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Creating a community hub for beekeepers and a space for our bicycle-powered honey production, delivery and education program.
Creating a community hub for beekeepers and a space for our bicycle-powered honey production, delivery and education program.
828 backers pledged $39,960 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$39,960

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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!

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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.

HISTORY

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 Host Sites.
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
McKinley CSA

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.

Photo by Frost on Flower
Photo by Frost on Flower

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!

McKinley Flower Team extracting honey by bike
McKinley Flower Team extracting honey by bike

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.

Your name in Lights! By Robin Cotton
Your name in Lights! By Robin Cotton

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!

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Personal email thank you from the Beez Kneez, including project updates and a silly outtake from our Kickstarter video.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    NEW! Free digital downloads of B-Minus's greatest hits!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Get your own Beez Kneez bicycle helmet antenna! You love bees, you love bikes, you love dressing like a bee on your bike. (We do too!) Join the Beez Kneez hive and make people smile as you pedal around your city.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A 1oz taster jar of Beez Kneez Honey and Special supporter edition Beez Kneez/Community Bees on Bikes bicycle spoke card with images of Minneapolis landmarks. Free bicycle delivery if you live in Mpls or St.Paul. $5 for shipping outside MN

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Beez Kneez Honey House Kickstarter poster by artist Elizabeth Olson. Choose from our intro logo or honey house animation. Signed by your worker bees, Kristy and Erin.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One pint jar of Beez Kneez raw and unprocessed wildflower honey. Free bicycle delivery if you live in Mpls or St.Paul. $5 for shipping outside MN

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    Reward no longer available 120 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Honey Futures! A pint of 2014 harvest is yours! This is not included in the $100 medley. Why the honey delay? As a small business, this Kickstarter campaign has been our capital campaign for the Beez Kneez Honey House. It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done, and we’re doing it for a lot of reasons, not least of which is to grow our honey production. We know you want honey, and we want to give it to you! You’re helping us grow bigger in order to do that. Thank you! Honey’s back!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    "Support you Local Beezness" or "Bees+Bikes=The Beez Kneez"
    Beez Kneez T-shirt of your choice. Two designs available. See website for images. Shipping included if in the US. Organic cotton "Baby Beez Kneez" onsies also available!

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    NEW! Celebrate the Beez (and this campaign) with a commemorative Beez Kneez Kickstarter T-shirt, with logo above by Elizabeth Olson

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    NEW! Join us for our Kickstarter exclusive Beez Kneez Honey House soft opening! Pastries, coffee, tea, and honey extraction on our Beez Kneez Honey Bee Cycles- pedal honey for your treats straight from the comb! Ticket good for you and a friend. Twin Cities Metro Only. (Exact date to be determined)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Medley!
    All aforementioned prize bicycle delivered to your door, if you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Shipping included in US.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NEW! Tiny Diner dinner for two, with ingredients from the Beez Kneez Honey House gardens and hives. Twin Cities Metro Only.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Special for businesses only!
    Beebackers Bronze-Recieve a bakers dozen of muffins made with Beez Kneez Honey delivered to your work, (by Bicycle if in Minneapolis or St. Paul) as well as a Beez Kneez Kickstarter support poster with your business logo included!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    "HONEY, YOUR HONEY IS HERE!" Already a honey customer of the Beez Kneez? Do you want to be? Do you wish you had a special "mailbox" for your very special delivery? We have the perfect thing for you! The Beez Kneez Honeybox! Built by local woodworker, Colin Weaver. Made with Wisconsin White Pine or Reclaimed MN barn wood and branded by your worker bees at Beez Kneez. (Fits up to two quart jars of honey and weatherproofed for outdoor use) Add $5 for shipping outside of MN

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    "Your name in lights!" Help us light the Honey House! Artist Robin Cotton is building a honey comb light box with your name illuminated inside a hexagonal cell. These boxes will be arranged to say Beez Kneez and will be hung inside the Beez Kneez Honey House. The bicycle-powered extractors will power the lights and make you, the supporter, shine for all to see!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "Bee Branded". Beez Kneez, iron-branded wooden panel of deep-sized or 9 5/8" bee box. If you are a beekeeper, add it to your own hive. If not, hang it on the wall!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    One hands-on, Basics of Beekeeping class with Community Bees on Bikes for you and 2 others. Twin Cities metro only.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Beez Kneez Beekeeping Birthday/Celebration Class. For kids or adults, includes bike ride to hive and honey ice-cream! Maximum 5 people. Twin Cities metro only.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Special For businesses only!
    Sweet Silver-Recieve a bakers dozen of muffins made with Beez Kneez Honey delivered to your work, (by Bicycle if in Minneapolis or St. Paul) as well as a Beez Kneez Kickstarter support poster with your business logo included! And, free mobile advertising on our bike trailers for a month!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "Beez Kneez Parent" Adopt a Beez Kneez hive. Personal dedication, your name and message painted on hive as well as monthly updates on status of your hive.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Special for Businesses Only!
    Go for the Gold-Recieve a bakers dozen of muffins made with Beez Kneez Honey delivered to your work, (by Bicycle if in Minneapolis or St. Paul) as well as a Beez Kneez Kickstarter support poster with your business logo included! And, free mobile advertising on our bike trailers for a month as well as a hive dedicated to your business for all of our Community Bees on Bikes class participants to see!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Free hands on beekeeping class with Community Bees on Bikes for you and 14 of your friends that includes dessert. Twin Cities metro only.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    "Beez Kneez Spin Class." Ask the expert, get some exercise and harvest honey, all at the same time! Join bee guru, Dr. Marla Spivak in the first ever Beez Kneez spin class as we harvest the 2013 crop by bicycle. Twin Cities metro only.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    For Beekeepers!

    Complete set of Beez Kneez branded equipment for two hives, and free 3 year membership to the Beez Kneez Honey House, for extraction, bottling, and resource share. (Membership for the upper Midwest only-- or whatever you deem the right amount of travel:)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    For Learners!
    Know an interested classroom or have a group interested in learning more about beekeeping? Follow us through a season with the bees: 5 classes with your students or friends, with curriculum tailored to your age group and subject. Includes a jar of honey for each student that they bottle and label at the end of the season. For classes 15-30 students. Twin Cities only.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    For Bikers!
    Get a bee bike of your own- black and yellow powder coat paint job, complete with Beez Kneez antenna for your helmet or handlebars.
    Additional shipping charges outside the Twin Cities.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    All other prizes (choose if you're a beekeeper, biker, or learner) culminating in catered private party at the Beez Kneez Honey House and one of our pedal powered honey extractors named in your honor.

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Funding period

- (42 days)