Bike a Bee is an urban farming initiative started by one woman, me, Jana Kinsman.
I was away from my Chicago home, apprenticing at an apiary in Eugene, Oregon where the beekeeper Philip not only had a backyard full of beehives, but other satellite “bee yards” in backyards, at elementary schools, and at urban gardens all over the city. I would joke and tell Philip that I was going to go back home and do the same thing, but since I’m a big-time cyclist, I’d do it on my bicycle with a trailer.
That tiny idea got into my head, so in January of 2012 after much planning, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for bees and hive equipment to place at community gardens all over Chicago. The Kickstarter earned the project a lot of press and soon the idea was funded!
In the summer of 2012 I placed ten beehives at eight different community gardens and urban farms all over the city. With the help of apprentices and friends, I tended to the beehives by bicycle all summer long. Bike a Bee also visited schools and summer camps, teaching kids about the importance of pollinators.
Bike a Bee will continue providing hives to community gardens to serve as educational tools and public examples of the magic of pollinators. We will also never stop doing it all by bicycle! Currently our workshop is based out of The Plant and we are caring for 30+ hives at gardens and farms on the city's south side.