Honey Bees to people of Greater Boston & NH. Hives maintained at homes. Now adding new public space bee adoptions & education! Read more
This project was successfully funded on March 11, 2012.
About this project
Congratulations all! Bees at homes! Bees at sponsored locations! Business, and website are now launched, check it out:
I want to be able to bring the benefits of bees (pollination, honey, and more) to people in the greater Boston and New Hampshire. The hives will “live” on other people's property, and Hive At Your Home (HAYH) will offer a yearly maintenance service.
The money for this project started this business by paying for bees to be placed at needy locations (CSAs, Community gardens, etc.) Funding was at levels to get honey, adopt a hive or have one brought to your home.
Missed out on the Kickstarter active funding? Don't worry there will be news posted as updates on this page AND this project launched HAYH! HAYH is now an active business where you can get hives maintained at your home or join in and adopt/sponsor a hive at fabulous locations! to join in check out the HAYH website.
Speaking of getting honey- its raw, its treatment free unlike 99.9+ percent of "honey" (which might not be honey if purchased in store,) and it will create local sourced honey that will be kept separate to provide ultra-local honey to those in the community.
For every $100 of sponsorship a hive will be placed at worthy location already identified and waiting for sponsorship creating bee sanctuaries. This isn't just another plea for helping to expand a conventional apiary, this is a whole new type of service with awesome adoption locations to pick, that will actually use local bred bees with no treatments.
Sponsor Bees At Worthy Places:
The locations include Rural Middle Branch Farm an organic CSA serving a few hundred members, in New Boston, New Hampshire that will gain hives for pollination. Additionally a newly established educational farm, Coleraine Farms, in Brookfield, NH would gain the bees for both pollination and demonstration purposes. Another location is the Weeks Brick House and Gardens in Greenland, NH, a non-profit open to the public. Now that the original goal is met we are bringing more hives to those first three places and and adding community gardens (i.e. Wilton Community Garden) in greater Boston and in New Hampshire. There are other locations that are awaiting support and if we can continue to grow we can help places like the Somerville Community Growing Center,in Urban Somerville, MA.
Rewards tie directly into size of project, if you select the adopt a hive level an additional needy location gets a hive this year. For the successful project launch there are identified locations that will receive bees. For every $100 of additional support past the goal a hive will be placed at worthy location already identified and waiting for sponsorship.
I keep bees, Warrior Princess Apiaries (that's named after my daughter and all the daughter bees that are in the hives) is for honey. The project launch Hive At Your Home is of a brand new business that will only exist if the minimum goal is met, and will be a much larger venture if it is surpassed. Either a sponsor pays for a worthy location or a client pays for me to bring the bees, the hive and my expertise to their qualifying location where I will maintain the bees for a year. Hive At Your Home will service Boston, and MA north of the Pike, East of Worcester, and NH below the Whites. The only thing the person at the location needs to do is point out a location, enjoy them, and receive honey.
Included in the e-newsletters, after the first section of necessary details concerning Hive At Your Home business and schedule, I'll then be adding a section to update on the current hive activities and what detailed maintenance is conducted for those that are interested in the nitty gritty. Watch out if you show interest in what is going on as I may drone on and on about bees, though I do realize some may just want a little honey and I'll spare those hours of bee chat.
The project grows in direct relationship to the funding, if you select Hive At Your Home level for $175+ there is one more hive to the project and this hive will be at YOUR home. With the success of this Kickstarter project (not going to say IF its successful,) I will then be able to open the business to clients in general. The business model being charging $175 supplying service identical to the $175+ HAYH funding level and offering the bee-havers honey from their own hive at 50% retail.
Many support bees, others have gardens needing pollination, some just want a hive of their “own”, and everyone would love honey. HAYH gives these things to those that prohibitive costs, extensive knowledge and time prevent, creating "bee-havers".
Beyond organic - local bred bees treated with nothing but respect.
