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Bringing beehives to Chicago's greenspaces, urban farms, and community gardens - all while caring for them by bicycle!
Bringing beehives to Chicago's greenspaces, urban farms, and community gardens - all while caring for them by bicycle!
235 backers pledged $8,646 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,646

235

We're funded!!!! But let's keep the momentum going... More backers and funds means more bee-related programs! Let's make this happen in a big way! read the Update #3 for more info!

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Bike·a·Bee began as tiny glimmer of an idea I had while beekeeping in Eugene, Oregon, during the summer of 2011. One of the most unexpected and enjoyable aspects of my experience there was becoming a part of the larger community. The beekeeper with whom I was working not only had a bee yard at his home, but he also had more than 13 others scattered throughout the city. One at an elementary school, one in a family’s back yard, one at a blueberrry patch, one at a woman’s permaculture farm ... The list goes on. While we spent the day tending to the hives and collecting honey frames, we also interacted with community members who loved having the hives, believed in being a part of the urban agriculture, and in our food system’s well-being.

I took this sense of community with me back to Chicago upon my return last fall. I wanted to care for my own hives, but I didn't have the yardspace I needed in the city. I searched for greenspaces around town in the same manner as my beekeeping friend in Oregon. As I spoke with urban spaces, farms, and gardens, the feedback was quite encouraging. Meanwhile, I figured out a bike trailer system so that I could care for the bees and ride from hive-to-hive in the most eco-friendly fashion. I'm a year-round cyclist and can't stomach the idea of owning (and paying for) a car. So with that, Bike·a·Bee was born!

I chose to work with urban farms and gardens over private backyards because these spaces offered the greatest benefit to the largest amount of plants and people. The hives will serve as educational tools while the bees act as the garden's resident pollinators. Hive hosts will also benefit, as they'll receive a share of the honey harvest to keep, give to friends, or add to their CSA shares.

I'm launching Bike·a·Bee via Kickstarter not only because it's a convenient way to raise the money I need for hive equipment, but also because the platform closely mirrors the sense of community I hope to foster with the project. By helping fund Bike·a·Bee, you are casting a vote for sustainability and urban agriculture as much as you are earning some sweet gifts! As Bike·a·Bee launches, we'll begin creating webisodes to document our process and share the story. You'll be there as we set up our first hives in the spring, check on the bees throughout the summer, harvest honey in the early fall, and tuck them in for the winter. You'll be with us from the start because, without your support, a project of this scope wouldn't be possible.

So thank you helping us out! For more detailed information on what your pledges earn you, check out the in-depth breakdown to your right. High five!

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Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Keep tabs with our website. If you're interested in hosting a hive, please send us a note at bikeabee@gmail.com.

FAQ

  • The process of ordering hive equipment, bees and queen bees must begin early in the year. This way we'll have time to build the hives and get our bee orders in to the suppliers in an orderly fashion!

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  • We won't be able to have functioning hives until we install the bees in the early spring, and we won't be able to harvest honey until late summer, after the beens have worked hard all summer long gathering nectar and pollen. Since this will be the first year with hives, we don't have any honey stores to give out as gifts immediately after the Kickstarter is funded. Thanks for understanding!

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  • It will cover the costs of ten complete hives (boxes, frames, foundations, and tops), paint supplies, extra boxes for hive expansion, packages of bees, queen bees, honey processing equipment (buckets with gates and mesh filters), and jars and lids for honey. We'll also be purchasing a simple bike trailer. There will be various small costs, too, such as shipping costs for all of the equipment, nails to put the equipment together, and paper for honey labels.

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  • Yes! The first year honey harvest is unpredictable, but as the hives get established we'll have a more consistent flow. In the meantime you can get delicious local honey from the Chicago Honey Co-op!

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    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.)

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    21 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    All of the above rewards plus: You'll get a hand-written thank-you note on one of our Bike·a·Bee postcards!

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    46 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    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.

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    68 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    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).

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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    -- New Pledge Level! -- You get all of the above, plus a 4oz jar of our raw honey, straight from the Bike·a·Bee hives!

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    27 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    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.

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    11 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    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!

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    Limited 3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    -- 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!

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    7 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    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.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    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.

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (32 days)