Monday, May 18, 2009

Buzzing at the Midway Greenspirit Garden

An urban beehive has come to the Midway neighborhood, just recently installed at the Midway Greenspirit Garden. A recent Saturday, the Mighty Midway 4H group got their own tour of the bees! It was fascinating! Even the couple of kids who were truly afraid were soothed by the calmness of beekeeper Virginia and the bees themselves. We learned that these bees may go up to 5 miles away to find nectar. That means that we could see Greenspirit's bees in our backyards!

The garden was able to install this beehive with a grant from Gardening Matters. Bees are integral to pollinating crops, for veggie gardens, and in the case of Greenspirit, a future orchard! Diane, one of the beekeepers/community gardeners, had this to say about the garden's new flying friends:

"With little to no fanfare, members of the Bee Team from Midway Green Spirit Community Garden installed what may be the first legal bee colony in a community garden in the Twin Cities this afternoon.

The permitting and fence building occurred last year. The legal aspects (animal control permit and building permit for the fence) dragged on for so long in 2008 that it became too late to feasibly get the bees hived up in time so that they could build up their ranks and stores to take them into the winter (the window of opportunity to install package bees is soon coming to an end this year), so the Bee Team decided to wait until this spring.

It was a perfect day (cool and cloudy) for hiving up our two pound package of Minnesota Hygienic bees and it's proven queen and the process went off without a hitch. There is an abundance of pollen for the girls to gather, and we're feeding them sugar syrup until the nectar starts flowing.

We're mighty excited!!"

To follow the hives' progress, check out Virginia's blog. Oh yeah, the bees will make honey too.

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