This is not the normal venture to start a “bee keeping” business, this is the beginning of a “bee giving” business; I want to create a communities of "bee-havers."
Now that the kickstarter has come through HAYH exists, thanks! Go to the website to see and to take part in the business now that it is launched. Get a hive, get two, adoptions and sponsorships continue:
1: Own or have permission to have a hive for the year.
2: Town ordinances allow bees (most all do.)
3: 10' or more from property line. Front of hive best to SE, no heavy trafficked area in front of hive, if no hedge or fence to make bees fly over 6' then no neighbor's heavily used area within 20' of entrance.
4: Access. If I can't come by to maintain then it can't be there. That means I can't drive or park within distance, or your not home and the gate is locked or there is a dog guarding it, etc.
5: Only area available floods. Hives should be put where they can wash away.
6: Entrance to (preferable SE) doesn't immediately point to heavily used area of neighbor within 20' unless you have fence or hedge that makes bees fly above 6'
7. Spraying. You can't spray pesticides. I know you can't control neighbors, but if you spray near the hive you kill the bees. Also if in a rural area placement should not be on the downwind side of an adjacent parcel that sprays a crop plot. The bees travel 5 miles out so they will run into problems in this world, but the hives themselves cannot be placed where they themselves will be subjugated to poison.
8: Catchall. Although we can make most everywhere (tiny city courtyard with walls, woods (prefer sun), etc.) work, I will reserve the right to disqualify a location. I doubt it but if it won't work for some mysterious reason it would be a hassle for me and you to deal with something that wouldn't work. If you have a concern ask and we will work it through.
E-mail me your preferred location if you have one and on a first come basis that will be work out and I'll e-mail you back. If you aren't super picky that lets me fill in the needy places.
I'll be adding updates to provide more description on the locations to adopt a hives. The first three are if we meet the goal of $1000 include http://www.middlebranchfarm.com/, Coleraine Farms, and http://www.weeksbrickhouse.org/. For every $100 in sponsorship after that another hive can be placed and that opens up additional locations, I'll be putting updates on descriptions of those community gardens etc. if it looks like we will be passing the initial $1000 goal and we are moving on to expansion of horizons.
Bees forage over a 5 mile radius so as far as any issue with the bees foraging there won't be any noticeable difference to anyone.
Where there are usually issues are:
1: People being at the immediate entrance of the hive up to a ten foot radius in front as approaching right up to the entrance both blocks them and also alerts them to think you are interested in the hive (approach up to the hive from any other side.) The entrance does best to the south-southeast.
2: The bees do pick a flight path that they use to approach the hive. If this flight path intersects with a heavily used walkway the bees might run into you or a neighbor at distances further than 10 feet. They most likely won't be aggressive but a neighbor may not want bees running into them all the time or peeing on them. To help avoid this, if there is a fence or hedge or something 10' or more out from the hive entrance that would make them climb to above 6' from the ground they won't dip back down and will fly over anyone past the hedge or what have you.
3: Swimming pools are attractive to bees as they need a water source and chlorine attracts them. Some die in the pool as there isn't anything to land on and sip from then people see them. If a water source is provided from the start before pool season the bees will be used to this water and that will help. It must always be available or they will look elsewhere. a pail or bin or pond or tub, best with either sloped sides or just throw something (sticks) in for them to land on or running water, a slow drip or a water feature.
4: People seeing hives. For the most part the bees themselves are not of a concern, its mostly the perception of bees. Yes people have seen hives years after they were placed and suddenly its a concern although they couldn't tell previously there had been bees. The solution is two choices. I will provide resources to allow you to know more about bees and you can talk to neighbors preemptively. Second route is the hives are 2" rough cut lumber, non-painted*, they don't look like white Langstroth hives and unless they get close enough to see bees going in, the overwhelming odds are not only will no one will be negatively affected, but no-one will be able to tell you have bees.
