THANKS for checking out our "bee-cause" fundraiser!
My name is Marty Hanks and I am the owner of Just Bee Apiary in Chapel Hill, NC. Five years ago I hardly even knew what a "Bee" Farmer was nor did I ever imagine the wonderful journey I would start by entering the world of the honeybee.
I'd like to say I found bees, but in reality THEY found me! It's a life altering experience to open up a colony with 60,000 honeybees inside. Other than observing childbirth, there isn't much to compare to the feeling of reaching into a hive barehanded and interacting with these amazing creatures.
What began as a hobby quickly grew into a passion and from there a unique business opportunity. Growing up on a farm and later doing landscaping and gardening kept me connected to our natural world. Having respect for our environment and all of its creatures has given me the insight to see an angle of the human experience that’s gone unnoticed....until now!
What we think we know about where we live (home) is an incomplete story! Through our 5 senses we interpret the world. We can see, touch, smell and hear everything around us and that is how we currently understand what home is, but collectively what home TASTES like has eluded us until now. I paired the honeybee's foraging area of 3-5 miles with the knowledge that they can gather nectar and pollen from hundreds of natural flora sources that are unique to a specific community and "The Hometown Honey Taste Off" was born! We will place hives in five communities and gather and keep separate the honey from each area. Next summer after the harvest we will hold a Hometown Honey Taste Off in each of the five communities to see which flavor is the most popular. Our "micro-local" honey will be a liquid medium to showcase how unique honey can be and provide an opportunity to raise awareness about issues facing honeybee populations and how that directly threatens our food supply.
So I ask YOU...What does your hometown TASTE like? If you cannot answer that question then that's why you need to help fund this campaign!
Thanks for considering my project!!
Head Bee Nerd
Just Bee Honey
"Created by Artisans....Bottled by Humans"
What We Need & What You Get
We are only seeking $9,700 for this "bee-cause" project! BUT if we go over our goal we will add other sites (hometownes) or hives to this project.
We are asking you to help with the start up costs to purchase ALL the hive equipment, components and stands for 20 NEW colonies. We'd like more, but this is a great start! We are also going to locally source 20 (nucs) sets of bees from like-minded beekeepers (chemical-free) to get these colonies off to a great start. Beekeeping is a very expensive endeavor. It costs us $350 for each colony! That's for the nuc of bees and equipment. We need 4 colonies at each of the 5 locations (hometowns). So we are starting out seeking enough funds to get 20 total colonies up and going this summer so they will be ready for the 2014 nectar flow!! The hives and bees makes up $6,500 of our total request
Bee education, public outreach events, sampling and brochures cost money. We will be using our time at area markets, our connections with local area restaurants, coffee shops and distilleries and my work at the conservancy to get out the word on bees! We are asking for $1,000 to go toward pamphlets, paper coloring bee-books, business cards, promotion material, demo and sample products, equipment, labels, advertising and fliers which all promote this venture and bee education.
Just Bee Apiary is a ONE man show! Like many start-ups and small farmers I have another full time job, so every hour of my time toward this cause is very valuable. I am asking for a large extractor to speed things up and free up more of my time to work and care for my girls (bees) and do bee education! An electric extractor costs us $1,000.(some cost over $8,000 so this is not a splurge). To further assist this one-man show and to really make this feasible time wise I am asking for a mechanical "uncapping" machine. Now this is the splurge of the project and will be the first to get cut if we do not make our goal, but it is SO worth it. Even at $1,200 for this mechanical uncapper it will pay for itself for this project and in the future by freeing up hours of my time during the honey harvest! It takes 8 seconds to do what currently takes me 2 minutes (for each frame) in uncapping the honeycomb cells. More importantly to me as a natural beekeeper is the fact that it DOES NOT destroy all the hard work the bees did in building the comb like traditional uncapping methods. This device actually helps the honeybees to work less since I can put the frames with drawn comb back in the hives for bees to use again! That in itself is worth it. These two extracting components combine for the remaining $2,200 we are seeking for the project.
What's in it for YOU?
Other than knowing you are giving your hard earned money to a great cause and helping me and my family as start up bee farmers…you are helping to spread the word about these vital creatures that are so intertwined and connected to our lives.
One in three bites of food YOU ate today…that you eat every day…are available directly because these girls worked hard to pollinate that food. They also pollinate over 60% of the seed stock that goes to growing our food. They pollinate our cotton crops; which in turn increase crop yield and seeds, which leads to lower cost for textile raw materials. Their pollination of clover and alfalfa feedstock means the meat you buy is cheaper…so in the end YOU are getting SO much more everyday than the gifts I am offering!! There is an option to not choose a gift...please consider that in your choices...THANKS!
