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Rentable Backyard Beehives All The Buzz As They Bolster Pollinators

WATERTOWN, Minn. (WCCO) -- Minnesota pollinators have it tough right now. The Department of Natural Resources says habitat loss, pesticides and climate change, have contributed to the drastic decline in population.

But now that spring is in full bloom and our gardens are picking up steam, some people are turning their backyards into bee havens.

At Ames Farm in Watertown, it's the buzz of bees that keeps beekeeper Brian Fredericksen buzzing day after day.

"When the sun comes up 5:30 or 6, I know there's something to do," said Fredericksen.

He not only has a honey business but he also rents out and maintains dozens of backyard hives around the metro, spreading his passion for building bee lands.

"We can pretty much pet them," said Fredericksen.

Fredericksen says he's seen an explosion in people moving further out for more land, and then calling him to install backyard bees -- part of that slower pandemic pace of life that seems to be sticking.

"We'll bring the hive. I'll come visit make some honey off of your property teach you about bees," said Fredericksen. "Last year I had family in Wayzata in a wooded area on one of the bays we made 120 pounds of honey on their property."

Fredericksen says there's a bee crisis brewing, as their homes disappear. He's doing his part by letting clover and wildflowers run wild on his 40-acre property, a luxurious home for millions of bees.

But he says you don't have to be a beekeeper on a giant farm to make a difference.

"It's the land owners that are going to solve this problem the bee crisis," said Fredericksen. "We have to leave some land for bees whether its roadside ditches backyards everything adds up everyone can do their part."

Seasonal hive rentals cost just over $1,200, but someone maintains them for you. Ames Farm also offer beekeeping classes. Many renters end up eventually becoming beekeepers themselves.

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