• I am an Alvéole client experiencing a problem with my hive or BeeHome.

      Please contact your building’s beekeeper directly. You can find their contact information via your building’s MyHive page.

    • I am an Alvéole client. Can I order extra honey or other customized gifts?

      Yes, clients can order extra products directly from our web shop. If you experience any issues placing your order, please contact [email protected].

    • I want to bring Alvéole's services to my building. How do I get in touch with your sales team?

      Please fill out this form to speak with a team member and learn how to get started.

    • How do I know if my building is a suitable place to install a beehive or BeeHome?

      We service businesses, multi-family properties, and schools. We’re able to find a suitable location in 98% of cases. If you have doubts, we will perform a site assessment to confirm if your location is a safe and secure place for a hive and BeeHome.

    • How much does the service cost?

      For pricing, get in touch with our sales team.

    • What are the benefits of a nature-driven bee program?

      Alvéole’s bee programs offer many benefits including:

      • Environmental awareness
      • Community engagement
      • Tenant attraction and retention
      • Points towards green building certifications
      • Environmental and social impact reporting metrics
      • Increased building value

      Learn more about the ways a bee program can drive value on our blog: How to increase property value with nature-based solutions.

    • Do building occupants need to be able to access the beehive installation site?

      Not necessarily. All packages include remote or in-person workshops to form a connection between people and the bees, as well as access to an online, public-facing platform to share the project with your community.

      Of course, when the hive is accessible, people are welcome to observe their beekeeper during hive inspections.

    • I see a swarm of bees. Can someone come retrieve it?

      We do not retrieve honey bee swarms unless there’s a possibility they are from an Alvéole hive. If you have a beehive with Alvéole, please contact your beekeeper. Otherwise, your local beekeeping association may be able to assist you.

    • Do you offer beekeeping training courses?

      We do not offer beekeeping training courses. However, we have a collection of educational videos on our YouTube channel to get you started on your beekeeping adventure.

    • Do you offer private backyard beekeeping services?

      We do not provide beekeeping services for private, single-family properties. Our efforts are dedicated to collective beekeeping projects in partnership with businesses, multi-family properties, and schools.

    • What is a BeeHome and why are they important?

      A BeeHome provides a safe place for solitary bee species to nest, helping to bolster their local population. Solitary bees are a type of wild bee that lives alone rather than in a colony. Bee populations are in decline largely due to habitat loss and a BeeHome is one way to support pollinators in the city.

    • How much space do I need to install a honey bee hive and BeeHome?

      The installation of a honey bee hive does not require a lot of space. A clear 2-meter/6-foot diameter is enough. The Alvéole team will assist you in choosing the ideal spot for your hive. If you’re unsure whether your property has space to host a hive or BeeHome, our team will be happy to conduct a free site assessment.

    • When are hives and BeeHomes installed?

      The beekeeping season varies depending on the region and climate. Our team will be able to advise you on the best time to start your program in your region. Learn more in the commercial and office building’s guide to a beekeeping season.

    • What happens if my honey bee colony dies?

      As urban beekeepers, we do everything in our power to keep your bees happy and healthy. But colonies don’t always make it. We try to take it as a learning and teaching opportunity by examining and explaining the factors that led to the bees’ dying.

      Sometimes the reasons may be genetic. Sometimes the factors are external to the bees, like parasites, diseases, predators, or even humidity.

      If a hive dies, we will replace it with a new colony as soon as the weather permits.

    • How do Alvéole's solutions support tenant engagement?

      Alvéole’s bee programs support tenant engagement in many ways. These include:

      ▪ Prioritizing health and wellbeing
      ▪ Building team spirit
      ▪ Offering learning opportunities
      ▪ Fostering a sense of connection to the building and community
      ▪ Showcasing your organization’s dedication to sustainability and social impact

    • Why are workshops part of every Alvéole experience?

      These workshops and team building activities are a powerful vehicle for environmental education and awareness. After participating in an activity, participants become mobilized spokespeople for bees, urban beekeeping, pollinators, and your bee program.

    • What are the workshops like?

      The experience varies based on the topic and setting (either in-person or virtual). We offer a range of options, from seminars to interactive (and safe!) hands-on activities. All activities are educational, engaging, and upbeat.

    • Do you offer online or remote team building activities?

      Yes! To ensure these workshops and team building activities are accessible for all organizations, we offer virtual options.

    • How long are the workshops?

      Each activity is one hour long.

    • Who are these activities for?

