The beehives are installed in backyards, gardens, and parks in 35 sites throughout the Bay Area. Many of the hives are located in the backyards of bee-positive San Francisco residents, from Telegraph Hill to the Outer Sunset to the Mission, who host the bees in a CSA-like fashion in exchange for honey. Robert calls his bees “free range livestock” for their ability to roam the city as they please.
Coming from a background in fine art photography, Robert MacKimmie got hooked on beekeeping in 1996 after working with beekeepers Spencer and Helene Marshall of Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey, transforming his passion into a full-time career as an urban apiarist in 2009. Each San Francisco neighborhood has its own microclimate and vegetation that contribute to the diversity of flavors that emerge in City Bees’ honeys. Honey offerings vary from market to market, depending on which hives he visits that week. Robert finds great reward in working with such intelligent and gentle creatures and plans to be a honeybee steward for life.
Pollinator Partnership Bee Friendly Farming Certified
Robert believes proactive measures to maintain a disease free stock is vital to the success of a hive. In addition to using organic methods to control pests, he helps support his bees’ health in the winter by supplementing their forage with a mix of brewer’s yeast, essential oils, and a little sugar (never corn syrup) for what he calls a “protein bar for bees.”
City Bees’ honeys vary so drastically depending on the location of the hive, that many customers equate identifying the tasting notes in the honeys to wine tasting.
San Francisco, California
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »