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Bees are awesome. Bees are responsible for pollinating 90% of the plants we grow — fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, soy beans and even cotton. Since 2006, bees have been dying off in record numbers. This is bad on a catastrophic level. While scientists try to figure out why, urban beekeeping is starting to catch on.

The Ballard Bee Company is an urban pollination company. They rent hives. You host 2-4 hives on your property, and the Ballard Bee Company makes weekly visits to tend the hives. Honey? That’s just a byproduct.

The Ballard Bee Company sells raw, unfiltered honey locally in Seattle, Washington. Instead of cute bees, a hive or a honey pot — the Ballard Bee label looks like something you’d see on the Periodic Table of Elements. Conceptually this makes sense. Ballard Bees gather pollen and nectar in and around the Ballard neighborhood. Their honey is unique just like the elements of the Periodic Table. It’s a great example of simple, inexpensive design that doesn’t sacrifice anything creativity.

Oh and it looks like the Ballard Bee Company is off to a great start this year. According to their website they’re no longer accepting hive requests for 2011. Well done Ballard Bees!

Random fact for the day: The Greek word for honey is meli. The Greek word for honey bee? Melissa, of course.

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