      All Alvéole clients benefit from these team building activities. They can be adapted for any group or setting, including workplaces, schools, retirement homes, and beyond!

    • Can I book an Alvéole workshop if I don’t have a hive?

      Yes, you can! Our goal is to connect as many people as possible to bees and to nature. Our workshops make for an educational and unforgettable experience, regardless of whether you have a bee program at your building. Our team of skilled beekeepers and educators are able to accommodate any audience.

      Individual workshops (1 hour each) are $900. We are not able to accomodate workshop requests in all cities. Please fill out this form if you’re in the USA or this form if you’re in Canada and we’ll be in touch if a workshop is possible.

    • How does a bee program support the environment and biodiversity?

      A nature-based bee program benefits the environment in many different ways. These include:

      ▪ Spreading environmental awareness through community workshops
      ▪ Supporting habitat for wild bees with BeeHomes
      ▪ Growing more food for all pollinators through urban garden installations and donations to our 1% for the Planet partners
      ▪ Contributing data to pollinator protection research

      Learn more about each of these benefits on our blog: How a nature-based urban beekeeping program benefits the environment.

    • Can Alvéole's solutions help me earn green building certifications?

      Yes, Alvéole’s solutions can earn points towards leading green building certifications and frameworks including LEED, WELL, BREEAM, BOMA, GRESB, and more.
      For information about a specific certification and point breakdown, please get in touch with our team.

    • What can I do to make my property more bee-friendly?

      Some of the best ways to support bees are to avoid pesticides and plant native flowers. Check out this blog for more ways to help bees.

    • What can bees tell us about the environment?

      By analyzing the bees’ honey throughout the season, we can see which flowers are blooming and when. This tells us about the quality and diversity of the bees’ food resources.

      With this information, we can recommend the best plants for our clients to grow to increase floral diversity and support pollinators. By conducting these analyses year over year, we can monitor the impact buildings and human interaction have on the local environment.

    • What is biomonitoring?

      Biomonitoring is a way of assessing the environment by analyzing plants or animals. Because bees fly, forage, and drink within a 3 mile (5km) radius of their hive, they act as tiny data collectors, making them an excellent indicator of the level of biodiversity in their environment.

      Our biomonitoring services are offered as part of the track your impact and cultivate change packages. We analyze the honey from specific hives to learn about the local area and the health of the colony.

    • What data is included in the environmental and social impact reports provided to clients?

      The social report demonstrates the educational impact of your bee program on your community. It tracks online engagement, team-building participation, and your program’s contribution to a local 1% for the Planet organization.

      The environmental report includes quantitative data about the health of your bees, the level of plant diversity in the area, and planting recommendations you can implement to improve it.

    • Is urban beekeeping safe? Will installing a beehive or BeeHome on my property increase the risk of getting stung?

      Urban beekeeping is safe. At Alvéole, we work with a special breed of Italian honey bees selected for their docility. Honey bees are gentle creatures who (almost) never sting without reason. Unless they feel threatened, bees have no motivation to sting – in fact, once they sting, they lose their stinger along with a part of their abdomen, and die.

      Wild bees are as peaceful as honey bees. They technically can sting, but they don’t. Docile and nonterritorial, they’re extremely gentle. Unless they’re being touched, they simply go about their business.

      Of course, beekeeping comes with additional responsibilities when practiced in the city. Choosing a good supplier is key – here’s what to look for when choosing an urban beekeeping partner.

    • Why don't Alvéole beekeepers where full protective beekeeping suits?

      We work with various breeds of honey bees, all selected for their docility.

      We take care to work gently and avoid agitating the bees. Wearing lighter equipment has helped us learn what their boundaries are. We’re often showing them off to curious bystanders, who we provide protection for. But to ensure a positive experience for them, docility is a very important trait for us.

      There are times when our beekeepers will wear more protection (eg: during the honey harvest when bees may be more defensive). But during simple inspections like this, there is often no need to wear protective gear.

      Resilience is also an important trait for us. Our mite monitoring program, tool sanitation practices, and inspection protocols play a large role in ensuring our bees stay healthy and resilient.

      To summarize, we see it as our responsibility to ensure that our bees are well-suited to the urban environment, which means we take a very proactive approach to hive management. Based on our colony survival rates, we’re very happy with the resilience of our bees!

    • What safety certifications do the beekeepers have?

      In addition to rigorous beekeeping training, our beekeepers have completed training in working at heights, working in heat, working alone, first aid/CPR and anaphylaxis, emergency response and fire prevention.