The hives are thick rough-cut lumber that is unpainted. This to many has a great aesthetic and makes them not jump out. Some people want their hive to stand out, so yes you can paint. I show up in Spring and put bees in 2 boxes, these can't be painted now. I can also leave 4 empty boxes that will be used later this year for you to paint the OUTSIDE. Eventually the 2 on there can be replaced with painted boxes too. This approach is the opposite of the hidden lumber not looking like a hive approach, it is the these are ours and we love them. I personally think both can be nice to look at.
The alternative hive design of this "Weeks Hive" is a vertical box hive like the common Langstroth or the traditional Warre hives. It utilizes top bar frames similar to those found in a Warre, but used within every box to provide inspectability. The hives boxes are 14.75" square and 10" tall, they are about half the volume of a big Langstroth box and so I've been told they look "cute". To start the hives will sit on cinder blocks (or in rural bear country pallets,) there is a bottom with an entrance, then two of these rough wood boxes for the bees, then insulation and a box with a feeder in it (new packages of bees need to be fed, after that I leave honey) then it is ratchet strapped down to the cinder blocks/pallet and a 15" square tile provides a roof and weight. Eventually more boxes will be added that will make the hive taller throughout the year, then later boxes are taken at the top for honey while a box is added bellow and the hive will stabilize at ~5 boxes high (so the hive & base will get to be 5' tall, 14.75" square.)
Not yet, but soon, although this Kickstarter project isn't focused on that for funding even if it will play a part in the business this Kickstarter is kick starting. Normally honey will be marketed in two ways, either local markets or clients with hives have the right to purchase the hives honey at 50% retail. I won't normally make honey available over the internet but for funders at the Hive-At-YOUR-Home levels I'll extend the 50% of retail that normal customers receive, and all funders can e-mail me if they want to purchase honey in May.
The muth jar has a cork, and the glass is beautiful with a skep hive design in the glass, even better it contains amazing artisanal treatment free HONEY. If you have never had comb honey before you are in for my favorite treat in the world. Cut comb used to be the most popular form of honey sold in America, still the only honey not processed in anyway except by bees.
Adopt-A-Hive level funders will be offered half the available honey crop of the hive at 50% off retail.
I look forward to sharing with you how amazing raw treatment-free honey is!
Local honey means getting the local pollens to cure allergies (works same principal as allergy shots but better defined to you,) getting the local flavor of the honey of your neighborhood, and supporting the local businesses. Its hard to get more local than a hive at your home.
Yes I'm serious about treating these bees with nothing but respect. This treatment free approach keeps toxins away from the honey and bees, while local breeding for bees insures long term survival, not putting them on short term life support. If there was real organic standard for US honey they wouldn't be any good as the draft standard allows you to use all sorts of things that harm the bees long term.
I'll conduct all the upkeep, but if you can be available you can watch and I'll teach, preach and demonstrate about bees.
An alternative hive design and a modified Warre management approach will be utilized (and further modified for urban settings.) That means tying together reduced maintenance, so that people don't have to see my mug each week, and better health of the bees versus those techniques utilize on the commercial standard Langstroth hives. What this means is that the hives are setup for the bees, not for people. Construction and management will comply with NH Sec. 429.4 and MA 330 CMR 8.04.
Bees have all sorts of new challenges facing them, giving them a management practice that is not detrimental for no benefit will help give these bees a better chance at survival. As a result this will help me join the community of those breeding bees that don't require constant life support of a soup of toxins that are used as "treatments".
I will be crushing comb and straining, or doing cut comb, verses extracting and reusing comb and as a result I will be obtaining less honey per hive. But one important aspect is the yield per surviving hive, dead hives make no honey and selecting this a hive type and management style is better for the long term survival of the hives. The crush and strain method will create a supply of uncontaminated bees wax and the product is a superior RAW honey.
Yes urban locations have some challenges, mostly with placement but their definitely a big part of this project. All areas have issues and advantages and urban bees can be less challenging in some respects (pesticides) and more so in others (management to avoid reproducing by swarming.) I'd even do flat roof bees if I could be GUARANTEED access.
