Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Honey In The Rock: Honeybee Canyon Hike, Oro Valley, AZ

Honey in the rock

Homes in the Honeybee Canyon Neighborhood of Oro Valley, AZHoneybee Canyon, Oro Valley, AZ

Honeybees are alive and well in the wilds (and not-so-wild parts) of the Sonoran Desert.  It's rare to find honeycomb in the desert, as rare for me today as it was for the ancient Amerindians whose petroglyphs adorn this waterway in our beautiful desert.

Honeybees have been creating their spectacular works of edible art since the beginning of time.

Those of you from agricultural areas will recognize the vertical combs in the photo above, but you're used to seeing them on  wooden frames, hung inside wooden boxes, tended by keepers covered from head to toe in protective gear.

What surprised me about this particular honeybee colony is it's proximity to one of the most developed new areas in Tucson's northwest corridor.  The bridge crosses the arroyo in the Oro Valley community of Honeybee Canyon Estates, just a 10 minute walk north of my photo location.

Closeup of the honeycomb chamber in the canyon wall

And one mile north of the bridge is this "picture rock" (below) with its faded petroglyphs. You can see an owl on the right side of the massive boulder.

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Collage of Honeybee Canyon Hike

Can you find the honeycomb cave in the center photo of the collage?


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

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Offices in Scottsdale, Tucson, and Nogales, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM.

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photo copyright Mike in Tucson

Comment balloon 15 commentsMike Jones • March 06 2010 11:01PM



I notice the self portrait right center in the collage.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 11 years ago


Thanks for being the first to comment!  ...and Good Morning!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago


No bees around?  Those are great shots and a very interesting tale.  I would never have expected to find honey bees in rocks.... but there's plenty of pollen in the dessert so makes sense.  Thanks for the morning lesson.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 11 years ago

That was so interesting, and so beautiful!  We have beautiful trees, but not that kind of beauty here in CT

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 11 years ago


I was blown away to find the honeycomb so close to civilization!


The bees were there, flying in and out.  You can see one at the top right of the uppermost photo.  The desert in Israel is very similar to our desert here, and Psalm 81:16 talks about "honey from the rock..."

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike - I found both the honey bees and the petroglyphs interesting. I have never seen honey combs out it the open like that before. As teenager's  my brother and I took a trip through the bush from our cottage on Kasshabog Lake to look at the then newly discovered petroglyphs near Nephton Ontario. Now it is a large Provincial Park.

Posted by Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike, Your educational hikes as you call them, are filled with surprises. This one is certainly no exception. Love alll the things you bring us from the desert.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 11 years ago

Are you sure your side job isn't professional photographer?  :)


Lucky those were honey bees and not the other kind.

Posted by Gary Miljour, Mortgage Originator NMLS Licensed in AZ and NC (American Financial Network, Inc. NMLS#207208) almost 11 years ago

I love your very cool southwestern desert nature photos Mike.  I am glad I didn't happen on that as I am allergic to bees.  Do you have africanized bees down there?  My husband and I ran into a swarm last year when we were driving just a couple of miles from our house.  It was amazing to say the least.

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) almost 11 years ago


We do have the Africanized Bee strain of the honeybee here in Arizona.  We were never closer than 50' from the colony.


Thanks for stopping by.  I don't think these were the Africanized bee strain.


I enjoy doing it!  Thanks for commenting.


Thanks for the link; I'll be right over.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike - that is absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing both the information and those wonderful photos!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago

The bee's have been just a busy as you have been lately. Looks like they have plenty of reserves.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Terry & Bonnie,

This is the neatest thing I've found while hiking in the desert!


You're most welcome!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

I wonder if my brothers knew about these.  I had no idea they were there.  Oro Valley was a very small place when we were kids... 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago


If they still live in Tucson, I'd be happy to take them on a hike to see it.  Let me know.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

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