Urban beekeeping on two wheels: Bike-a-Bee

Bike·a·Bee from Jana Kinsman on Vimeo.

Start a beekeeping business in the city? Seems like a bit of a pipe dream, doesn’t it? After all, you need space for lots of beehives, and that means you need a big piece of land. Doesn’t it?

Not necessarily. You could place beehives at spots around a city: private and public gardens, urban farms, or even vacant lots. You could even build a community of greenspace owners that need the services of bees, and would be happy to host a hive or two. Of course, you’d have to travel from hive to hive to collect honey, but you could do that with a car – or a bike.

Bike-a-Bee is based on that latter concept: founder Jana Kinsman spent time at an urban apiary in Oregon that used the distributed model outlined above, but moved between hives in a truck. A dedicated cyclist, Jana decided she didn’t need to add a vehicle to her possessions to realize her dream of a honey-based community in the Windy City: she could just pedal between hive locations. She’s already proven she could do this in a Chicago winter – if you don’t believe her, check out the pictures.

The concept also mean that Jana can launch her initiative for a lot less money, so the Kickstarter project she’s created isn’t seeking a ton of start-up capital: a mere $7,000 (which she’s almost reached, with another seventeen days to go). Take a look at the video above, and if you find yourself inspired by Jana’s vision, consider kicking a few bucks; you could easily be the donor who pushes her over the mark.

Know of other interesting models for keeping bees in unlikely places? Share them with us in the comments.

via Chris Baskind at Google+ and Cyclelicious


Image credit: nicolas.boullosa at flickr under a Creative Commons license