reply
      Lorne a. Milette
      June 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      I’ve never tasted Avocado honey. LIKE TO TRY SOME.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    June 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I love baking with honey.

  • Reply
    Joan
    June 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I love trying different types of honey. Have never tried avocado honey but would love to. Thanks for the chance.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Jenny Hartin
    June 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Honey is my favorite thing ever – well that and maple syrup!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 5, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Wow, it’s so cool knowing the process of harvesting honey! I love using it in all sorts of things.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    I love honey but I’ve never tried avocado honey!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      June 5, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      It doesn’t taste like avocados but it does taste delicious!

  • Reply
    Ivette
    June 5, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Would love to try this one!

  • Reply
    shawn randall
    June 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    honey is awesome

  • Reply
    Tim Nona
    June 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    like honey, bees are so cool

  • Reply
    Georgie C
    June 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I even like honey over desserts or ice cream just sooo good!

  • Reply
    adriana
    June 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    i love honey

  • Reply
    Aaron
    June 6, 2015 at 2:12 am

    This looks delicious =)

  • Reply
    Karrie
    June 6, 2015 at 2:28 am

    What an interested review. I never knew all these details about honey. I cannot even eat the ones sold at the store. I love raw honey and oh my goodness this sounds delicous

  • Reply
    Jennifer H.
    June 6, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Honey has so many great properties that are helpful for your health.

  • Reply
    Bebe
    June 6, 2015 at 5:46 am

    I love to use honey in cooking, plus it is great for sore throats!

  • Reply
    Cynthia C
    June 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Is there anything better than honey? Well, chocolate my be a tie.

  • Reply
    Irene
    June 6, 2015 at 6:49 am

    This honey looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Sherwin Hoopengardner
    June 6, 2015 at 7:12 am

    This looks delicious. I love to win.

  • Reply
    Bridgett Wilbur
    June 6, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I just love honey in my coffee and on my toast.

  • Reply
    Dorrie Turner
    June 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I would love to try your brand after reading all about it. I love honey!

  • Reply
    Pamela Gard
    June 6, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I use honey for so many healing qualities. Fantastic Colony

  • Reply
    Debbi Wellenstein
    June 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I’m intrigued-I’d love to try this honey.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    marion shiver
    June 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I would like to try this brand also,sounds interesting.

  • Reply
    K Davis
    June 6, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I would love to have bees, and think that it’s great for you all. I would love to try your honey.

  • Reply
    Sharon K
    June 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Honey cures a sore throat stuffy nose aches and pains and tastes great!

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    June 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I would like to try this honey. Thanks!

  • Reply
    David Fultner
    June 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    We have bees that live in a Kataba tree. So they do share their honey.

  • Reply
    Gail Williams
    June 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I would love to try any great honey as I do not use sugar at all. Avacado honey sounds very fun and interesting.

  • Reply
    Seth @ Giveaway Guy
    June 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    My wife and I love raw honey and supporting the bees. Avocado honey sounds awesome!

  • Reply
    Megan Scharlau
    June 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I love watching people collecting honey. It’s such an amazing way that people are still connected to nature 🙂

  • Reply
    Faye Gates
    June 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I loved watching the process. At least no animals are hurt.

  • Reply
    Sara R
    June 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I absolutely love watching the whole bee/harvest process! Amazing things nature can provide! (:

  • Reply
    Ashley C
    June 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I absolutely love honey and think its so neat to learn about beekeeping and the honey making process.

  • Reply
    JeannaM
    June 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Honey is nature’s sweetest treat!

  • Reply
    Daraya
    June 7, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I love local honey – it always tastes delicious! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue Ellison
    June 7, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I love putting honey in my tea, thanks for the chance!

  • Reply
    Bryce V.
    June 7, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Karla R.
    June 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I love honey! especially on my toast.

  • Reply
    wen budro
    June 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Wow….that was really interesting. I like to use honey as a sweetener. Avocado honey sounds wonderful.

  • Reply
    Cheyenne Jackson
    June 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I love cooking with honey and using it in recipes.

  • Reply
    eguiver Yol
    June 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Love raw honey this looks amazing

  • Reply
    jules m.
    June 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    i LOVE honey- on toast or in my tea. mmmm

  • Reply
    Patty wright
    June 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Why is it called avocado honey? Curious.

