About this project
The Beez Kneez Honey House is an actual location! And we're collaborating with some pretty exciting people to do even more exciting things! Check out update #9 for more info and another link to our video welcoming you all to our neighborhood!
We are the Beez Kneez. We love bees, we love honey, we love bicycles and we’re on a mission.
Honeybees pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat. Beekeepers lose 30-40% of their hives annually. Raising public awareness of, and connection to, honey bees is essential to a healthy food system.
That's what we're doing.
The Beez Kneez establishes and maintains honey bee hives in public spaces in the Twin Cities, teaches public classes in those hives, and delivers our honey to our community. And we do it all on bicycle!
We need your help to build the Beez Kneez Honey House, a hive of our own. Watch our video for our story.
Kristy Allen started the Beez Kneez over two years ago, in partnership with Bar Bell Bee Ranch, her aunt and uncle’s honey and pollination apiary. Motivated by the issues facing pollinators and ultimately our food system, she combined two of her passions, beekeeping and bicycling. The Beez Kneez now delivers local, raw, unprocessed honey by bicycle to over 150 homes, two farmers markets, 3 CSA's and 20 businesses.
Kristy met Erin Rupp in the field at a farm in Osceola, WI in late summer of 2009 where they both kept bees. They found that they had a lot in common and Erin’s passion for hands-on learning set the stage for the second phase of the Beez Kneez. Community Bees on Bikes, our education and community beekeeping program, was born! Through Community Bees on Bikes, we partner with community gardens, urban farms, parks, and schools to establish and maintain educational apiaries, or honey bee hives.
These educational apiaries are our Hive
Minneapolis Parks’ Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and JD Rivers Children’s Garden
Sister’s Camelot’s 5th Ave Community Farm (run in partnership with the West Phillips Neighborhood Association)
The Blake School Upper Campus
Kuhl Beans Urban Farm
with more on the way!
Everyone knows something about bees- which makes them amazing teaching tools, amazing points of connection to our food system and the ecosystem in which agriculture happens. Each host site has different teaching models- Blake has a beekeeping club, Minneapolis Parks offer public classes to follow a hive through the season, and with McKinley we’re able to work with the McKinley Flower Team, a group of 10-20 youth who helped us keep the bees while learning about the importance of pollinators.
Funding for our partnership with McKinley and the Flower Team was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).
That brings us back to the Beez Kneez Honey House.
A honey house is a place to extract and bottle honey, and looks a lot like a commercial kitchen if you take out the stove and add a honey extractor, in our case, a pedal powered one, the Beez Kneez Honey BeeCycle. We keep bees in hives with frames- and extracting is the process of taking honey from these frames- by spinning!
We need a honey house to grow our honey production, and we also need a honey house to support Twin Cities Beekeepers. We’ve already got customers. Dr. Spivak’s University of MN Bee Lab has an outreach program developed in tandem with ours- The U of M Bee Squad. The Bee Squad offers beekeeper support through mentorship and classes, and hives for private homes through their Bee Supporters Program. And they need a place to extract! The growing number of urban beekeepers do too.
Help us with our headquarters, a hive of our own! Your Kickstarter donation will help us Revive the Hive by making the Honey House a reality for our community.
In return- we’ll give you honey, hives, bikes, classes, dinners, antenna, spoke cards, t-shirts, your name in lights! See rewards bar for details.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Risks and challenges
The Beez Kneez and & our outreach program Community Bees on Bikes have grown exponentially since we started doing this work.
We are growing, and growth is always a challenge. Taking on a capital campaign is a challenge. Learning all about construction is a challenge. Partnering with all sorts of organizations brings challenges too.
But we know bees, we know education, we know urban agriculture in Minneapolis.
We’re thrilled to see the enthusiasm we’ve generated across the metro area, and have formed a network of support that includes other business owners, videographers, writers, policy makers, artists, beekeepers, researchers, architects, teachers, farmers, chefs, community organizers, and builders among many others. This network has afforded us the support and confidence to be pursuing our long-term goal of a Honey House this year! Despite all our challenges, our network has helped to create this opportunity for us to grow.
We are so grateful so many people care about bees as much as we do! We are proud to be a part of this community, and look forward to creating this hive of research, entrepreneurship, and education for bees and humans alike. Please join us to Revive the Hive!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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