Wait, what? Rent a hive full of bees? How does that work?
Well, that depends on you:
• Maybe you have a vegetable garden and want to ensure that your cellar is full of your own produce.
• Maybe you’re a chef and want to use your own honey in your restaurant.
• Maybe you just want to do something to “help the bees”, but don’t know where to begin.
We look after all of the work, so you can enjoy the benefits. There’s no training required, no equipment to buy, no bees to buy and you don’t wind up with your hair full of honey after an extraction session. 😉
You can just sit back and reap all the benefits of having ready and willing pollinators in your yard, whether that’s for your garden or just just want to do your part to help Ontario’s dwindling bee population.
In 2009, a backyard gardener contacted us.
He lived just on the northern edge of Kingston and wanted to see about a hive in his yard because he’d hand-pollinated his entire, gigantic, garden the previous year. We set him up with a hive and, needless to say, that hasn’t happened since.
We look after everything: the bees, equipment, inspections, harvest & bottling. You don’t have to do anything unless you want to. If you want to help with any of the work, or just observe, you’re more than welcome. If you’d like to decorate the hive, that’s cool too. It’s probably better to do it before the bees move in, though. 😉
There are a couple of caveats: not all properties are suitable locations for a hive. We must be convinced that there’s enough plant life around your property for the bees to survive. If we’re not comfortable with the amount or variety of forage around your property, we simply won’t place a hive there. Period. Sorry, but our primary focus is on the health of our bees. There has to be enough direct sunlight reaching the hive as well. and there are also provincial laws that govern hive locations (property line setbacks, primarily) that must be adhered to. There should be year-round access available as well, but this isn’t a deal-breaker. We reserve the right to reject any location for any reason.
However, we’re definitely open to creative locations. Maybe you’re in downtown Kingston and have a rooftop available. Maybe you’re in Bayridge and don’t have a big enough lot to satisfy the provincial location requirements, but all of your surrounding neighbours are on board. Both of these situations can be made to work.
If you’ve looked into keeping bees, you know that startup costs can be expensive:
- $200 for bees
- $200 for the hive itself
- $150+ for gear & tools (bee suit, veil, gloves & hive tool)
Startup costs for a single hive is over $500!
Plus, you have
- $200+ for a beginning beekeeper course
- $500+ for a honey extractor
- Jars, winter preparation, emergency feed, replacement queens, etc
Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It is, but it doesn’t have to be. Really. The cost depends solely upon the number of hives:
Both packages include:
- The bees
- All hive equipment
- All maintenance
- Regular inspections
- Provincial registration*
- Harvest, extraction and bottling of honey in 500mL jars
* Registering with the province is just so that the Provincial Apiarist knows where the hives are and so that information and notifications of various types can be sent to the right people. It doesn’t mean surprise visits from a bureaucrat in a bee suit.
Why wait? After launching this program last year, we were committed for half the hives that we planned to rent out in under a week!
If you’re curious, fill out this form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can work out. There’s no obligation.