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      June 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      The pollen was collected from the flowers of avocado trees. 🙂

  • Reply
    Debbie B
    June 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    i love honey – i’ve never had avocado honey before!

  • Reply
    bn100
    June 7, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    looks tasty

  • Reply
    SHERI
    June 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I’d love to try avocado honey! I use honey every day, starting first thing in the morning in a glass of water!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 8, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I would love to win this for my mom!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Khatri
    June 8, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I love honey, not only for eating! I use it on minor scrapes and burns. How cool to see it collected in person and learn more about beekeeping!

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      June 8, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Honey is great for some first aid, isn’t it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    kathy d
    June 8, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I love baking with honey but can’t afford the good quality honey. Would love to win this.

  • Reply
    Karen Blasier
    June 8, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I love honey and would love to win!

  • Reply
    Bev Henry
    June 8, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Honey is one of my main sweeteners and sometimes I just eat a spoonful by itself

  • Reply
    Dandi D
    June 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    We eat a lot of honey in our house, so I would really like to try this!

  • Reply
    Rosie
    June 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    this looks so precious! I never heard of or tried avocado honey, but I would to try this honey from such a special farm!

  • Reply
    Nicole W.
    June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I love honey and so does my mom, we both put it in our tea! I’ve never tried this specific honey brand, but I would love to!

  • Reply
    kyl neusch
    June 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    honey is awesome

  • Reply
    Shannon
    June 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    My kids would live off o honey if i’d let them. They’d love this.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Juenke
    June 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I love using honey with siracha sauce on chicken! YUM YUM!

  • Reply
    Caitlyn
    June 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    We’ve been keeping bees for a little over a year now and love it! Would love to try avocado honey…something we don’t see on the East coast.

  • Reply
    Paula Michele Hafner
    June 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I love raw honey but I’ve never had this kind. I would love to try it!

  • Reply
    Jazmin W
    June 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I’d love to use this on my face.

  • Reply
    jberry
    June 10, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I’d be pleased to gift this to my mother, avocado honey is not easy to find.

  • Reply
    roz
    June 10, 2015 at 5:44 am

    thank you, thank you for taking care of our bees. 🙂

  • Reply
    lauren
    June 10, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Amazing! Fingers crossed to get to try this honey! I love avocados and honey! Great idea!

  • Reply
    mysweetiepiepie
    June 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I love honey and would love to try this variety.

  • Reply
    Starla B
    June 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    What an amazing process! This honey sounds so fresh and delicious! I could pair it with so many goodies!

  • Reply
    Linda Bradshaw
    June 10, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I would really love to go to a place that shows me the process. This is so cool to see.

    • Reply
      Farm to Table
      June 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      If you live in the LA area, this would be a great place to go!

  • Reply
    Britty Brannon
    June 10, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    This is a unique honey and Id love to try it. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Lisa R
    June 11, 2015 at 9:10 am

    What beautiful pictures! Great giveaway, too!

  • Reply
    beth shepherd
    June 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I love all the pics. I love to use honey to replace sugar in recipes

  • Reply
    Racquelle
    June 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I love honey!

  • Reply
    Pat B
    June 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I love honey, especially raw honey, and love tasting new varieties. Avocado honey is definitely new to me.

  • Reply
    Diana
    June 11, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Love honey, especially all natural honey! Would love to try this!

  • Reply
    Katie J
    June 11, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I love honey and peanut butter sandwiches!

  • Reply
    Lydia
    June 12, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I enjoy honey in my teas…..Also, I am very interested in tasting the avocado honey.

  • Reply
    liz l
    June 12, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Seems so yummy to try

  • Reply
    Stacey Geeters
    June 12, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Honey, the nectar of gods and of me! My husband would swear that I bleed honey!

  • Reply
    crystal
    June 12, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I love honey and I really love bees! I would love to taste this honey. I have a honey collection.

  • Reply
    sarah s
    June 12, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I haven’t tried avocado honey it sounds delicious,. I love the idea of urban beekeeping, I would love to be able to have my own beehive , but I have had an allergic reaction to wasp stings and even though honey bees are less aggressive it makes me a little hesitant to do it myself.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    June 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I love to garden. I am a kindergarten teacher and love to educate my students about gardening, including the important role that bees play in our lives. The honey is just an added bonus!

