Our friends the bees are in scarily rapid decline worldwide due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon caused by pesticides, parasites, loss of habitat, environmental stress, industrial beekeeping and malnutrition. If we don’t do something about the dying populations, our supermarkets are going to look pretty barren in the not-so-distant future.
That’s why an urban bee-keep startup is causing a ‘buzz’ in Montreal – and, since summer 2016, across most major Canadian and American cities – for promoting beekeeping on city rooftops and educating people about their importance in our ecosystem.
Alvéole is helping city dwellers set up sustainable hives in their own backyards to help reboot the honey bee. You can put them anywhere there’s space: gardens, rooftops, even balconies. Since 2013, the company has grown from two hives to put more than 50,000 people in touch with bees throughout North America in the past years, with each hive accommodating 10,000 to 80,000 bees. They now focus on installing and caring for beehives at businesses and schools, providing both an educational service and exceptional experience while helping people to fall in love with bees.
For founders Alex McLean, Declan Jardin and Etienne Lapierre, beekeeping and producing ethical honey is an emerging link between the natural world and the urban community: “It is our tool for making cities more liveable and more intelligent.” But it’s not just about helping the environment. Every autumn, they come round to extract organic honey. And you get to keep it. How sweet is that?
Watch this video to learn more about the daily life of the honey bee and Alvéole:
Alex McLean, Declan Jardin and Etienne Lapierre