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Think Outside the Hive

A small startup founded by a third generation beekeeper whose mission is to create healthy sustainable bee populations in urban areas.

Photo of Leigh-Kathryn Bonner
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Honey bees pollinate the vast majority of the world’s plants and are responsible for over 80% of the food we eat. However, over the past 50 years, changing agricultural practices have crippled their world. Bees need a variety of food sources to survive, and the widespread cultivation of the same crops prevents them from reaching adequate nutrition. As a result, honey bees are disappearing at a dizzying rate, endangering the future of agriculture altogether. In 2012, U.S. beekeepers lost almost half of their hives in what is now being termed ‘Colony Collapse Disorder.’

Bee Downtown is fighting this important problem by creating and selling rooftop and clear storefront observatory hives in cities, where bees thrive due to the availability of diverse food sources. These hives serve as feeder populations to rural areas, as newborn queens split off and establish their colonies elsewhere. In return, our bees attract interested visitors to businesses, and serve as a progressive marketing tool for the increasingly conscientious consumer.

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Photo of Health Magazineus

Good post thanks for share article.

Photo of Nancy Andrews

This looks really promising. I have property in Pittsburgh, how can I learn more about your program?
Thanks, Nancy

Photo of Leigh-Kathryn Bonner

Thank you, Nancy! Please feel free to email me to learn more about the program!

Photo of Shannon Herline

I love your business and idea! I visited a winery in California a year ago, where they were doing a workshop on Bee Keeping. I had no idea there was actually a business centered around bringing bees to farms in order to pollinate their crops - due to the fact that bees are not naturally found in those areas.  Good luck!

Photo of Leigh-Kathryn Bonner

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you were able to learn about the bees while you were in California! I truly appreciate all of your kind words and support and thank you for being an advocate for the bees :)

Photo of Matthew Ridenour

Leigh-Kathryn Bonner CONGRATULATIONS on being featured as a Top Story for the challenge! Keep up the fantastic work with Bee Downtown!

Photo of Leigh-Kathryn Bonner

Thank you! This is so exciting!