Support Farmers, Get Honey

We're in. Are you?

We’re in. Are you?

Seattle’s Urban Bee Company is offering an end-of-year special that will be a gift to grassroots farmers.

The backstory: Since 2010, Urban Bee Company has been Certified Naturally GrownThe alternative to organic, CNG certifies and promotes clean, sustainable food production without the high cost or industrial concessions of the National Organic Program.

CNG certifies 750 farms and apiaries in 47 states, including 21 in our own state of Washington. Almost all of them are small, community-driven endeavors like Urban Bee Company. Nationwide, 46% of CNG farms with produce certification sell their produce direct to customers via CSA’s. These are the true family farms many Americans envision when they think “farm.” CNG helps support and preserve these farms through certification and community building: connecting farmers with the people who want to support them, and vice versa.

And just last month, CNG started accepting non-farmers as members, which means you can join the effort.

Our offer: join Certified Naturally Grown at $30 or above before December 31, and get a 1 lb. jar of honey (value $15) for free, while supplies last! You’ll support an awesome organization and enjoy something sweet and local too. For this deal, we’ll bike-deliver (also for free!) anywhere in the city limits of Seattle. Out-of-city folks: we will send a jar of honey to you for the cost of shipping.

Join Certified Naturally Grown now and bring the clean-food movement back to its roots.

To accept, do two things:
a) go to CNG’s website and sign up

b) place your honey request to drone@urbanbee.com (We’ll cross reference with CNG before delivering).

Notes:

  • In-Seattle customers: For bicycle delivery, you need to reside in the City of Seattle proper and your address must permit an accessible and secure drop-off point (no PO Boxes or locked buildings), for deliveries Monday — Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm.
  • Out-of-Seattle customers: you should know that we customarily do not ship honey, anytime, anywhere. So this is a big exception and chance for you to enjoy some Seattle bounty! (Remember, the honey is free but you’ll cover the cost of shipping.)
  • Offer is good until supplies run out. We have set aside 50 lbs for this promotion, which is a decent amount but also can go quickly. Will you be one of the lucky 50? Act now!
  • Delivery: within a week from your order. Thank you!

Airport slates 50 acres to Flight Path project

airport beeksTwo years ago, we approached Sea-Tac airport — the nation’s 15th busiest airport — about putting some beehives on their property. And doing an art exhibit inside the terminal. And turning some of the scrub land currently ridden with invasive weeds into wildflowers. And installing nesting habitat for native pollinators.

Why? If we raise local, disease-resistant and pesticide-free bees and distribute them to the local beekeepers, that will reduce our regional dependence on genetically-compromised bees from elsewhere. If we use airport property, we have much better control over the bees’ breeding ground, and can raise better bees.

If we inspire and educate people about pollinators and the need for locally-grown food, that will help the local food system grow. If we rehabilitate land right here in the city, that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and support our local economies. If we build habitat to support native pollinators, that will help them thrive and create ecological diversity.

The airport said: “yes!”

Flight Path - rectangle v3It took all of the two years to get to this point, and a staggering amount of work by us, our colleagues at The Common Acre (the non-profit that eventually took over sponsorship of the program) and the Port of Seattle (which runs Sea-Tac). We called the project “Flight Path: The Art+Science of Bees.” And this is just the bee-ginning.

Already we’ve installed 16 honey bee hives on the property and are beginning our queen-rearing operation. The project launch was covered by dozens of news outlets (including this one), including some comprehensive, educational articles in Crosscut Media and Yes! Magazine. A few weeks ago, in the wake of intensive publicity around our launch, the St. Louis airport announced–hey!–they’re going to put bees on their land too. And then the Port told the Flight Path team they want to dedicate 50 acres to pollinator habitat; we’re working with them to begin mulching and planting to start this fall, and install habitats for bumblebees, mason bees, and other native bees in the spring.

Site of the Flight Path art exhibit (for January 2014)

Site of the Flight Path art exhibit (for January 2014)

The Common Acre and airport curators identified an exhibit site and are gathering some of the region’s best artists, including Mandy Greer, David Lasky, Celeste Cooning, and many more.

Our goal is to make this project a model for urban agriculture everywhere: from corporate campuses to colleges and universities to cities in decay, even to vertically-farmed properties. As long as people are living in cities (and the trend only points to more and more urbanization), we need to find ways to produce food in those cities. And food needs pollinators.

“Flight Path” means not just the trajectory of planes or bees — it also means the trajectory of humans. It’s up to us to choose where we go.

Bee Talk, Marion Nestle, Bee Class, Ron Finley, yeah!

We know: we keep using exclamation points on our posts, but come on, look at all the bounty! Hope to see you at one of these events in the next two weeks!

xome architectsFirst, Friday June 14: Bob from Urban Bee will be presenting at Om Culture in Wallingford as part of the Permaculture Now series SUPPER! (Seattle Urban Permculture Practice, Education, and Resources). Bring food for Potluck at 6:30; talk starts at 7. Subjects covered: how bees went from gods to slaves; new practices in urban beekeeping; biomimicry; how a bee would ride the Tour de France; and the spirit of the hive. Gratuitous quotes from Sylvia Plath to Maurice Maeterlink to Wendell Berry. This is a really fun series and we hope you can make it!

Marion-Nestle-Books-940x626THEN, Tuesday June 18, we are proud to support the appearance of Marion Nestle, writer of the renowned FOOD POLITICS blog and numerous books on the subject. Dr. Nestle will be speaking at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church as part of their THE WELL series.  If you don’t know:

Dr. Nestle has received many awards and honors including the 2011 National Public Health Hero award from the University of California Berkeley School Of Public Health.

Dr. Nestle has written many articles and blogs regularly. Two of her books that will be of particular interest for this presentation are Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health and Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics.

BFFOn Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm we are offering Field Sessions at the Beacon Food Forest apiary. The classes include a guided tour of the food forest (itself an amazement), plus an introduction to bees and urban beekeeping, a conversation about local food systems and more. Veils and gloves provided. Cost is $25. There are about five spots left, so get in touch now to make a reservation. Details here!

Lastly, Wednesday, June 26th, also at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church. Again we are happy to support their series THE WELL and the presentation of Ron Finley, urban gardener from Los Angeles. Listen to Ron’s TED talk here and come out to see him in person in a couple weeks.

Think Global, Act ÜbrLocal

ubrlocal-300x300We are happy to announce that Urban Bee Company is the first producer for the new venture ÜbrLocal! Besides our honey, ÜbrLocal also carries a variety of other good stuff: vegetable starts, organic jam, and low-glycemic granola, to name a few.

Founded by students from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the start-up intends to create a new distribution system for local food. Make that “ÜbrLocal” food — that’s food from within ten miles of the buyer. ÜbrLocal sources from producers near their markets, offers online ordering, and regular pick-up at the venues.

Our honey, salve, and seed are available for purchase online, and pickup in Pioneer Square and Wallingford. Details are here.

ÜbrLocal is looking for more locations for their pretty neat line-up of local goods, so if you want them (and that means us too!) in your neighborhood, drop them a line!

Good press for the new kids on the block:

And an interview with Urban Bee Company: “Beehives Are the New Water Cooler!

New Bee Movie at SIFF

We are proud to support the presentation of the new documentary MORE THAN HONEY at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival.

Featuring breathtaking cinemetography, MORE THAN HONEY updates our understanding of Colony Collapse Disorder — the syndrome destroying the commercial honeybee business, and the global food system along with it. Academy Award-nominated director Marcus Imhoof also traces the story of his grandfather, a sideline beekeeper of 150 colonies.

The movie screens May 23 at 8:30 pm, and June 4 at 4:30 pm. Details here.

If you’re on our mailing list, watch your email for a special ticket offer!  (If not, sign up now to join the mailing list.)

More than Honey – Markus Imhoof (Official Trailer) from CIBER Science on Vimeo.

Wallingford Art Walk

beeflyerThe Wallingford Art Walk (tonight, May 8!) features the work of Mikael Béland of the eponymous Béland Photo Media. Mikael has generously offered to donate proceeds from the sale of work to Urban Bee Company’s community programs: we’ll use it to fund our community garden hives at Yesler Terrace, Beacon Food Forest, and Alleycat Acres, and also for our partnership to support indigenous beekeepers in Nicaragua. The photos are stunning too. Check out some of Mikael’s work at his site, go to the art walk and buy a bunch of art. Everyone wins! Thanks to Mikael Béland for this generous offer.