A local husband-and-wife team developed a fun way to help boost the honey bee population. See how their modern spin on beekeeping has Cincinnati (and beyond) buzzing to host a hive, and be the queen of their fashionable finds.
Husband and wife team Cory and Krystle Gaiser have always been interested in finding ways to be more self-sustaining. They do things such as gardening, composting, and even keeping chickens.
“After our first couple of years we noticed that our fruit and vegetable yield was low and quickly realized it was because of the low number of pollinators,” explains Krystle.
The Gaisers weren’t the only ones to notice the drop in the bee population. Around the same time the plague of the honey bee, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, had become more publicized, and the Gaisers educated themselves on it.
“After learning about this pandemic, we became passionate in wanting to do our part to help save the bees,” she says.
For the next year, the Gaisers went from conference to conference, researching, meeting those that kept bees in the area, and visiting bee farms in other states in order to learn as much information as possible so they could start keeping bees themselves.
Then, the two of them opened Gaiser Bee Co., a locally-owned beekeeping business.
Their first spring, they bartered chickens for the first couple of bee hives. “It was exciting to try something new and a rewarding experience,” says Krystle. “It seemed that our passion for bees was contagious as people around us caught the ‘bug.’”
People began following along on social media, calling, and texting the Gaisers in order to get updates on the bees and how they were doing.
All of the interest the Gaisers were able to garner over their beekeeping business led to requests for others to observe their mini suburban farm and eventual classes that allowed people to suit up and get hands-on experience with the bees.
“Soon we found ourselves meeting so many people that wanted to keep bees but didn’t have the means or time to do as much research as we did,” explains Krystle. “Everyone we met wanted to do their part to help save the bees but had no clue where to get started.”
To give others in the community a chance to do their part, the Gaisers developed a program called “Host-A-Hive.” According to Kyrstle, the program offers people of any skill level the opportunity to become involved in the fight to save the bees.
From providing a safe place for pollinators, with no hands-on, to those that want to own all of the equipment and plan to develop their own apiary, Gaiser Bee Co.’s Host-A-Hive program can help.
“We spend our days raising awareness on beekeeping and the benefits of organic gardening through educational classes at the Cincinnati Nature Center, Beginner Backyard Beekeeping classes, Host-A-Hive, as well as social media,” says Krystle.
The biggest goal of Gaiser Bee Co. is to educate people on the importance of honey bees. “Most people don’t know that honey bees contribute to one-third of the food we consume,” she adds. “So by decreasing the pesticides used in yards and gardens, you will actually increase the amount of fruit and vegetables available come harvest time.”
In addition to their Host-A-Hive program and other classes at Gaiser Bee Co., they also sell products in their online shop. You can find beekeeper shirts, beauty products such as bath bombs, chapstick, lotion bars, and all-natural belly butter, beekeeping products including a bee jacket and bee smoker, raw honey, and a “Save the Bees” necklace.
Krystle says that currently, the business is lacking space, but they hope to expand over the course of the year so that they’re able to accommodate the demand of people who need help in doing their part to save the bees. “Knowledge is the fuel behind what we do, and we want to continue to grow in educating people and giving them the skills they need,” she says.