For adopted hives a year later, 2013 - I will attempt to find sponsors, plan is all hives will stay there "permanently".
2013 Bee-Havers have 3 scenarios:
1: Love those bees - renews for another year (reduced rate);
2: Really love bees or can't continue the love - it was so great that they want to get into beekeeping with their own bees or alternatively decides either bees aren't/can't be for them again. I move the hive, unless there is an actual issue that is unforeseeable, I want to move the hive either late October or in April. Hive moving isn't exactly super easy but is built into the plan of this business;
3: Really loves those bees and the hive - Decides beekeeping is for them and wants this hive for themselves to maintain. I sell you the hive, price not yet set sorry.
The best site I know of for wild pollinators is:
The best book I've read on the subject is "Forgotten Pollinators" by Buchmann and Nabhan.
Wild bees and wasps get the majority of their nectar/pollen early morning and late afternoon, while the Honey Bees sleep in a little work the middle of the day.
What allows the Honey Bees to shine is their communal working together. By having foraging scouts locate good sources the honey bees are able to forage over a 5 mile radius from the hive. Honey Bees are particularly great for pollination as they exhibit high fidelity to the same flower species per foraging trip; hence they bring pollen from one flower to another of the same kind versus bringing it to the "wrong" target. But Honey Bees are also not "perfect" in pollinating everything (this is a good thing for the other bees,) they're sophisticated approach has them target the highest nectar/pollen yields during optimum conditions, and so they will leave room for other pollinators. So I will admit even with two hives at my 1/5 acres house lot, that the 100' of roses was mostly bumble bees. A lot of the small flowers were mostly worked by solitary bees. The 20' of trellis with trumpet vine had more yellow jackets and ants then anything. It was actually only on half of the plantings and one of the flowering trees that I saw honey bees with regularity and for those they did completely dominate in numbers. They did well on our veggies too except the nightshades (tomatoes etc.) as those require vibration stimulation to release pollen, you need bumble bees.
So when you move in a tractor trailer load of Honey Bees I believe you starve the Honey Bees and starve out wild bees. One hive I believe can balance nicely with the current ecosystem as the huge forage range doesn't over saturate. (I would never leave in one place for a whole year more than ~25 hives, even though I've been with commercial guys placing a few hundred for pollination and know a very few have kept successful apiaries with hundreds there all year.)
As far as the hive of bees goes, many complain that the hornets killed my hive, or the wax moths, or wax beetles. Not the case, if they did then the hive was already doomed as it was too week to defend itself and hence to weak to survive the winter. In the fall social wasps desperate for protein may engage in war to go after brood, but this is only a problem if the hive is too weak. So I wouldn't worry about the Honey Bees in relation to other wild pollinators.
Good links that don't sensationalize CCD are:
I have my own opinions on this and will provide details in the back side of newsletter, but suffice it to say the one thing I think people agree on is we depend on the honey bee for pollination of the majority of crops and bees are in trouble.
Solution from link provided:
"Since little is known about the cause(s) of CCD right now, mitigation must be based on improving general honey bee health and habitat and countering known mortality factors by using best management practices."
My Solution: Hive At Your Home
Please join in with this part of the solution and pass the buzz.
In regards to pesticides, the affects of all the different poisons "we" create are hard, especially with up to 5 a mile radius of foraging.
Rural areas that contain conventional farming are the hardest in regards to pesticides, though the suburban areas have lawn sprays, and urban areas have their own challenges. Then industrial pollution can be located in any of these environments but you can only control the big threats and not place hives near things such as chemical plants as I've studied pollution in the Whites and Adirondacks as the midwest coal plants cause pollution (mercury etc.) even there. The only place in the world with without highly traceable levels of many pollutants are in the southern hemisphere such as Patagonia (southern Chile.)
