The world's pollinators, including honeybees, are dying at an alarming rate. And this not only has an effect on the flora and fauna in our environments, but also on our food supply. One of the best ways to counteract the effects of a dwindling honeybee population is to increase the number of beekeepers. In 2008, a group of backyard beekeepers established Burgh Bees to promote honey bees, beekeeping and the creative reuse of neglected urban land in Pittsburgh. Since our founding, the volunteers of Burgh Bees have
• Established four demonstration apiaries in urban neighborhoods throughout the city in partnership with local urban farming organizations as well as the Pittsburgh Zoo;
• Trained 90 new beekeepers
• Initiated a monthly meet up for urban beekeepers to share their knowledge with each other and build a beekeeping community in the city; and
• Hosted dozens of open apiary visits and educational programs to Pittsburgh residents.
We are getting the word out about the challenges honeybees face, the benefits of honey bees in urban settings and the delights of local honey. Burgh Bees is also reclaiming abandoned urban lots and reactivating these areas with productive, positive energy and attention.
Over half of our class members live in dense urban neighborhoods, making it difficult for them to install “backyard beehives.” In response, Burgh Bees has worked with the City of Pittsburgh to secure a suitable lot for a community apiary and demonstration pollinator garden. At this site, those who have completed training will be able to place a hive of their own, under the auspices of Burgh Bees—utilizing our insurance, shared equipment, and knowledge.
We're raising funds for plants, signage, equipment, and first pollinator plants. The site will be developed using all volunteer labor from our committed community of pollinator enthusiasts!
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