The Accidental Beekeepers

Shortly after we moved into our house in Topanga a few years back, I bought an owl house. I had read that attracting owls to your property was one of the best ways to keep the rodent population in check. Barn owls will eat two to three rodents a night; a nesting pair with chicks up to 10 a night — that’s over 3,000 a year! So I climbed high in the oak tree outside our bedroom window and secured the owl house onto a branch.

Our honey

It took about a year before an owl moved in. It was the tiniest owl you’d ever seen — no match for an angry vermin. It stayed about 10 days. Every night, it would hoot away merrily in its owl box, sounding confident it had found the best house in the neighborhood. But disappointed, I suspect, with its inability to attract a mate to its new digs, it departed. That’s when the bees moved in. More