    • What insurance coverage do you offer?

      We offer all of our clients complete liability insurance including general commercial liability, automobile liability, umbrella liability, and workers compensation and employers liability. Learn more about our insurance coverage and safety procedures here.

    • What is urban beekeeping?

      Urban beekeeping consists of installing and maintaining honey bee hives in the city. Rather than focusing on honey prodution like rural commercial beekeepers, urban beekeepers often education and the opportunity to connect with nature.

    • What does an urban beekeeper do?

      An urban beekeeper manages the well-being and sanitary control of your hive. This means performing regular checks and maintenance while making sure your bees are happy and healthy.

      Technically speaking, the role includes making sure:

      ▪ The colony is in good shape
      ▪ The queen lays her eggs regularly and normally
      ▪ The colony has enough space to grow
      ▪ The distribution of resources is balanced within frames
      ▪ The colony is healthy and not suffering from any diseases or parasites

      At the end of the season, they must:

      ▪ Harvest the honey
      ▪ Ensure the colony is healthy and strong enough to survive the winter
      ▪ Treat the bees for common diseases and parasites
      ▪ Insulate the hive from the cold

      At Alvéole, our goal is to reconnect people to nature in cities, build ecological awareness, and drive more sustainable cities and food systems. In addition to sustainable beekeeping practices, our beekeepers are trained in teaching and public speaking. Each of our packages includes educational workshops and activities.

    • What is the difference between bees and wasps?

      Bees are often mistaken for wasps, and vice versa. It can be difficult for the untrained eye to see the difference between the two!

      Bees are small, hairy, and black and gold. They are vegetarian and only have the power to sting once, due to their barbed stinger.

      Wasps, on the other hand, are big, smooth, and bright yellow and black. They’re omnivorous (they hunt for nectar, pollen, and insect or animal protein to feed their young) and can sting repeatedly due to their smooth stinger.

      Wasps build their nests out of a papery material that they create by collecting and chewing on wood fiber, turning it into a paste that they can shape into their cells.

      Honey bees produce beeswax to construct their sweet-smelling honey comb and they look for pre-existing structures in which to create their home. In other words, they don’t have the ability to build an exterior structure for their colonies, in the same way wasps do.

      While wasps are not as cute or charming as honey bees, they still play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control insect populations.

    • What is the difference between a honey bee and a wild bee?

      The European honey bee (the species occupying beekeepers’ hives all around the world) is just one of 20,000 different bee species. Honey bees are domesticated, live in colonies in hives, and produce honey.

      Wild bees, on the other hand, are undomesticated, often live alone, nest in plant cavities or in the ground, and mostly do not produce honey.

      Both types of bees play an important role in pollination.

    • What is pollination and why are bees so important?

      Pollination happens when pollinators, like bees, take the pollen from the male part of a flower and deposit it on the female part of another flower. In order to produce fruit, a plant must be pollinated.

      Over one third of everything we eat wouldn’t exist without pollination – pollinators are an essential part of our food systems!

      Learn more about pollination here.

    • What can I do to help protect bees?

      The best way to support bees and all pollinators is to plant native flowers. Check out this blog for more ways to help bees.

    • Is Alvéole honey pasteurized?

      All Alvéole honey is left unpasteurized to better preserve its unique flavor as well as its beneficial enzymes. It’s a living, untransformed, raw product, which can be preserved indefinitely thanks to its antibacterial properties.

      Pasteurization is when a product is heated at a high temperature to destroy any potential pathogens and to lengthen its shelf life. Unlike dairy products which are pasteurized for food safety reasons in North America, honey is only pasteurized for esthetic reasons, since it slows the process of crystallization. It also happens to kill its flavors and other important characteristics.

    • What are the ingredients in your honey?

      Our honey is 100% pure, raw, and unpasteurized.

    • Why did my honey crystalize? Is it still good to eat?

      Every artisanal, raw, and unpasteurized honey will eventually crystallize. Crystallization is a normal, natural, and inevitable process — not a sign that the honey has gone off. The honey’s texture changes, but it retains all of its flavor and properties.

    • Does honey expire?

      Honey does not expire. It can be stored indefinitely at room temperature because of its high sugar content. However, raw unpasteurized honey will eventually crystallize.

    • How much honey does a beehive produce?

      On average, an urban hive produces 15 kilos (30 pounds) of honey per year. Each client will receive 100 jars of honey per site, per year.