SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA –Going to farmers markets and eating locally is becoming quite the popular trend, with urban beekeeping growing as a crucial part of the process.

  • Bees pollinate 2 million flowers for 1 lb honey
  • 30 percent of food production comes from bees
  • US has lost 40 percent of bee population

From your locally grown fruits, and vegetables, to honey at a hive near you, bees put in the work. In fact, it takes bees pollinating two million flowers for a single pound honey.

Keith Roberts is the co-owner of Chatsworth Base Valley Hive. He starts his days by checking to make sure that the bees, and the hives are in good health.

Even though harvesting season is still a few months out, there are a few signs that this veteran urban beekeeper can check to make sure that this hive is where it needs to be.

For Roberts it started off as a hobby, but after being trained by his mentor, he quickly fell in love with the world of beekeeping. That was over 10 years ago, and for the last four he has been training others in the world of urban beekeeping. His next free session will be held on January 19 at Cal State Northridge.

“It was because of my mentorship under Walt I realized that I really had a passion for helping other people get into this,” said Roberts.

Thirty percent of all food production comes from bees.  Over the last decade, the United States has lost 40 percent of its entire bee population.

What does it take to start your own backyard hive?

  • Specialized hive tool 
  • Brush
  • Smoker 
  • Bee box (bees not included) 
  • Bee keepers outfits

Creating you own backyard hive can run anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to get started.  

In the long run both financially and personally, owning a bee hive could be worth it, which is why Roberts said once you get in it's hard to get out.

“Everybody that I know that has stuck with it through the thick and thin they love it so much that the idea of putting down that smoker is not even in the equation,” said Roberts.