Beehives do not require a large amount of space to thrive, it's more so the beekeeper who needs the space. As a general rule, 10 sqr ft per hive will suffice.
How many hives should I start with?
However many you want! In nature, honeybee colonies don’t settle in groups. A colony with abundant, clean forage in the nearby area will have no problem building up strength and surviving on its own. That being said, we recommend you start with at least two hives of similar body styles (educational vs non-educational). With two hives, the weaker of the two hives can be supported by the stronger hive via the beekeeper. This increases the success and survival rate of your hives.
How can I help my colonies succeed?
Like humans, a healthy hive can be achieved through access to healthy, clean, and diverse food and water sources. To provide clean food and water to your honeybees, consider dedicating some space to grow nectar and pollen rich flowers that do not have any pesticides sprayed on them and have blooms all season long. Wildflower mixes are a great and easy way to supply clean forage. If you have the space, grow a veggie garden! This will not only benefit you, but your bees as well. Further, provide water for your bees such as a bird bath with some rocks or sticks. Finally, encourage your neighbors to do the same!
Is planting flowers a requirement for renting hives?
Honeybees can travel up to 3 miles to find forage! A flower or vegetable garden is certainly not required to have hives, but the addition of a pollinator friendly garden is a fantastic way to support the health of your honeybees and local pollinators year-round. We do, however, require as part of a rental plan that no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides are used on your property. This will almost guarantee the death of your colony.
When will I receive honey from my beehive(s)?
The strength and health of the colonies are the first priority when maintaining a hive. After all, if your colonies are weak, they won’t survive the winter. Many people don’t realize that honey is the bees’ only food source during the winter. As a result, we do not harvest any honey during a colony’s first year. On an established colony, we usually harvest honey between April and June. While many beekeepers harvest in the fall, harvesting in the spring ensures the bees have enough honey stores to survive the winter.
How much honey does a hive produce and how much will I receive?
The amount of honey a hive produces in a year is directly related to the strength of the hive and depends largely on Mother Nature. Depending on these factors, a hive can produce anywhere between 10-40lbs of harvestable honey each year on average. However, if there is a bad year, or an extremely weak hive, there may be no honey to harvest in a given year.
Is it safe to have beehives so close to my house/business?
Contrary to popular belief, keeping bees is an extremely safe activity. Honeybees are naturally defensive and only sting as a last resort because they die in the process. We position your hive to avoid the bees flying across frequently used areas. If you’re relaxed around them they’ll leave you alone. Quite frankly unless you're standing near a bunch of flowers, you may not even realize you have bees on the property! So, don’t be afraid, go ahead and observe and enjoy their awe-inspiring work! Education and precaution are the best preventatives for being stung by a bee.
Why do you only sell two year contracts for hive rentals?
We offer two year minimum contracts to ensure that companies or individuals that purchase our services are dedicated to saving our pollinators. A big stressor for bees is having their home be moved too frequently. Colony health is sensitive to stressors and, as a result, moving the hives too frequently can be counterproductive to the cause.
Why should you purchase or adopt hives from Urban Bee LLC?
Urban Bee LLC is committed to growing healthy pollinator populations, as well as educating the public on our precious pollinators. We support organic, biodynamic methodologies that help breed superior honeybee colonies. Through our business, we are driven to educate the public, positively impact the environment, and provide an imperative resource for food and agriculture. Finally, as a Michigan business, we prefer in-state vendors whenever possible. So, working with us also means helping support your local economy!
Why are pollinators so important?
Bees are considered a keystone species to ecologists because their success or failure determines the success or failure of almost all other forms of life. Without the bees, any person or animal whose food, or food's food, is pollination plant dependent, would not survive. It's estimated that without our pollinators, the human race would only have 4 years of life left. So, next time you see a bee, bee thankful for their selfless work!