Host a Hive on Salt Spring Island

There is something very special about watching honey bees coming and going from hives in your own garden.  Keeping bees is hard work and particularly challenging on Salt Spring Island. Hosting hives can let you have that experience without having to worry about all the details.

How it works

For a monthly cost of $30 per hive you can have the enjoyment of professionally managed bees in your garden without any of the hard work.  A minimum of two hives is required.  Additional hives can be had for $20 per month each.

Helping others

When you host a hive on your property you are doing your part to help pollinate Salt Spring Island in a time of decreasing numbers of pollinators worldwide.  You might also be pleased to learn that 10% of the money you spend goes directly to helping others.  Specifically, Hives for Haiti, which is a small, practical aid program to teach women in Haiti how to build a better life for themselves and their families through beekeeping training and support.

Pollination

If you are interested in pollinating your orchard or garden, then Host a Hive might be a good fit for you.  Home gardens and orchards should be well pollinated with two or three hives but if you have a commercial crop or orchard and need a larger number of hives please contact me to discuss a pollination contract.

Not every location is suitable

About two thirds of Salt Spring Island is heavily forested with coniferous trees.  These areas do not have enough nectar and pollen sources to support honey bee hives even in small numbers.  Other things to consider is having enough sun exposure, and having access by road or driveway.  If you are interested in hosting a hive contact me directly and I would be happy to discuss your location.

 

  • Does hosting a hive mean that I own the honey and wax that they produce?

    Hosting hives does not entitle you to ownership of the hives or hive products.  Honey production is unpredictable on Salt Spring and is never in the quantities that off island beekeepers enjoy.  That makes authentic Salt Spring Island local honey very rare.  In years that surplus honey is available, it sells out quickly, but Host a Hive clients are offered a chance to buy honey prior to it being offered for sale to the general public.

  • Is it likely that I will get stung if I host a hive?

    The bees are very gentle and generally they mind their own business, but it is possible to get stung if you swat at the bees, stand directly in front of their entrance, or otherwise threaten them.  Bees die after stinging, so they don’t just randomly sting someone and, in fact, you have a higher chance of being stung by a wasp than a bee.  If you think you might have an allergy to bee stings, which is not the same as an allergy to wasp stings, you might want to ask your health care provider about having hives in your yard as well as getting a prescription for an Epipen.  It is best that you not be close to the hives during or shortly after inspections, unless you are wearing a bee suit.

  • Can anyone host a hive?

    Host a Hive is only available on Salt Spring Island.  Not every location is suitable for honey bees so a visit is required to find the best spot to place the hives.

    The location needs to accessible for a vehicle to service the hives.  They require at least a partly sunny location and shelter from the wind.

  • Do you have regularly scheduled visits?

    Beekeeping is very weather dependent, so the timing of the visits is unpredictable.  For that reason I would need access to the hives anytime during daylight hours.

  • Is it okay if I open up a hive lid and look inside?

    For your safety and for the well-being of the colony, nobody is allowed to open up or otherwise inspect the hives you are hosting, even if they are experienced beekeepers.

  • Can we be present when you inspect the hives?

    If you see me out working with your hosted hives, you can come and watch what I am doing as long as you have a bee veil and preferably a bee suit.

  • Does the host a hive agreement provide any liability insurance?

    Liability insurance is included.

  • Are there taxes on Host a Hive subscriptions?

    Host a Hive is considered a pollination contract and is therefore tax exempt.

  • Can I start my Host a Hive in the middle of winter?

    Honey Bees do not like to be moved and that is especially the case during the cold season so if you decide to host hives in the winter you will only be getting the bees delivered in the following April.

  • How do I pay for a Hosting subscription?

    If you are interested in hosting hives please contact me directly to discuss your particular situation.  Assuming your location is suitable we can arrange the whole thing.

  • Can I end my subscription at any time?

    Yes, you can end your subscription at any time and for any reason.