As hives will be rural, suburban and urban; I have to tackle each of these different systems. By refusing to put the hives themselves directly downwind of fields that spray, in suburban lawns that spray or near industrial polluting sites it tackles some, but its hard to manage entire forage area (up to 50,000 acres during dearth periods, usually the closer 8,000 acres).
So I can be beyond organic at the hive (if the organic bee standard was to ever pass I wouldn't use any of the substance that would be OK for the standard,) but its still a shame I'm at the whims of a society that sees nothing wrong with putting poisons everywhere. The new pesticides (neonicotinoids thanks to Bayer) are systemic, in every cell of the plant, pollen, nectar included. They rave that it isn't sprayed as its in the seed and doesn't hurt mammals nearly as much as pesticides a decade age, but that isn't any comfort to the bees. Also don't like that you can't peel or wash the pesticide off, if you eat the vegetable you are eating the new pesticides, even with the lower toxicity they are new and no long term studies.
In the past the mass die-offs due to pesticides was the major concern, but thats an easy one to diagnose. If it just shortens the life of the bees, then they might not be living long enough to take the job assigned to older bees, that of a forager and the hive dies. Then their are the fertility affects, the affect on brood survivability, and the general weakening that may not kill on its own but leaves the bees vulnerable to the clasical bee diseases that are always out there.
Articles about Neonicotinoides:
Resources on Pollinators (check out "Status of Pollinators in North America"): http://dels-old.nas.edu/pollinators/
EPA pollinator protection: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ecosystem/pollinator/then-now.html
Friends of The Bees: http://magic.server101.com/friendsofthebees/index.php
The above site has links to a bunch of free things to download by Phil Chandler including:
10 Things You Can Do To Help
Save The Bees
Bees are in trouble, and it is mostly because of us. We have destroyed much of their natural habitat, we have poisoned their food and in the case of honeybees, we have used and abused them for our own purposes while not giving enough attention to their needs and welfare.
Honeybees have been evolving for a very long time – the fossil record goes back at least 100 million years – and they became remarkably successful due to their adaptability to different climates, varied flora and their tolerance of many shapes and sizes of living accommodation. They became attractive to humans because of their unique ability to produce useful things, apparently out of thin air: honey, wax and propolis.
Until the nineteenth century, they were kept in pots, skeps, baskets and a variety of wooden boxes intended more-or-less to imitate their natural habitat of choice, the hollow tree. With the invention of the 'movable frame' hive, the second half of that century saw an exponential growth in commercial-scale beekeeping, and by the time motor vehicles became widely available, beekeeping on a widespread and industrial scale became a practical possibility.
Since then, bees have been treated in rather the same way as battery hens: routinely dosed with antibiotics and miticides in an effort to keep them producing, despite the growing problems of diseases and parasites and insecticide-treated plants that have led to the emergence of so-called 'Colony Collapse Disorder', especially in the massive beefarming operations in the USA.
It doesn't have to be like this. Some beekeepers have realized that, if bees are to become healthy enough to develop resistance to disease and the ability to adapt to pests, then they have to be treated differently – and not just by beekeepers.
Here are some things you can do to help the bees:
1. Stop using insecticides - especially for 'cosmetic' gardening
There are better ways of dealing with pests - especially biological controls. Modern pesticides are extremely powerful and many are long-lasting and very toxic to bees and other insects. Removing all unnecessary pesticides from the environment is probably the single most important thing we can do to help save the bees.
2. Create your own Bee-Friendly Zone
By doing two simple things – avoiding synthetic insecticides and herbicides, and creating habitat by planting bee-friendly flowers – you can create a Bee-Friendly Zone as small as a windowbox or as big as a public park, a whole village or neighbourhood. Seehttp://www.beefriendlyzone.com/ for details.
3. Read the labels on garden compost - beware hidden killers!
Some garden and potting composts are on sale that contain Imidacloprid - a deadly insecticide manufactured by Bayer. It is often disguised as 'vine weevil protection' or similar, but it is highly toxic to all insects and all soil life, including beneficial earthworms. The insecticide is taken up by plants, and if you use this compost in hanging baskets, bees seeking water from the moist compost may be killed.
