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.
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.
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.
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.
There are 10 spots available on this experience.
Guests ages 10 and up can attend.
Minors can only attend with their legal guardian.
- Long pants and sleeves recommended
- Closed-toe shoes recommended
- Hair tie recommended for long hair
- Drinking water
- NOT recommended: perfume or strong scents
Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.
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.