Have you heard the news? We are officially proud beekeepers! Phoebe and Ramona (our two queen bees) are settled into their hives and are being attended to by about seven thousand of their closest family members.
We here at The Road Less Traveled love bees. Not only is it an important sustainability project for our team, but through this process we have learned a lot about the current state of honeybees and their vital contributions to our lives.
We’ve learned that bees are dying at an alarming rate. Not to mention that hives are being weakened from pesticides and chemicals, Colony Collapse Disorder is spreading, and, let’s face it, if a bee is buzzing around you, you’re likely to run away from it or squish it.
All of that to say that bees are in trouble. And what many people don’t realize is that we humans are directly affected as well. Research has shown that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites that the average American takes.
Not only are we excited to support honey bees for all of the reasons listed above, but we also find them fascinating! It has been a great pleasure to watch the bees bring in pollen, build comb, feed their queen, and work together in the ultimate social colony.
We have two hives on the roof of our office. Each hive has a queen. Phoebe is the queen of the left hive, and Ramona the right. Currently Phoebe and Ramona are busy laying eggs in the newly built comb. They have capacity to lay up to 1,500 eggs per day! Resulting in each hive having up to 70,000 bees during the height of the summer.
Are you hooked yet? Here in Chicago, urban bee keeping is growing. We’re lucky to have excellent resources like the Chicago Honey Co-Op where we took a bee keeping class, and The Hive, where we acquired much of our equipment and knowledge.
Clearly, we couldn’t be more smitten with our bees. So much so, that we’ve given them their own RLT hashtag. Follow #RLTbees to keep up with Phoebe and Ramona throughout the summer.