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Should You Become An Urban Beekeeper?

With the plight of the honeybee becoming more and more a part of the public discourse and the realization that the very survival of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat depends on pollination the trend of starting urban beehives has reached an all-time high. Many entrepreneurs have realized that beekeeping has become more about renting colonies out for pollination rather than the traditional revenue stream of producing products from honey and other bee related products.  One industrious entrepreneur has even started a business that actually installs and maintains hives for a wide variety of corporate clients in urban centers.

The company called Alveole will help you set up a colony in your urban setting. The company has begun and maintained colonies for many high end clients such as Royal Bank of Canada, Lush Cosmetics, Aldo Shoes, Cirque de Solei and many others. The company will help in the setting up of the colony in addition to helping maintain and care for the colony. They also assist in the harvesting of the honey when the time is right.

The honey is a great by- product of the arrangement to be sure but the motivation is quite different then just getting the tasty bits. The decline in honeybees over the past decade has been huge with colony collapse becoming a major issue in almost every country in the world. Many large corporations including General Mills, the makers of Honeynut Cheerios have recognized the impact that the declining bee populations have had and will continue to have, and have made great strides in helping to increase the bee populations in the U.S and abroad with different initiatives.

The possibilities for earning income and helping the environment by starting and maintaining bee colonies have never been higher. The old days of just earning income off of the bee related products has quickly transformed into opportunities to renting out hives to help pollinate certain areas or even specific industries. For example, the almond industry by necessity rents many thousands of bee colonies each year just to pollinate their almond trees and this extends to many other industries and municipalities who are also hiring bee keepers to help pollinate their own flowers and fruit trees. If you are looking for a way to create a sustainable income and also make a contribution to the environment then bee keeping may be just the thing for you.

The climate for bees has been literally devastating in the past few years with many beekeepers experiencing catastrophic losses in the amount of colonies they own. The good news is that while the honeybees seem to have found some balance, the native wild bees are still in jeopardy and every new colony introduced is a very good thing.  Make money AND help the environment…what could be better?

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant

Email: sam@torontoaccountant.ca

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