  • Reply
    Aaron Shapiro
    June 14, 2015 at 12:57 am

    This looks and sounds amazing. Thanks for this giveaway, I love honey!!!

  • Reply
    KJ Skib
    June 14, 2015 at 7:18 am

    My daughters love honey. It is our “medicine” when we have a cough.

  • Reply
    Lori Walker
    June 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

    This sounds wonderful. Can never have enough honey.

  • Reply
    Amanda G.
    June 14, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I love honey. Every varietal has its own unique flavor. My favorite is black locust honey.

  • Reply
    Margot C
    June 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I adore honey, just with butter on a baguette

  • Reply
    Holly B
    June 14, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Lucy Cromas
    June 14, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Looks delightful!

  • Reply
    Michelle Levine
    June 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Honey makes so many things taste better!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Galbraith
    June 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    We would love to eat something with honey.

  • Reply
    Cori Westphal
    June 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    My kids love honey! And I’d love to know it’s coming from a great place!

  • Reply
    shawna
    June 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Nothing like raw honey!

  • Reply
    The Happy Wife/Danielle Garcia
    June 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Honey is the only sweetener I enjoy using.

  • Reply
    Jean Marie C
    June 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    My husband and I have been researching keeping bees for the purpose of honey and because the bee population is getting slimmer by the month. Not very many people realize that bees are what grow your crops! And with GMO pesticides, they’re declining rapidly. I’ve also never tried fresh raw honey and I would LOVE to!!!

  • Reply
    Rose Santuci-Sofranko
    June 14, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks and God bless!

  • Reply
    Sarah L
    June 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    That looks like a fun visit. I love raw honey. Save the bees!
    Thanks for the contest.

  • Reply
    Kerri
    June 14, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Bee people have great stories!

  • Reply
    Shakeia Rieux
    June 14, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    This is something i would love to try.I am picky when it comes to honey but this one piques my interest

  • Reply
    laurie murley
    June 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    this honey looks so good, it makes me hungry for biscuits too

  • Reply
    Lisa Davis
    June 15, 2015 at 12:42 am

    I only use honey as a sweetener

  • Reply
    Nikki
    June 15, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Honey is sweet.

  • Reply
    rosemary
    June 15, 2015 at 7:23 am

    wow

  • Reply
    Annamarie V
    June 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

    What a great program, it’s nice to see people getting involved to help preserve the bee population. I’m going to see if there is a class like this around where I live.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 15, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Would love to try this!

  • Reply
    Stephen
    June 15, 2015 at 9:30 am

    looks great

  • Reply
    michelle r
    June 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Would be prefect in my oatmeal

  • Reply
    Anne Perry
    June 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Say NO to gmos.

  • Reply
    Breanne
    June 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I’d love to try this!

  • Reply
    Karen Wirima
    June 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    i would love to try this Raw honey!

  • Reply
    Ashley Ramsey
    June 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I LOVE honey! That looks so delicious.

  • Reply
    Kayte CookWatts
    June 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Raw honey has so many health benefits- I put some in my water glass sometimes for a great sweet treat instead of soda.

  • Reply
    Denise W
    June 15, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Given all the artificial sweeteners, one of them being “honey,” your product–or that of the bees–is a wonderful sight to see!

    kneecree (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Reply
    Margaret Franks Duncan
    June 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Oh how I love Honey,I love it on peanut butter & bread in backed beans,coffee,tea,oatmeal,for baking and just on a spoon!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Penny Snyder
    June 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    We love honey, but have never tried this kind – would love to!!!~

  • Reply
    Lana Simanovicki
    June 15, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I love honest in my tea and everything else

  • Reply
    Sand
    June 15, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I love honey so much! I eat it daily.

  • Reply
    Bryan E.
    June 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Thank You for the giveaway…we have never tasted Avocado honey, would love to try some in my morning oatmeal !

  • Reply
    jmahurin40
    June 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    wow would love 2 try this yummy looking honey:)

  • Reply
    Tosha H
    June 15, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve never had raw honey before so this would be awesome to win : D

  • Leave a Reply

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