4. Create natural habitat
If you have space in your garden, let some of it go wild to create a safe haven for bees and other insects and small mammals. Gardens that are too tidy are not so wildlifefriendly.
5. Plant bee-friendly flowers
You can buy wildflower seeds from many seed merchants, and they can be sown in any spare patch of ground - even on waste ground that is not being cultivated. Some 'guerilla gardeners' even plant them in public parks and waste ground.
6. Provide a site for beehives
If you have some space to spare, you could offer a corner of your garden to a local beekeeper as a place to keep a hive or two. They will need to have regular access, so bear this in mind when considering a site.
7. Make a wild bee house
Providing a simple box as a place for feral bees to set up home is one step short of taking up beekeeping, but may appeal to those who want to have bees around but don't want to get involved with looking after them.
8. Support your local beekeepers
Many people believe that local honey can help to reduce the effects of hayfever and similar allergies, which is one good reason to buy honey from a local beekeeper rather than from supermarkets, most of which source honey from thousands of miles away. If you can, find a beekeeper who does not use any chemicals in their hives and ask for pure comb honey for a real treat.
9. Learn about bees - and tell others
Bees are fascinating creatures that relatively few people take the trouble to understand. Read a good book about bees and beekeeping, and who knows - you might decide to -
10. Become a beekeeper
It is easier than you might imagine to become a beekeeper - and you don't need any of the expensive equipment in the glossy catalogues! Everything you need to keep bees successfully can be made by anyone with a few simple tools: if you can put up a shelf, you can probably build a beehive!
* * *
Phil Chandler is author of The Barefoot Beekeeper and has a busy discussion forum for
natural beekeeping on his web site at http://www.biobees.com/
Find out more about Bee-Friendly Zones here – http://www.beefriendlyzone.com/
Pledge $10 or more
Handwritten thank you note with possible child labor bee art. (Also included in larger pledges!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
Adopt-A-Bee. Bee named after you. I will forward photo of your bee and tell you a little about this individual bee. You (and every funding level) will get project updates.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or more
13 backers Limited (7 left of 20)
Honey! Small bottle of local honey harvest this spring. (All rewards with shipments are domestic, for international e-mail me to add actual shipping.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
Piece of natural cut comb honey. (As the jar honey is leaving this in the dust as a choice, I can only surmise that you've never had this most prized of earthly delights, if you don't know how awesome cut comb honey is message me and I'll give you my exaltation.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or more
Jar honey, 1lb beautiful old fashion muth jar with amazing local honey.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
3 backers Limited (27 left of 30)
Adopt-A-Hive. You name your adopted/sponsored hive, the hive labeled with your chosen name (and your name) will be placed at an organic CSA farm, educational center, or other deserving place found by Hive-At-Your-Home. You name the queen and receive adopted 2012 hive updates with photos.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or more
4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)
Adopt-A-Hive and get honey. The privileges of being a hive adopter and receiving both a jar of honey and a piece of cut comb (from your adopted hive if possible.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $175 or more
4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)
Hive-At-Your-Home. A hive located and maintained at your qualifying place for 2012. The privileges of being a hive adopter and receiving both a jar of RAW honey and a piece of cut comb (from your adopted hive if possible.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $275 or more
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
Hive-At-Your-Home times two. As simply as doubling down on the benefits of one Hive-At-Your-Home.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $400 or more
0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)
Apiary Sponsor. A new needy location will be with bees. You get to pick a name for the apiary, get to adopt one hive there and receive a jar of honey and a piece of comb honey. 2012 updates on your adopted hive, the sponsored apiary as a whole, and how the apiary is helping the location will be provided.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $555 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Hive-At-Your-Home times five. Yup five hivesEstimated delivery:
- (30 days)