//this blog chronicles the occurrent bee-ventures of Kate Franzman, a writer + urban farmer + beekeeper in Indianapolis, Indiana//
Recent Tweets @beepublic

Holy wow! Check out April’s issue of Indy Monthly for a piece written by yours truly on my foray into beekeeping. I’ll post the link here as soon as it’s available to read online. 

Feelin’ the love today! An excellent writeup about Bee Public by local urban homesteading/sustainable lifestyle writer and all-around inspiring woman, Shawndra Miller: 
"Kate Franzman is one of many fabulous people who keep the “indie” in Indianapolis. Concerned about the die-off of honeybees, she started Bee Public with a goal of increasing the number of honeybees in our city. The organization has placed hives at several urban farms, including one right in my neighborhood."
Check out the full post here.

Feelin’ the love today! An excellent writeup about Bee Public by local urban homesteading/sustainable lifestyle writer and all-around inspiring woman, Shawndra Miller

"Kate Franzman is one of many fabulous people who keep the “indie” in Indianapolis. Concerned about the die-off of honeybees, she started Bee Public with a goal of increasing the number of honeybees in our city. The organization has placed hives at several urban farms, including one right in my neighborhood."

Check out the full post here.

Worker bees live only a few weeks during the summer but can live 4-6 months during the winter. (at Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at Cottage Home)

On warm winter days, bees take “cleansing flights” (they never poop inside the hive) and clear out dead bodies from the entrance. (at Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at Cottage Home)

This isn’t the top of a honey jar, it’s an almond butter jar. Why would an almond grower care to raise money to save the bees? The $3.8 billion almond industry relies heavily on honeybees for pollination. Beekeepers lose around 30 percent of their hives each winter. No bees, no food.

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Here in the Midwest, we’re experiencing some freakishly frigid weather. I’m talking record breaking, with its own catchy/ominous name— the Polar Vortex

As the snow fell and temps plummeted, lots of folks dashed to the grocery store to stock up on essentials, returning home to cuddle up for warmth. That’s not too far off from what bees do for the winter months.

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Honeybees are one of the only insects that survive the winter as a hive. They form a “winter cluster” inside the hive as soon as the temperature dips below 55°F. The winter cluster remains remarkably warm (95°F).

Bees don’t hibernate like bears, instead they keep moving and rotating, the queen in the center, to keep the cluster’s temp up. No doubt working up quite an appetite. 

As a beekeeper, I can help them out by creating a windbreak (making sure to keep the entrance open) and tilting the hive ever-so-slightly forward so any condensation drips out, not on the bees.  

Today it’s very cold. The bees are clustered up, conserving energy, and eating their nutritious honey stores, which they spent all summer long gathering in preparation for a day like today. Not unlike our own frantic, pre-snowpocalypse trip to the store for the bread and milk.

More Than Honey is on Netflix.

Save the 🐝s

I’m having separation anxiety.

So much action on this sunny autumn day. (at South Circle Farm)

Winterizing the hives today. (at Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at Cottage Home)

On gossamer wings. (at Fletcher Place Hive)

Pulling up basil plants today to make way for fall crops. I feel bad because the native bees go nuts for these blossoms. Another great reason to plants things that bloom in all seasons. #urbanfarming #pollination #beefriendly (at Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center)

Stay cool, bees. (at South Circle Farm)

Throw your hands in the aye-uh. (at South Circle Farm)