A nice brisk n' cold evening goat walk in the lower Arroyo Seco with some new friends

While the goats look on, Jordanne hangs a bee trap that Justin made to trap a few wild bees that are living in a sycamore trunk

We'll go and check the bee trap in a couple days.. fingers crossed!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  Thank you to those who wrote and commented wishing us a “Happy Thanksgiving.”

For those of you who are looking for gifts/goods for you or someone’s homestead – check out our online Urban Homestead Store

Don’t forget our pictorial 2011 Little Homestead in the City Calendar


  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    I’ve heard of capturing swarming wild hives but never just wild bees. Can they actually be integrated into an already working hive? How is your hive doing?

    My Thanksgiving was spend with friends. The good news is I didn’t have to cook. The bad news is I didn’t have to cook. No left overs to nibble on through out the weekend. It was a good time. The temperature was a balmy 50 degrees at 8am and by 5pm it was a chilly 27 with wind. The weatherman promises snow flurries tonight. I don’t think the ground is cold enough to hold the snow very long but it still makes for messy driving.

    Have a great California day.

    • MikeinFL says:

      @Nebraska Dave, Hi Dave, A swarm is a brand new complete colony. There’s a bit more to it than that, but in a nutshell, it’s a queen and a bunch of workers looking for a place to live. (I’m almost into my 3rd year keeping bees) trapping a feral swarm is a great way to get some hardy bees – the older the bee tree the better – they’ve been living without human “help” for generations.

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: It’s unusually cold so Justin’s put insulation around the hives and we are feeding them sugar water with a mixture of essential oils.
      Brrr, sounds cold where you are too. Tis winter I suppose. 😉

  2. Heather H :) :) :) says:

    I’m always so impressed with everything that you’re doing. It’s great…including taking the goat for a walk 🙂 🙂 What do you want to do with the wild bees when you trap them? Will you be able to transplant them to your garden? I don’t know anything about bees except they sting (sometimes)…but they’re especially helpful for pollinating crops… Have a lovely week!!.. Hugs from Oregon, Heather 😉

    • Anais says:

      @Heather H 🙂 🙂 :): Goat walks are fun! We are trying to boost our colonies with some feral ones due to the recent varroa mite invasion. Have a lovely week too

  3. Stacy says:

    I’ve been very interested in making “skep” beehives. I’ve been studying about them and thought of you folks. I thought this site might be an interesting read when you have some time this winter if you haven’t already looked into them. I used to weave baskets years ago and love the quaint look of them. I also love making my own things – these were made from resources of the land. (See the above link.)

    • Stacy says:

      @Stacy, By the way, the “balls” from the sycamore trees were used by some indians, way back when, as wicks for oil lanterns. They soaked them in oil for a period of time and then set them in it and lit the “wick”. Might be handy to know given a lengthy emergency living condition. (Nothing to do with bees — sorry.)

  4. Joyce Teague says:

    I love that you guys walk your goats. Did you guys have a problem with the zoning issue in your area regarding having goats. Thank you so much for sharing your information with us. It really helps to read your posts. And see pictures of your experience. We have started a garden in our backyard and so far we have 2 chickens just to see if our neighbors are okay with it. We are hoping to get 2-4 more. They seem to get really loud in the morning and we don’t know how to keep them from making our neighbors hate us with the noise. Do you have any advice?

    • Anais says:

      @Joyce Teague: Pasadena allows goats, but they have to be a certain distance from residences and no male goats. Glad you like the pictures! Sometimes there is just too much to do that I hope that pictures will replace my thousand words. I am assuming your chickens are all females?

      • susan rudnicki says:


        I live in Manhattan Beach with 12 hens, (listed allowed animals on the city zoning code, though the animal control people seem uninformed) The hens are usually most active and vocal in the morning when they are first let out of the hen house—they actually run pell-mell down the ramp of the house in their enthusiasm and zip across the yard!! So, if that is bothersome, you could keep them in till later in the morning, after people go to work or off to school. Frankly, since dogs are known to bark–and sometimes, bark,bark,bark, bark etc—I have difficulty understanding the quibble about a few squawks or the celebratory vocalizations on laying an egg. These little birds provide a wonderful service giving us our breakfast, and I can’t think of one dog which is a helpful working dog in human endeavors! Give your neighbors a few eggs, and make friends with them and their kids (if they have any) and win them over. Even the stodgy Parade Magazine had a article a couple weeks ago about the suburban chicken keeping trend. It has arrived at the level of normalcy.

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