Visit Rooftop Honey Bee Hives - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Visit Rooftop Honey Bee Hives

$60 per person
2 hours
Up to 10 people
See Dates
$60 per person
Seattle, Washington
What We’ll Do

In this two-hour workshop, you'll experience a working apiary. After a tour of Bastille's 4,500-square-foot organic rooftop garden, we'll open the hives and see thousands of honeybees at work. You'll get to hold a frame of bees from the hive, learn about the different kinds of bees, and discover the many jobs of bees inside the hive. We'll taste three kinds of raw honey and discuss the nation's food system and how it depends on bees. We’ll give you a take-home list of pollinator plants so you can help bees of all kinds in your own yard. Finally, you'll get a jar of honey as a tasty reminder of these fascinating and valuable creatures.

Where We’ll Be

The experience will happen on the rooftop of Bastille Café and Bar, as close as you might get to an authentic Parisian bistro in the U.S. The rooftop's 4,500 sq foot garden provides the restaurant with many vegetables and herbs used across the menu and in its cocktails. After the class, treat yourself to some food and drink at Bastille (not included in the experience), or enjoy the walkable streets of Old Ballard, with its many charming shops.

About Your Host

Hi. I’m Bob, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.

I fell in love with beekeeping while living in a garden cottage surrounded by skyscrapers as writer-in-residence for Seattle’s Hugo House. With 12 years experience tending honey bees (at one time 150 colonies), I’m also a passionate leader in pollinator conservation and habitat restoration. Founder of the non-profit The Common Acre, I was the co-Primary Investigator on a four-year USDA study and instigated the Flight Path and Green Line projects with Sea-Tac airport and Seattle City Light. Since 2009, I’ve operated Urban Bee Company—newly dubbed "Survivor Bee" to reflect a focus on the bee health crisis. I’m a state-certified journeyman beekeeper, former Trustee of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, and past Board President of Certified Naturally Grown.

For questions about this experience, please contact me directly through Airbnb.

What Else You Should Know

Veils and gloves will be provided. It is possible that you could get stung. All guests will be asked to sign a waiver before the experience begins. Participants will need to climb two steep steps and over a 2' barrier to reach the hives. This event will run rain or shine.

Group Size

There are 10 spots available on this experience.

Who Can Come

Guests ages 10 and up can attend.

Minors can only attend with their legal guardian.

What to Bring
  • Long pants and sleeves recommended
  • Closed-toe shoes recommended
  • Hair tie recommended for long hair
  • Drinking water
  • NOT recommended: perfume or strong scents
Cancellation Policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.

What We’ll Provide

Three different kinds of raw honey, plus some nuts and apples to cleanse the palate between tastings.


Mead—also known as "honey wine"—was, for hundreds of years, the common alcoholic beverage in Europe and many other parts of the world. You'll get a taste of this delicious part of bee culture.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

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