A new way to put Human and Honeybee back together again.
Generations ago beekeeping was something a lot of people practiced. Chances are you knew an Aunt / Uncle / Grandparent who used to keep bees. Slowly over the years, for many reasons, commercial scale beekeeping grew and the bee homesteader started to become a thing of the past.
With the honeybee population facing serious challenges, lots of folks want to get on board and help this absolutely fascinating creature (who's respsonsible for 1/3 of our food supply). But when people asked us what they could do to help we never really had an answer...until now! When you become a Sponsor, you are not just supporting thousands of honeybees, you become part of a community that is committed to promote the health and well-being of our honeybee populations. Your support goes towards teaching others about the importance of honeybees, investigating techniques and research to better care for bees, participating in events and gatherings related to honeybees and food sustainability, plus so much more. And if that were not enough, you get sustainably sourced products from the apiary included in your sponsorship! You essentially become a sort of new age, part-time beekeeper without the need to actually have bees, what we like to call a honeybee hero.
The one million bee project is a revolutionary, one of a kind movement to try and partner humans and bees back together again. Through sponsor support and participation we want to prove that organic, cutting edge beekeeping can help both honeybee and human to support each other symbiotically and sustainably once more. Could people just start beekeeping again? Sure, but the truth is in today's world, it is not as feasible as it once was. You might not want to upset your neighbours, or you might be busy with family and work. Perhaps you like to travel weeks at a time? This lifestyle might not
be conducive to having bees at home.
The exciting part for our sponsors is now they can enjoy many of the aspects of experiencing the world of honeybees conveniently and at their own pace. At the same time you will be helping to foster our goal of raising and supporting 20 hives (which equals about 1 million bees) at our apiary in a healthy, organic and natural environment for all our sponsors to enjoy. In addition your sponsorship will help us to build on our work to improve upon current beekeeping methods and educate the masses on why the success of sustainable beekeeping is directly related to humanity's well being.
The first step in having a successful apiary is a good home. This requires an undisturbed environment with shelter from the elements and ideally also close to nectar and pollen sources during the non-winter months.
We'd like to think that our apiary is a virtual paradise for bees. Our 3 acre location provides shelter from the wind to the north and west. It's close to many natural meadows and forests from which to forage. In addition to this are a diverse set of farms that grow bee friendly crops such as sunflower, pumpkin, peppers, soybeans and more. We also have an extensive garden of perennial flowers, fruit trees, berries and vegetables on our property.
One of our focuses is to improve on and experiment with new beekeeping techniques. Tim Holmes, the resident beekeeper, happens to work in the field of software and technology, so it just stands to reason that our apiary be on the cutting edge of organic beekeeping.
"Thanks to this sponsorship program, we can invest in the hardware and software aspect of our little orange and black striped friends, which I believe is a key component that we as humans can bring to the table to help them thrive," says Tim. "We are using the most highly advanced hives, new organic treatments for the varroa mite, and I'll be working on an app that will track and monitor each hives viability."
To begin with, our apiary now exclusively uses the ApiMaye beehive, a massive improvement on the standard Langstroth box hive which has not changed much in the last 150 years. "We are not driving around in Model T's anymore, so why are we still using old outdated beehives?" says Shelley McQuade, the other half of Tim Holmes and the onemillionbee project.
"We believe that climate change is a major factor in colony losses. One of the ways these hives help the bees deal with that is they are insulated to protect them from excessive weather and mimic the R value of a real tree where bees often reside. This is something the standard 3/4 inch pine hives just cannot do. After all, we live in insulated homes, and bees also prefer a well insulated, dry environment." So far the bees LOVE these new hives and we think you'll LOVE joining us on this adventure.