Every city in Greater Victoria, except Sidney, can find chickens and bees on the way to get eggs and honey from a reliable source – yourself!
In addition to getting regular honey and transporting honey, those who keep chickens and bees help pollinate their local ecosystems and help protect them. food.
The hard part is where to find chickens and bees and how to take care of them once you have them.
Fortunately, a local Metchosin farmer will do all the hard parts for those interested in urban farming, backyard chickens and bees.
Bees Please Farmers run by owner, operator and breeder, Kate Fraser worked in insurance but wanted a change of scenery. He fell in love with urban farming, raising bees and chickens in 2015, he was hurt by going down a rabbit hole he didn’t want to get out of.
“We bought a house two years ago and I started organic farming and I thought, let’s add chickens and we should add bees,” Fraser told Victoria Buzz. “I thought everyone had a chance to get bees.”
“I first had the idea to rent chickens and my mom heard about Rent The Chicken on CBC and thought I’d do it twice.”
Fraser released the Bees Please Farmers himself and began making and distributing bees to people in Greater Victoria who wanted to help save bees and bring more pollinators to their country.
He provides beef and bees and keeps them safe for his customers so they can get their feet up and know they are helping the environment.
As an added bonus, Fraser will bring in 10 lbs of honey for those who rent hives to him each year that he harvests from his hives around the country.
“I’m doing pet care for people,” Fraser said. “It’s like how people hire a landscaper to take care of their garden, except I’m taking care of their hive.”
“With honey, it depends a lot on the strength of the bees and where they are, because cities don’t have a lot of flowers.”
“It’s enough to keep the bees but it’s not like we have in the Peace River forest where they get 200 lbs. [of honey] for the hive.
Fraser’s way of doing business is what makes a bee happy, and his customers respect him because at the end of the day, his customers are the only ones who want to be healthy and happy to be able to do their work around the city.
“I want to put the bees first, so I’m not out to make commercial honey or anything,” Fraser said.
“Sometimes I don’t pull any honey from the hives [my clients] to their property and they know how to get into it.
According to Fraser, bee populations are declining faster than most people think and they are responsible for many of the flowers in Victoria around the world being able to bloom and flourish for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Bees Please There are about 150 hives on offer in Greater Victoria and some clients include Parkside Hotel, New Horizons Community Centre, Glenlyon Norfolk Private School and Coast Hotels.
Rent a chicken
Rent a chicken was started in 2013 in Pennsylvania by a couple who wanted to bring people good and healthy food ‘yard to table’ rather than ‘farm to table’.
Fraser’s mother heard about the organization and found out that it has affiliates all over the US and Canada. She told her daughter about it and Fraser immediately called them and demanded to be a member of Vancouver Island.
“I looked at Victoria and they didn’t have any connections here so I called them and I was like, ‘I’ll be your Victoria,’ and they were like, ‘woah, woah let’s send the information,’ but I insisted I was doing it,” Fraser laughed.
Fraser was one of their first and happiest partners and the two companies have worked together to bring the people of Victoria ‘yard fresh’ fruit every morning ever since.
Fraser pays the Pennsylvanian man 10% of his sales and in return, he gets access to resources and helps answer his questions.
If a family of ‘city-slickers’ decides they’re sick of paying over $9 a week at the grocery store for eggs, they can get between two and four chickens for their they back through Fraser and his company.
Chickens come with a house and care for them, healthy food to help produce the best eggs you can get, transportation and organization of the house and their efficiency and guidance in the production of healthy chickens. A hen will produce between eight and 12 eggs a week.
“The general rule is one chicken per person in the household,” says Fraser.
Chickens are allowed in all Greater Victoria cities except Sidney; however, chickens are prohibited due to loud noise.
Chickens are rented between April and October in five months. If the family or someone who rented chickens from Fraser decides to keep their chickens, they have the option to take them from him.
In Greater Victoria, Fraser has over 60 coops distributed with egg-laying hens providing people with quality eggs right from their backyard.
For people living in Greater Victoria (except Sidney) who want to get involved in urban farming and spend a little money on their produce, it’s not easy to try.
“I always say it’s only five minutes a day,” Fraser said. “You’re actually feeding them, checking the water, getting eggs every three or four days you just move the coop to a new patch of grass.”