Bee Keeping

Honeybee Day 2013 A Success!

Our Whole Foods "Kids Day Of Service" event was a big success! Julia Mahood and son Noah lead a beekeeping tour of our hives and opened one up so we could see inside. They estimated we had 30,000 bees inside.


We had a painting table set up for children to paint wooden cut outs to hang on our new garden gate. The new gate is to keep the rabbits out of the garden. Rabbits seemed to have only recently returned to the Preserve since having lost all of their meadow habitat during the tunnel construction.


We also planted seeds, did weeding, pruning and turned the compost beds which turned up a brown snake and small field mouse. Whole Foods provided a healthy salad lunch for all volunteers.

Thanks to all who participated for making this such a fun day!


2011: Beehives Vandalized

We are distressed to report that our beehives, maintained by volunteers at the Preserve, were vandalized in October 2011.

Kevin McCauley reported (to other beekeepers) that his hive and one other had been opened and left open. Kevin put his hive back together. Julia Mahood went over to see and found that all three hives had the tops off, all had supers displaced with the bees exposed to the elements.  This means the vandals returned after their first visit, since Kevin had put his hive back together. "This hive was the healthiest one I've had at BH and now, going into winter, I am not confident at all that they'll survive since their honey store was wiped out and their population took a big hit.", Julia said. "We had just consolidated them in preparation for winter, and they were left for who knows how long without a top, exposed to recent rain. We put some cabled bike locks on them, but the damage is done."

If you have noticed any suspicious activity near the bee hives or anywhere on the Preserve, please call 911 and report it. You can also send us an email.


2010: Beekeepers Recognized

We had a beautiful article about our bees in the September 25th 2010 edition of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Beekeeper Julia Mahood and family are featured and discuss the thrill of beekeeping, the sadness of losing hives to natural disasters like the recent flooding of the Nature Preserve and the lessons learned and shared with the community.

"When Julia Mahood opens her honeybee hive within sight of Roswell Road, she feels a surgeon’s burden. The insects’ home is an intricate, interconnected universe. One wrong move can upset or even destroy all of it.

She knows they could live more freely in a tree hollow, a la Winnie the Pooh, but trees and bees are going away — a warning sign that the environment is in peril. So each month Mahood uses these hives, at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve in north Buckhead, to teach new beekeepers. Bees connect her to the earth, to others and herself. They’ve taught her to let go of her childhood fear of being stung.

She’s learned harder lessons, too. "

All photos courtesy of Bita Honarvar -


Julia Mahood - Beekeeper

Julias' son Noah, 13, inspecting a hive at the apiary on the Blue Heron Nature Preserve.


More About Bees...

Here are some great links to Linda Tillmans' Blog on her bees - many interesting photos!

Linda has posted a lot more about Blue Heron on her blog,  just search "Blue Heron" at the top of the first page and you'll find lots and lots of posts: