BACKYARD POLLINATORS

URBAN BEE KEEPERS

 

VIEW OUR GALLERY

 

The honey from Ballard Bees doesn’t come from hives set in remote fields or orchards but in urban backyards right in the middle of downtown Seattle.  Elliot’s mother sees her backyard hive as an opportunity to both educate her children and contribute in her own way to the security of her local food system.

[This image was made possible with generous funding from Google.]

Elliott and Duncan’s Backyard
Seattle, WA
5 MAY 2011

BACKYARD POLLINATORS

Each year the Ballard Bee Company gathers over four thousand pounds of locally produced honey from a hundred hives placed on rooftops and in backyards (like Ellitot’s) throughout the Seattle area.

OTHER RELATED TERMS

EATING IN SEASON
Wild edibles grow everywhere. You need to be aware of what’s around you. When you spend time outside, see how things change throughout the year.
 
APICULTURE
Apiculture is the process of raising bees to make honey and serve as pollinators for food crops.
 
COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER
A disease which causes bees to disappear from their hives.  While it is still unknown whether CCD is caused by a fungus, parasitic mite, or changes in their food supply, it has affected a third of all bees in the United States. 
 
RAW HONEY
Honey that is unpasteurized and unprocessed.
 
FOOD SECURITY
“Having consistent year round access to safe, local, affordable and culturally appropriate food that is grown, raised, produced and moved about in manners that are responsible to the environment while reflecting a consumption of natural resources that is equitable with a view to our offspring seven generations from now.” – Erika Allen
 
URBAN APIARY
Beekeeping in an urban environment.
 

ADDITIONAL TEXT TAKEN FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH

“I see a honey bee
The bees live in a hive
I think there are drones
in honeycombs
I hear a bee buzzing”
by ELLIOTT GILLESPIE

I ASK ELLIOTT’S MOTHER WHY SHE PUT HIVES IN THE BACKYARD OF HER SEATTLE HOME AND SHE SAYS, “IT’S SIMPLE. ELLIOTT REALLY WANTED THEM. When he was five years old, Elliott spent the summer in his backyard collecting bees in glass jars. He would observe them, compare them, let them go, then run to tell his parents what he’d discovered. He really wanted to be a “bee farmer.” His parents thought it was just a passing fancy. It wasn’t. They decided to contact the Ballard Bee Company and paid $85 to have two hives placed in their yard and maintained from March to September (they also get a share of whatever honey the bees produce).

ABOUT CORKY LUSTER (FOUNDER OF BALLARD BEES)

Corky Luster had some experience with beekeeping back when he was in college, and attributes his love for beekeeping to these humble beginnings. Now, with hives all over Seattle, the Ballard Bee Company, who he partners with Karen Percelle, is a thriving business bringing people all over the area the benefits of local beekeeping. Corky owns a remodeling company, teaches classes at Seattle Tilth and is involved in the Puget Sound Bee Keepers Association.

ADDITIONAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST

Ballard Bee Company

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?

Pesticide Action Network: Pesticide Pollinator Decline

NRDC: Vanishing Bees

 

 

 

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