In recent years we’ve seen the rise of popularity of the Save the Bees movement. Educating us and changing our preconceived ideas of bees being a stinging insect and transforming this into an understanding of the great environmental benefits that bees bring.
For Vicky Brown and Doug Purdie of the Urban Beehive, they saw that Sydney lacked bees, beehives, and beekeepers. Vicky says: “Urban Beehive started to be able to bring pollinators back into the city. I realised when I came and settled in Sydney that there wasn’t really any beekeeping happening. There were no rooftop beehives or garden beehives in any of our established gardens in the city.”
Vicky attributes the rise in her business to a better understanding of bees and environmentalism that exists. “But now with the Save the Bees campaign around the world, with the threats that it brings, and with people becoming more aware of their food and how it’s produced and what they’re eating and where they’re buying it from, there’s been a whole new awareness in beekeeping” says Vicky.
The business has grown massively since its beginnings five years ago, with 100 beehives for residential and businesses, including David Jones, Sydney Centennial Parklands, The Royal Botanical Gardens and Bourke Street Bakery.
According to Vicky, there are several reasons people want beehives, including general interest, green credentials, and the ability to have their own locally produced honey source.
Bourke Street Bakery Owner David McGuiness says: “We installed the beehives because of the worldwide decline in bee numbers. Bees are an integral part of keeping our flora abundant by assisting with pollination. The hives also have the added benefit of producing honey which we have bottled and sell in our cafes.”
However, it’s not just about the hives. Vicky says that the best way to support the bees and the pollinators is to plant a garden. Without creating supportive environments for the bees, they will never be able to thrive in the inner city.
For The Urban Beehive, it’s all about education and helping the bees. “Really we just wanted to educate people. And able to have bees and be able to sell a local product” says Vicky.
Vicky hopes that the business will encourage people to support all bees, especially Native Bees by fostering beehives and putting up the plants and structures necessary to aid these creatures.
The Urban Beehive also offer several beekeeping courses during the warmer months, with applications for Spring courses recently opening. You can check them out here.
You can find out more about the Urban Beehive here.