Frequently Asked Questions

Services

We install and maintain honeybee hives on your property. Our expert beekeepers monitor the health of your bees and perform a variety of tasks throughout the year to help them thrive. At each visit, we also capture a range of metrics and share the data with renowned research partners to help the scientific community better understand the plight of pollinators. Towards the end of the season, we extract the honey and jar it for you.

About once per month from early spring to late fall, depending on the region. If your bees are distressed and need extra support, supplemental visits are included. We coordinate each visit in advance and send a summary report afterward.

  • Not as much as you’d think! A beehive takes up as little as 2’ x 2’ x 3’.
  • The beekeeper needs a few feet around that to work the colony, and the bees’ flight path will need to be unrestricted.
  • Typically in April and May. Installations after June are accommodated on a case-by-case basis, depending on our inventory levels.
  • Deposits for new hives are accepted at any time for installation the following season.
  • We fully guarantee the health of our bees and queens. If a colony dies, we will replace it with a healthy one from our own stock at no additional cost.
  • Of course, we hope each beehive will thrive for years to come. The reality is that pollinators are dying at an unprecedented rate. Should your hive succumb to the fates of up to 40% of beehives in the US each year, and not survive due to disease, poor habitat, weather, or pests, your emotional and financial investment is not for naught.
  • While tending to your hive, our beekeepers act as field researchers by recording their observations in our proprietary tracking system. The data is aggregated, analyzed, and studied as part of larger studies in collaboration with our research partners. So, even if your colony does not survive, their existence and participation in our network of data points have helped the scientific community get closer to a solution.

Our Boston-based headquarters is staffed full time and available Monday through Friday during work hours by phone or email to answer any questions. When a colony requires extra attention, additional visits are made at no cost to you.

Yes! For corporate clients, we provide a range of event support packages. Contact us for details.

Green roofs earn credits toward a building’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Green roofs provide vegetation for water control, wildlife habitat, and better urban air quality. Honeybees can help maintain the green roofs that are becoming more common in big cities and thus contribute to a building’s LEED rating.

We service properties within a 90-minute drive of Boston
, Chicago, 
Denver, 
Houston
, Los Angeles, 
New York City, 
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, 
Portland, Salt Lake City
, San Francisco, 
Seattle, and 
Washington D.C.

If you're on the outskirts of one of these cities, give us a call to see if we service your town: 617-445-2322‬

We handle it! Beehive visits are scheduled at least 72 hours in advance via email.

Bees

We work with Apis mellifera ligustica, a docile breed of Italian honeybees.

Our food systems, economy, and the pollination of the planet rely heavily on honeybees. With populations on the decline and natural habitats dwindling, it is vital these species are maintained and protected by responsible beekeepers.

We work exclusively with Langstroth beehive equipment. It consists of hand-crafted all-natural pine supers that contain 10 wax frames per box. At the beginning of the season, an individual beehive stands at one box tall and will grow to 3 boxes by the height of the season.

No. We recommend reaching out to your local beekeeping association for assistance in the removal of honeybee, wasp, bumblebee, or hornet nests. We do offer swarm removals, see under “What happens if my bees swarm?”

Honeybee colonies start at 10,000 bees and will grow up to 50,000 at the height of the season. A beehive population consists of 90% female workers, 10% male drones, and 1 queen.

Honeybees remain alive in their hive during the winter. They survive off of honey stored from the warmer months, enter a metabolic state where they reserve their energy, and cuddle around the queen to keep warm.

Honey

Yes. Clients keep 100% of the honey produced by their beehives.

When your beehive produces excess honey, we remove the honey frames and take them back to our lab where we extract, bottle, and label it. Your harvest will be returned to you at a subsequent visit.

Honey levels fluctuate based on a number of factors: colony health, genetics, weather, stressors, etc. We harvest responsibly, only extracting the excess. We offer a minimum honey guarantee based on the maturity of the beehive. In year 1, clients will receive a minimum of 5lbs of honey per beehive for residential clients and 10lbs for commercial clients.

Supplemental honey is available from local apiaries that we service in certain regions. Please contact us for more details.

Sure! It’s sticky, but fun. Let us know if you don’t want us to take your honey frames back to our lab and we’ll leave them for you to harvest.

Yes! We offer 1.5oz, 4oz, 9oz and 16oz jars to our clients. Styles vary by size.

Yes. All of our labels are customized to you and include your name and the date of harvest. Our in-house creative team is available to work with clients of the corporate level to design co-branded labels.

No. The low water content in honey dehydrates bacteria, making so that it never spoils.

Yes, in fact, it’s better for you! The process of crystallization is only possible when honey is at its rawest form, containing the most beneficial enzymes and antioxidants. Honey that does not crystallize is pasteurized and has been heated and processed to remove impurities.

Safety

Yes. Honeybees are vegan pollinators that are non-aggressive by nature. In addition, we exclusively use Apis mellifera ligustica, the most docile species of honeybees.

We are. We can provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) easily, which shows full worker’s comp, auto, general liability, and a $5 million umbrella insurance policy.

When a colony swarms, it means that the population outgrew itself and thus superseded. This is actually a sign of a robust and healthy colony! Our beekeepers are trained to prevent swarming by ensuring the bees have enough space to thrive prior to this split. In the rare case that your beehive swarms, do not panic! They are at their most docile state. Call or email us and we’ll send someone to receive the swarm.

Honeybee allergies are very rare. If you are worried about a neighbor or co-worker who is allergic, the best thing to do is to inform them of the beehive location so they can keep a safe distance.

Yes, bees do sting. However, honeybees die after they sting and thus will only do so as a last-ditch effort to defend themselves or their colony.

Depending on where you’re located, predators such as bears can pose a threat to a honeybee colony. We recommend installing your beehive in an elevated or a fenced-in area.

Research

Our data points include population, honey levels, mite levels, queen status, temperament, treatment records, and overall health.

At every client visit, beekeepers record beehive stats in Bzzz, our proprietary hive tracking system.

The data is shared with leading research partners such as NASA, Google Earth, MIT, Harvard, and our sister non-profit The Urban Beekeeping Lab and Sanctuary.

Collectively, the scientific community uses our beehive data to understand trends, analyze what’s working and what isn’t, and create a barometer of the impact of climate change on pollinator health.

After every visit, our clients receive a follow-up report that illustrates and summarizes the data collected at that visit. At the end of the calendar year, our clients receive a season summary. More extensive Data Reports are available upon request.

Other

There are many factors to why bees are dying. Pesticides are certainly a key contributor. But the bottom line is we need more data, even in areas where there are pesticides in use. We encourage our clients to do their part by using environmentally friendly alternatives and leading by example.

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Don’t see your question? Give us a call at 617-445-2322

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