I started Bees Please Farms because I wanted to support honey bees. I conceived the idea of offering bee hive hosting to people in the city as a way to do this. I was thrilled when I looked online and found a company doing this successfully in Vancouver, and one in Seattle as well. When I started getting interested in bees I realized that there were a lot of other people on Vancouver Island who wanted to support them, but weren’t interested in actually becoming beekeepers.
People would ask me how to support native bees in their area, what to plant for bee gardens, and what they could do to help. This idea grew naturally and soon I was creating a brand new business in Victoria, British Columbia. At about the time I was fine-tuning the logistics, I got a call about Rent the Chicken and asking if I knew anything about it. I instantly Googled and fell in love with the idea. I knew that the two rental projects complemented each other perfectly.
Honey bee harvesting pollen from blooming flowers.
Rent the Chicken provides you with a way to try out chickens without the commitment. Buying or raising chickens takes quite a bit of planning and forethought. Then there is the matter of where to house them. Buy a kit? Build from scratch? What about predators? At Bees Please we take the guesswork out of getting chickens. A variety of chicken breeds will give customers a choice. You can choose either two or four chickens, and each hen lays from 4 to 7 eggs per week.
First you get your name on the list for Spring chickens by putting down a $50 deposit. Then in April we give you a call to schedule a delivery. When we come to your house we have everything you need to get started with chickens: a portable coop, 2 to 4 laying hens, feeder, waterer, all the feed you need, and an instruction book. There are bags of shavings available, as well as upgrading to Organic feed.
Organic eggs: Each backyard hen lays from 4 to 7 eggs per week.
The Bee hive hosting is a bit different from the chickens. We deliver all that you need, but then we do all of the work for you! Your rental fee also pays for the servicing of the bees, and renters get jars of honey from the hives while feeling good about helping pollinate local plants. Beekeeping is not easy, and bees face daily challenges from mites, wasps, beetles, diseases, pesticides and lack of quality foraging. At Bees Please we do our best to keep our bees safe, happy and healthy. However, bee mortality rates in BC are as high as 30% in some years. There is a chance your bees may die, through no fault of ours or yours.
All hives will have their bees replaced each Spring. Bee hive hosting is limited due to the fact that bee packages are expensive; the rental fee does not even cover the cost of a family of bees. We will be raising bees at Bees Please as well, but this takes time. Bee hives can be split no more than once a year. Also, and most importantly, quality of service is our top priority at Bees Please. We cannot fill all requests for bees simply based on the time each hive needs. For this reason it is best to put down your deposit as soon as you know you want bees, because the hives go quickly.
It’s so exciting to go into your backyard to get your own eggs!
I am thrilled to have such a vibrant community such as Victoria to share my business with. I have received incredible support and interest since launching my chicken and bee rental business. It gives me great joy to meet with future renters. It is like we already have something wonderful in common and I am just helping them make it happen.
At Bees Please we strive to bring people and nature just one step closer. In the environmental movement there is a saying that “if you don’t know about something, you don’t love it or have a need to protect it.” Whether it is honey bees and other pollinators, or knowing where your food comes from, we are here to make that connection just that much stronger.
Bee happy. Bee healthy. Bee loved.
By Kate Fraser
Bees Please Farms
Victoria, British Columbia
Feature Image: Kate and Mike Fraser with their two sons and the family hens. Photo: Feature Photography
Honey Bee Image: Photo courtesy BritishColumbia.com
Organic Eggs Image: Photo courtesy BritishColumbia.com
Bottom Image: Kate and Mike Fraser with their son and two family hens. Photo: Feature Photography