WASHINGTON — Rockville-based MOM’s Organic Market wants some of its customers to become beekeepers, and has launched its BeeSA (Bee Supported Agriculture) program at several of its stores.
MOM’s has partnered with local bee breeder Richland Honey Bees in Catharpin, Virginia, in Prince William County, to offer customers a Queen bee and a nucleus hive, ready to order on MOM’s website.
Buyers will be able to pick up their ready-to-go bee kits at MOM’s stores in Alexandria and Herndon in Virginia and its Hampden and Rockville locations in Maryland in late-May.
The beehive kits cost $185. The last day to reserve the kits will be May 21.
MOM’s has sold beekeeping equipment, like suits and smokers, at some of its stores since last year. Its Alexandria store keeps active bee hives on its roof.
“Pollinators are being wiped out by the toxic pesticides applied to farms and lawns everywhere,” said MOM’s founder Scott Nash, who happens to be a beekeeper himself. “It’s important to protect our pollinators and to bring awareness about how we can make a difference.”
Lynn White, with Richland Honey Bees, a member of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association, will be at some MOM’s locations over the weekend to answer questions about the BeeSA program.
She believes that “pollinators and organic food go hand in hand.”
Bees aren’t the only unconventional thing MOM’s offers customers.
Last year, it rolled out insects as a protein products — selections that include cricket or mealworm Bolognese sauce, cricket cookies, snack bars and chips, whole insects and cricket and mealworm powder.
MOM’s will mark its 31st anniversary this summer. The chain started as an organic produce delivery company run out of a garage in Rockville that belonged to Nash’s mother, hence the name.
It has 17 stores now in D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.