Bee Local is urban micro-batch honey in neighborhood varieties from hives located in different neighborhoods of Portland, OR.
What is Bee Local?
Bee Local is micro-batch honey produced in urban neighborhood varieties. Like wine, honey from each neighborhood has its own taste profile. Bee Local is dedicated to producing healthy, pollen rich honey using sustainable techniques and educating the public about how important honeybees are. This is not your average honey.
What is the Funding is for?
I currently have micro-apiaries in 4 neighborhoods within Portland, OR. I provide honey and honeycomb to individuals, a few retail stores and a restaurant. The response has been overwhelming and demand is more than I can produce with my 6 hives.
The next step is to expand within Portland and to other cities; Seattle, Olympia and San Francisco using the current model of micro-apiary hosting. The goal is to establish at least 20 more hives. I have people who have committed to hosting hives in the locations mentioned above.
Achieving this goal requires the purchase of critical beekeeping equipment; hive bodies, bees, queens, frames, foundation, an extractor, and other necessary tools. This equipment is very expensive for a small scale beekeeper such as myself. It is important to Bee Local's success.
Why is Bee Local different?
Honeybees typically forage for nectar within a 4-mile radius. The honey they produce in each geographic location has flavors, textures and complexity that are completely unique to that location. Honey from one neighborhood tastes completely different than honey from another.
The result is small artisan micro-batch honeys that directly reflect the unique characteristics of each neighborhood. For example Bee Local currently has 4 varieties from 4 different Portland neighborhoods: Mt. Tabor, Brooklyn, Powellhurst, and Laurelhurst.
By placing hives in varied locations we are increasing the productivity of our cities gardens, increasing awareness of the importance of the honeybee, our relationship to the land around us, and utilizing previously unused urban spaces for food production. This process begins a conversation about sustainability and the current challenges that the selfless honeybee is facing.
People begin to see the connection between our environment and food sources. They love the idea that their flowers, gardens, and trees are contributing directly to the flavor of the honey. Our communities begin to take an increased stewardship of the land around them.
Bee the Change
Funding this project will allow Bee Local to expand into several different cities, purchase critical beekeeping equipment, help to educate our communities about the plight of the honeybee and provide healthy honey for consumption.
When developing Bee Local I took great care in using only local companies for my jars, lids and labels. I'm also having a local craftsman custom build my beehives. It's very important that Bee Local is really local. I want as much money to stay in the immediate economy as possible.
I'm working with Spoketown Cargo to deliver my honey to retail outlets. Spoketown is a bike delivery service. Pedal power!
I am currently working on setting up beekeeping lessons for homeless youth through a fantastic local organization here in Portland. This is something that is near and dear to my heart and am tremendously excited about.