One of the most popular articles in the last issue of This was on urban chicken farming. One of the British companies mentioned in that piece, Omlet, which makes a stylish backyard chicken coop called Eglu, is expanding its urban-agro-empire again. This time, they’re selling Beehaus, a colourful backyard apiary for starting your own honeybee colony.
They say—they would, wouldn’t they, since admittedly they want you to buy one?—that the Beehaus is perfect for backyard and rooftop hobbyists, who would like to do their bit to stave off the scary Colony Collapse Disorder in their area. Honeybee populations are crashing everywhere, putting plant populations at risk too, since those plants rely on the busy bees to pollinate.
Bees are a bit tricker than chickens, however, with the risk of their whole rampaging-swarm-of-stinging-death problem. But the £495 Beehaus starter kit comes with the hive, an anti-sting bee suit, heavy-duty rubber gloves, and liquid smoke to keep the bees mellowed out while you steal the sweet, sweet product of their toil. For those brave souls who want to take their urban agriculture to the next level, it’s nice that there are easy ways of getting into local environmental stewardship with one layout of cash and lifetime of free honey.