Urban Beekeeping Adventures

Beekeeping as riveting television

She was gone.

We watched in misty-eyed silence as her caretaker, clad in white, searched for her, but to no avail: Queen Pippa had disappeared.

And so ends one chapter of Bee Somebody, a blog that chronicles the urban beekeeping endeavors of two San Francisco creatives called Cam and Mr. Combover.

The site isn't all sad: Over the course of many months and blog posts, the two set up a hive from scratch and ultimately harvest 30 pounds of honey. The pair splits the honey in half, and, in a friendly competition, each markets his own honey line.

Cam, a designer by trade, creates Black Tar Honey and winds up selling the jars at Williams-Sonoma and online while supplies last, while Mr. Combover goes the restaurant route, getting his honey on menus at Citizen's Band and Bar Jules.

The experiment ends in tragedy, but all is not lost. The partners have self-published a book on their findings (click here to buy) and are setting up two new hives to continue the experiment and share what they've learned.

Their new queens are arriving soon, and they plan to name one of them Pippa 2, in memoriam for the original.