The Jacksons’ backyard bee house has people buzzing. The Hillcrest Forest couple built the small, 2-by-2-foot hive last spring, and within a week, it produced several sheets of edible honeycomb. Neighbors became curious, especially the kids who got a taste of nature. “It was so exciting for them. Some of them kept it and took it to school,” says Josephie Jackson, who grew up on 12,000 acres of farmland in Australia where her grandfather kept bees. She and her husband, David, have hives on their East Texas farm, and decided to try raising them in the city. It all starts with a kit to build the wooden house, which includes wax foundation boards around which the bees build the honeycomb. And the bees? The Jacksons order three pounds through the mail, and pick them up at the post office. The man-made hive starts with about 6,000 bees and could eventually hold up to 80,000. The Jacksons often handle them without protective gear, saying that widespread fear of bees is overrated. “It’s very relaxing,” Josephie Jackson says. “I sing to them when I put them in. They particularly like ‘Beethoven’s Fifth’. We were thinking about bringing some café chairs and a table out here just to watch them.”


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