The GBA offers an Adopt a Hive program to allow members of the community to get hands-on experience with beekeeping. We find many people have good reasons for choosing this alternative rather than buying equipment and bees as the first step in their beekeeping journey:
- People living in apartments or condos often have no place to keep their own beehive.
- Some cities have ordinances prohibiting beehives within the city limits.
- It allows you a “try before you buy” option, so that you know whether you like the hobby before buying your own equipment and bees.
- You gain first hand experience with all the things that happen to bees and their hives, so that you’ll have a much easier time if you decide to buy your own bees and equipment.
Members of the Adopt a Hive team volunteer to work with the bees in our GBA apiary typically one or two Saturdays per month. We usually have 20-30 hives, so there is plenty of opportunity to practice things you learn in the program. The GBA provides all the beekeeping equipment and protective suit/gloves/veil needed to work with the bees. You’ll be working with experienced beekeepers, so that you learn beekeeping skills quickly. As your skills improve, you’ll have the opportunity to teach what you’ve learned to other newer members of the team. You can stay in this program as long as you like.
The Adopt a Hive members work with the bees throughout the season. The GBA uses the work performed in the program to build nuc hives that we offer for sale. The proceeds are used to buy equipment, supplies, protective gear, offer education materials to the community, etc. In July, they harvest honey from the hives and bottle it. The members of the team split up the jars, and take the honey home as a small token of appreciation for all their work.
This program is growing in popularity, so there may be a delay before a slot on the team opens up.