But just to sweeten the deal we are also offering the following items to say how much WE really appreciate YOUR investment in us, the bee-cause, our little farm and in this project!
lifelong "viral" mortality on our Just Bee FB page and future website "Donors" page that launched this movement!
a signed 3/4 pound bottle of our "hometown" flavored honey. At the market it goes for $13...at a recent fundraiser our last bottle of Saxapahaw honey was auctioned off for $30.
6- 25% off discount certificates toward future honey purchases *(this means you can use these over a course of a year with 2 month breaks in between on individual bottle purchases).
a multi-packet of organic pollinator seeds so YOU can spread the bee love around your home.
A custom-made "Bee-Cause" T-Shirt designed by me! (A bee-awareness shirt meant to educate the public about the importance of honeybees!) YOUR picture posted wearing this shirt.
a complete 2014 Limited Edition Box Set of Hometown Taste Off Honey which includes 5 bottles of honey, one from each participating community (all 5 signed and dated by myself).
a small plaque that goes on a hive stand below one of the hives locations with YOUR name on it (your choice from 1 of the 5 cities). It stays with the project site and/or this hive stand!
Plus: 2 private hours at our home apiary with the head bee nerd for you and a friend (KIDS welcome), getting full access to the honery (under construction) and the bees. You and 1 friend get full access and can work/play with the bees and I. Photos of your outing posted if you like! Plus bee-cause shirts for BOTH of you!
HONERY Founders Club Donor gets: You get all of the special recognition and thank yous. Special recognition on our Just Bee FB and our future website page as a founder. 25% off ALL honey purchases for a year! A bee-cause t-shirt and the limited edition hometown honey 5 bottle box set (signed). Plus Your name on a plaque at the 1st ever Honery for this AWESOME donation to our cause!
I started Just Bee Apiary to get out the bee story! Honeybees are struggling to survive each year and are on an unsustainable decline. In 2012 over 45% of all honeybee colonies died in the United States! That is a HUGE problem: not only for our food security and the cotton industry (causing the price of raw materials go up) but most importantly for HONEYBEES themselves. Honeybees are the "face" of the pollinator world. They are the ones we first think of, the ones who get some press, but there are thousands of global pollinators dealing with the same issues! I'm trying to use our unique business model (hometown honey) to get out the honeybee story and educate our global neighbors by giving them something local they can identify with…something they can fight to preserve!! We are NOT trademarking or trying to patent this idea or concept...we want this idea...this movement...to grow and spread. Here is YOUR chance to help start this movement and allow it to spread around the world.
I joined the famous Carrboro Farmers Market to sell our one of a kind "Hometown" honey flavors and get out the bee story. I'm the exclusive beekeeper for the Triangle Land Conservancy. I was the first beekeeper to place hives on business rooftops in our area. I am a founding member of the 1st chemical-free beekeeping group in NC. I'm also the creator of "The Orange County Honey Project" AND I have begun building the first ever "Honery"! Think of a winery or brewery...just sweeter!
At Just Bee Apiary we take a LITERAL approach to the "buy local" movement. Each community we live in has a distinct flora that is special to that geographical area. We place our hives at iconic locations within that community that are unique or special to us. Our honeybees forage for several miles gathering nectar and pollen (Mother Nature's Fingerprint) then bring it back to those hives and convert them into honey, a liquid time capsule of each year's unique flavor. We harvest our honey and create a rare chance for you to know...what HOME tastes like.
Other ways to help us reach our goal!
There are many different ways you can help us during this fundraising campaign and beyond. First donate, but if things are tough like they are for so many then PLEASE share our story with your friends and family. This is so much more important to us than you might think. The work i'm doing can only be viable IF people see it. YOU sharing this site's link once or twice over the 30-day period would mean the world to me!! PLEASE consider sharing our story via, twitter, FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Bee-Apiary/325542800863610 and emails. PLEASE "like" our FB page so you can follow along as we do this project!
THANKS so much for your help, your support, your donations and for your role in getting out the bee story!
A special nod to our Hometown Honey co-conspirators - THANKS for letting us place hives at your locations or promoting our bee farm!!
Carrboro farmers market: http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/justbeenc.shtml
Neal's Deli: http://www.nealsdeli.com/
Saxapahaw General Store: http://www.saxgenstore.com/
Triangle Land Conservancy: http://www.triangleland.org/
TOPO Distillery: http://topodistillery.com/
Tyler's Restaurant: http://www.tylerstaproom.com/locations/carrboro/
Open Eye Café: http://openeyecafe.com/
The Inn at Bingham: http://www.chapel-hill-inn.com/
Marty Hanks - Just Bee Apiary