Seattle has once again proven its support for bee life and preservation after its oldest church, The Sanctuary Seattle, became home to thousands of urban honeybees.
According to media reports, around 20,000 Carniolan honeybees were flown to the city for the project. The honeybees were welcomed in the church rehabilitated by Daniels Real Estate where they will work to produce honey that will be harvested and used in mouth-watering recipes and beverages.
Gavin Stephenson, the Sanctuary Seattle’s executive chef, has been tasked to take care of harvesting the honey and plans on working to make bee sanctuary grow from one beehive to as many as 20 housed in four colorful bee homes designed by ZGF Architects.
The State of Bee Population in Seattle
Over the years, Washington has been at the core of reported bee losses studied by scientists. At one point, it was even mentioned that 10 of the state’s most important crops and about $3 billion crop revenue rely on the buzzers’ ability to pollinate. Add that to the $4 million worth of honey produced on a yearly basis and you’ll surely get the gist of why Seattle is working hard to help in alleviating losses in bee population.
While progress has been made, there is still much to be done as Bee Informed Partnership, a non-profit group collaborating to establish better bee management in the United States, revealed that managed honey bee colonies had about 40.1 percent losses in the previous year alone. This is based on verified survey responses from almost 4,800 beekeepers across the country that collectively manage 175,923 bee colonies as of October 2017.
Seattle’s Quest To Help Bee Population
Fortunately, people and the government of Seattle are taking initiative to help alleviate the problem of bee decline.
In 2014, the city’s Council filed a motion to ban harmful chemicals used in pesticides that have been known to harm the pollinators. Citing its effects on honeybees’ ability to function as nature intended, the class of pesticides has been prohibited in all lands owned and operated by the Seattle government.
A year later, Seattle was certified as a Bee City USA community. At the time, Washington’s biggest city became the 8th to be named as such in the United States, thanks to the initiative of Urban Bee Company owner Bob Redmond.
Redmond also took part in the “Flight Path” project as the executive director of Common Acre, an organization dedicated to saving bees. This project became subject of numerous headlines after it brought the pollinators to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Becoming A Beekeeper in Seattle
Technology and innovation have paved the way for urban beekeeping to be a lot less daunting. For residents of Seattle, it can already be very easy considering that there are many companies and organization that can help build sustainable beehives. Still, beekeeping requires knowledge and understanding of what bees are, what they are here for, and how they can survive through the ever-changing tides.
With that said, below are 6 important things you should keep in mind if you wish to become a beekeeper in Seattle:
- Beekeeping requires minimal space, but you have to be creative in incorporating a sustainable habitat for the pollinators to your urban home.
- It is best to have two hives at most when you are only a beginner in beekeeping.
- Spend at least 30 minutes observing your bees to learn more about them and visit the beehives every week, for a start.
- Beekeeping typically begins in March, but the exact time to start properly is determined when dandelions and crocuses begin to bloom, and the air temperature is about 55 degrees in Spring.
- Bees need to be fed sugar water during Winter to help them survive.
- Beekeeping requires research.