Honeybee Hives at the Armstrong Education Center

beehive-01We have beehives at the Armstrong Education Center for general ecological reasons—to support the declining bee population and pollinate our native plant species throughout our native plant landscaping and educational gardens. In addition, the bees pollinate the vegetables in our mandala garden and make delicious, organic honey.

We are hoping there is enough forage in our 40 acres of protected forest and two acres of open, sunny land including the Armstrong meadow planted with native flowering fruit trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses, to sustain the bees year round. In our edible garden, we use green, flowering cover crops such as red clover, buckwheat, and alfalfa in our yearlong crop rotation which keep the soil fertile and allow us to grow plants and vegetables throughout the year, sometimes in weather-protected spaces. This crop rotation provides the bees with additional nectar during the off-season (early spring through late fall), and helps them increase their honey stores for the winter.

Photo credit: http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/

 

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Honey Beehive Installation at the Armstrong Meadow, Spring 2012.

 

Indiegogo Open Source Beehives Project

beehive-03This is an open source beehive project that allows you to download designs for a beehive of your very own. The project allows you to track and log the health of the bee colony in order to promote the recovery of the declining bee population.

Check out this link for more information on the Indiegogo Open Source Beehives Project: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/open-source-beehives

See one of our favorite sites for the most innovative information on beekeeping, “a cross-pollination of beekeeping and technology.” www.beehacker.com

Why is the Global Bee Population in Decline?

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been found to be causing the decline in bee populations worldwide, with the United States alone having lost about 1/3 of its honeybee population. CCD causes adult bees to simply abandon the hives, vanishing without leaving a trace.

CCD continues to puzzle beekeepers and scientists alike, and its exact causes remain unclear. However, a host of factors have come to light that scientists deem likely causes, including habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, global warming, and the use of agricultural pesticides.

For information on the status of honeybees and research related to CCD see: http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572

 

Did you know bees pollinate approximately 1/3 of all fruits and vegetables worldwide, and contribute over $14 billion dollars a year to the United States’ agricultural industry alone?

We would lose all of these foods without bees!

 

Health Benefits of Raw Honey

Besides pollinating a vast array of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, honeybees are known for producing honey. Raw, unprocessed honey has nutrient and health benefits that aren’t found in processed, commercial honey. For instance, raw honey has been shown to alleviate seasonal allergies and suppress coughs through its anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to kill bacteria in wounds and within the human body, acting as a natural antibiotic. Raw honey boosts your immune system by providing essential minerals and nutrients such as zinc, copper, potassium, iron, and many more. All of these health benefits are reasons to stop buying commercially processed honey and to support your local beekeepers!

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Photo credit: http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/

 

Local Beekeepers and Associations

Declining bee populations are being mitigated through the efforts of local beekeepers and beekeeping associations. There are many individuals and groups within our area who have joined the cause.

 

Karen Sabath

 

Guy Hodges

  • EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) trained beekeeper in South Salem, NY
  • E-mail: eemia2@optonline.net
  • Local honey, beeswax candles, packaged bees, beekeeping supplies, and hive maintenance

 

Hudson Valley Bee Supply

  • Association of beekeepers in Kingston, NY whose goal is to create a ‘hub of resources’ for other local beekeepers and to educate and advocate on the importance of bees.
  • Classes and workshops
  • Beekeeping kits, tools, clothing, and bees
  • Website: http://www.hudsonvalleybeesupply.com