In 2019, beekeepers in the US have lost 37 percent of their honeybee colonies, a disconcerting phenomenon that’s part of a broader global decline in pollinator populations.
One way that people can help restore these populations is by practicing beekeeping. But as enticing as it may sound, beekeeping can be quite expensive and time-consuming to get into. This is where Buddha Bee Apiary comes in.
Founded by Justin Maness, the company brings the benefits of bees to people without them needing all the equipment and any knowledge of beekeeping. How do they do it? By installing a beehive in people’s backyards.
To host the hives, residents pay a fee to Buddha Bee Apiary. The company then installs the hive, visits regularly to inspect and care for the bees, and harvests the honey. After the honey is harvested, the host can get half for their own use.
There are also some other requirements that your backyard needs to fulfill before you can host a hive. Some of the biggest needs are enough space so the bees can thrive undisturbed as well as enough sun exposure which can keep away common pests.
If the yard is hive-approved by Buddha Bee Apiary, the company then makes a celebratory installation, telling the host to invite family and friends. Neighbors or friend groups can go in on the $150 monthly fee for a hive together, too.
Some of the hosts eventually want to take over the beekeeping duties, which the company can arrange. Others don’t but are interested to make the process part of their kids’ education, in which case, the beekeeper brings extra protective jackets to involve them in the inspection.
Currently, Buddha Bee Apiary has installed at least 55 beehives, and the plan is to continue to expand the model to enable more people not just to help the bee population, but also to create a more meaningful connection with these wonderful pollinators.