Buy Local, Bee Local

Loomstate recently contributed to some amazing projects on Kickstarter and connected with James Champ of the Nature's Houses Apiary (Honey Bees) project. He is a passionate bee keeper and honey producer in North Carolina and we were especially interested in this project because some of our organic cotton comes from the state! Bees and cotton...it's all connected.

Pollination is an important part of every plant's lifecycle. If the bee population continues to decline, it could cause more than 70% of plant life to become extinct, including the cotton plant. This would decrease natural options for clothing materials and cause even more dependency on synthetic fibers.

We asked him some questions about working with bees and how to get more people aware of the depleting bee population...
North Carolina Bee Keeping
What's next for this project?
It's going to bee (get it?) very busy starting around April once the bees start arriving. Right now I'm working on getting the website up and running www.natureshouses.com as well as working with a local bee keeping supply store, Bee Cool Bee Supply, to let locals know that there is a bee shop in their town.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of beekeeping and what is your favorite part? 
I think the hardest part for me is the waiting. Just let the bees do their work, and don't mess with them too much. I can sit out by a hive for hours, just watching them work and it is very tempting to open the hive to see how much they have done. They know more about what needs to be done than me, so I really shouldn't try and micro manage. They are the experts, not me.

How can people become more aware of the bee population and help protect it? 
I think that the way people become more aware of the problems facing bees, is to get a hive or two of their own. They are then more engaged as they have a stake in how their bees do.

We have an organic cotton tee project in the works so we are in constant communication with farmers in North Carolina. How do all these great environment-based projects become rooted in North Carolina?
I'm not sure why NC is such a great place for these types of projects. It could be that many people are more in touch with their roots here, or they come here looking for a more laid back lifestyle. One great thing about the area that I am in is there are a lot of what I like to call yuppie hippies. Folks that care about sustainability, buying local, and supporting small business and have the means to support it.

Thank you so much for speaking with us, James!