Extra, Extra!

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Hey, look at that! Bee Public landed in print this week. Here’s a sampling of the spread about the local beekeeping scene. Neat!

Hoosier honeybees essential for future of food, NUVO Newsweekly

Bees and farms are like peas in a pod - - or at least they should be. That’s the mission of Bee Public, an organization founded and organized by Kate Franzman, who understands the important role that bees play when it comes to our produce.

“My bees have a buffet,” Franzman said as she started showing off her bee hives one day in May at Arlington Farms.

There are currently two hives in the back of a three-acre urban garden for community supported agriculture that Christina Hatton, her husband and a few other families started just one year ago on the Eastside just south of Irvington.

The bees from Franzman’s hive will help pollinate the produce, thereby increasing production of watermelon, garlic, onions, beets and dozens of other crops they’ve planted this year.

Previously employed in the corporate world, Franzman left her full-time job this year to devote herself to this new project. She’s also a farmer’s apprentice with Growing Places Indy and a freelance writer.

So how does one become a beekeeper? Franzman started with YouTube videos and online communities although she was presented with several challenges. Beekeeping has so many interchangeable terms to describe the equipment and methodology - - for example, a hive stack may be referred to as “supers, deeps, mediums or shallows.”

Franzman has five hives now, four of which are at urban gardens. One of the goals of the project is to have a hive in every neighborhood in the city. One is located in a backyard of her friend’s home in Fletcher Place.

Bee Public operates through relationships that Franzman has built with urban farmers and gardeners who want bee hives on their property but do not have the time or finances to make it possible. By providing the bees, hives and maintenance at no charge to farmers, Bee Public is a dream come true for farmers searching for extra pollinators. Continuous support is provided to the farmers, ensuring that there is a successful relationship for both parties.

“Through Bee Public, I want to have an impact on our local sustainable food system,” Franzman said. “By bringing bees to an urban farm, I can increase a farmer’s crop yield by up to 50 percent. That’s huge. That could make or break someone.”

You can read the whole dealio here