Bike a Bee's first year came to a close and what a wonderful year it was. There were many challenges with the drought and continually hot weather, but most of the hives made it through fine. There were some losses, though. We lost three hives just at the beginning of winter and combined one small and weak hive with a stronger, healthier hive. Many beekeepers in the area reported similar losses. A combination of many factors are at play here, including insufficient honey stores, stress, and small populations.
This is how agriculture goes all over the world. You win some, you lose some, but every year you go back at it again with all of your energy. That's what Bike a Bee will be doing next year and for many years to come.
Allright BACKERS! Firstly, thank you for your patience. This was my first year as a full-time, self employed crazy person, and it was a lot of work. As of today, all of your postcards, stickers and bee drawings have been sent. The poster is 80% designed and will be hand-printed in late February when our printers get back from their honeymoon! At that time you'll also get your honey. It'll be a lovely little taste of summer during these cold times.
Here's a little video dedicated to those of you who backed at the $100+ levels. I hand-painted each of your requested names onto all of my hives, as you'll see here. You backers will also be receiving photos with location information this evening, as well.
The video was filmed by Christina Stradone and Rosa Gaia Saunders. Music by Ned Gawron.
What's next? Well over the winter the bees stay inside their hives, huddled up for warmth. They eat the honey they worked so hard to collect over the summer and right about now they start gearing up for spring. The queen begins laying and the cycle starts all over again. The beekeeper's duties are minimal in the winter, though I am feeding the hives supplemental sugar-cakes to ensure that they do not run out of food. This summer did not provide much bounty for these first-year hives.
As far as my activities go, I am getting in touch with many more community gardens who are interested in hosting beehives. Hands-on classes are in the works for spring and throughout summer. I'm also working with my dear friend Lauren Gill to become a Non-For-Profit so that I can continue to give beehives for free to community-owned and maintained spaces. This way I will also be able to hold fundraisers with fun partners like local breweries! Free beer for bees? Okay!
Allright! That's it for now. Thanks again for you patience, and please, if you have any questions or comments, send them to me through Kickstarter, or I can be contacted at email@example.com!
With love and warmth,
Jana (+ the bees!)
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
You'll receive a big thank-you on our website as well as be signed up for our email list! (All reward levels get you signed up for our email list.)Estimated delivery:
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All of the above rewards plus: You'll get a hand-written thank-you note on one of our Bike·a·Bee postcards!Estimated delivery:
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All of the above rewards plus: We'll send you a 4-pack of some sweet Bike·a·Bee stickers, along with your very own unique hand-drawn bee, complete with its own story.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above rewards plus: You'll receive a limited-edition silk-screened Bike·a·Bee poster designed and illustrated by me and printed by our partners at Reuse First (http://reusefirst.com).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
-- New Pledge Level! -- You get all of the above, plus a 4oz jar of our raw honey, straight from the Bike·a·Bee hives!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
We'll hand-paint your name on one of our hives! You'll know which hive, where it resides, and have a picture for proof. You'll also receive the thank-you note, stickers, drawing, and poster.Estimated delivery:
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3 backers Limited (3 left of 6)
Attention bike shops - sponsor my trailer! I'm going to need to purchase a bike trailer for my trusted steed. If you're a bike shop or bike nut, please consider this sponsorship level. In addition to the thank-you note, stickers, drawing, and poster, your name and logo will be featured prominently on the Bike·a·Bee website and bike trailer - free advertising as I haul honey frames around the city!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $110 or moreYou selected
-- New Pledge Level! -- You get all of the above, plus a lifetime 20% discount on our raw honey, straight from the Bike·a·Bee hives!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (38 left of 40)
We'll make you a superintendent! You'll be the "superintendent" of a honey super, the part of the hive where bees store honey. Your name will be featured prominently on the super, and you'll receive information about your hive, where it resides, and have a picture for proof. What's more, after our first honey harvest, you'll get an 8 oz. jar of raw honey! You'll also receive the thank-you note, stickers, drawing, and poster.Estimated delivery:
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2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Adopt-a-Hive! You will get monthly updates on your adopted hive, queen bee naming rights, and, if you're local, the opportunity to check-in on your hive with us. What's more, after our first honey harvest, you'll get an 12 oz. jar of raw honey! You'll also receive the thank-you note, stickers, drawing, and poster.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)