Terry Oxford: San Francisco Rooftop Beekeeper
Terry Oxford is a San Francisco-based beekeeper/advocate who has bees on the roofs of some of San Francisco's finest restaurants. Terry uses no pesticides, miticides, plastics or sugar in any of her hives, keeping them completely natural year round. In this short documentary by David Lawrence, she explains the unique challenges, techniques and tools she's mastered over the years to keep her bees thriving on rooftops in the city. This film was screened at the 2014 Slow Food Conference Terra Madre in Torino, Italy and in Rome at the Roman Urban Beekeepers Congress.
Every step of the UrbanBeeSF process promotes healthy, sustainable bee colonies in San Francisco. Pesticide-free trees, local pollination and exquisite raw honey are the heart and soul of UrbanBeeSF.
Healthy beehives flourish in the city because San Francisco bursts with largely pesticide-free, flowering trees with abundant blossoms almost all year long.
UrbanBeeSF honey is sourced by the bees from the mature tree canopies of this special city delivering a delicate yet complex flavor; a blend of bottle brush tree, Eucalyptus, Australian Gum Tree and fennel. The colorful essences of citrus from backyard Meyer lemon and sweet acacia are underscored with a savory licorice finish from the local, wild fennel.
Our bees’ well being always comes first. Captivating delicious artisanal honey is just the lovely result.
San Francisco's mature tree canopy creates an oasis of rich diversity for Native Bees, honeybees, and songbirds demonstrating how eating from locally sourced, largely organic and systemic-pesticide-free trees and plants make the highest grade product. UrbanBeeSF never uses conventional/commercial beekeeping practices such as plastic-wax foundation, food replacement, mite pesticides, chemical mixtures or antibiotics inside any of our hives. From hive to jar only wood, stainless steel, glass and our amazing bees come in contact with the honey.
I personally oversee every part of UrbanBeeSF with a passion that is spurred on by the desire to help the pollinator life system survive.
Remember a Meadow?
Bee Advocacy and Activism
UrbanBeeSF’s primary mission is to seed the future with survivor bees and to help people understand that we must stop behaving like nothing else on earth is as important as humans! We have enslaved the honeybee in an industrial agriculture prison and fed her poison, sugar or just starved her as we deliver beehives to feed in chemical-doused mono-culture farms. Who wouldn't be susceptible to mites under those unhealthy circumstances?
Bees are the perfect voice to listen to right now as many of us contemplate human survival. The bee is telling us to look critically at our profit motivated farming methods and to please hurry and makes changes while we still can. The answers are simple but not easy...we must stop the chemical and pesticide driven cycle and understand that we've been duped. Organic plant, tree and food purchacing choices are the way to slow down the massive lobbying power of these corporations. And we must stop the use of all systemic pesticides now...because they are absolute poison, absolutely perfected. The mono-culture aesthetic of chemically-processed plants and industrialized food that we think we can trust is neither healthy nor sustainable. We have normalized an infrastructure that is failing the entire planet.
UrbanBeeSF collaborates with like-minded restaurateurs and chefs to create rooftop apiaries. Even though these restaurants use our artisanal honeycomb when available, honeybee health ,not honey production remains the primary focus. Its an expensive model but UrbanBeeSF requires that whomever we partner with, understands that these tiny laborers of San Francisco deserve to eat their own food. UrbanBeeSF never removes most of the honey from the hive because of the devastating health effects of sugar feeding. Ever on the watch for greenwashing, UrbanBeeSF holds a high standard for hive placement and will only work with those who also chose sustainability over profits.
We believe that some things are sacred and should not be monetized. If the condition of the earth is telling us anything, it is that some things should be simply honored because they are keeping us alive. Some things, like the pollinator life system, are a gift.
To evolve is to be grateful. Be grateful and you'll evolve.