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The first community apiary and youth beekeeping program in Philadelphia will address issues facing pollinators and make a social impact
The first community apiary and youth beekeeping program in Philadelphia will address issues facing pollinators and make a social impact
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95 backers pledged $3,676 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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We’re a group of beekeepers, urban farmers, and youth in Philadelphia who want to promote sustainable pollinator stewardship and start the first bee-yard-to-farmstand youth program. Our community apiary, located in the Woodlands Cemetery of West Philadelphia, will be a hub for the local beekeeping community.

Youth Beekeeping Project

Right here in Philadelphia 20% of youth are not working or in school.

A burgeoning green economy offers hope for meaningful new jobs that value human and environmental regeneration. For the last several years UC Green has trained local youth to work as tree-tenders of the urban forest. This year, volunteer beekeeper Daniel Duffy will lead a structured curriculum of workdays that will empower high school students from underserved communities to manage part of the apiary and sell their honey and pollen at farmers markets. Beekeeping has a history of serving as an educational tool and here it will establish pathways to employment. The idea is to build general organizational and entrepreneurial job skills while also teaching about sustainable environmental stewardship.

"Working with UC Green...has strengthened my teamwork skills while providing me with helpful knowledge in caring for the environment...My experience...has provided me with the opportunities to meet inspiring people, improve my teamwork skills, and build my self-confidence."

-Patrick Houston, UC Green Greencorps Intern

Cooperative Beekeeping

Every third bite of food we eat is pollinated by honeybees. But honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate from a critical mass of stress. Important commercial beekeepers are abandoning the trade.

With a sustainability focus and a student Community Supported Apiary (CSA) program, a community apiary represents an alternative to the commercial model. Especially in the city where bees aren’t exposed to the pesticides of the farm country, raising bees without chemical treatments lays bare the traits that will be necessary to withstanding parasites so that resilient hives can be selected for raising survivor honeybee queens.

The Woodlands Community Apiary, managed without chemicals by a beekeeping co-op and local students, will be a meeting and demonstration space for the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. The beekeepers will give workshops and demonstrations for the rapidly emerging beekeeping community in Philadelphia, promoting sustainable environmental stewardship.

How Your Support Will Help

We've had some equipment donated already. We have access to a truck and a garage. We have some beehives. Through our community partnerships we have access to tool sheds, a quarter-acre meadow (Woodlands Cemetery), a table to sell products (Philly Rooted), and trainers (Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild, Milk and Honey Market, Enterprise Center).

The money that you donate will go toward purchasing:

-Wood ware for 10 beehives

-8 bee colonies

-8 northern-raised honeybee queens

-Fencing

-Hive tools and protective gear

-Pollen traps, feeders

-Packaging and bottles

-Required state registration fee for inspections

Community Supported Apiary (CSA)

When honey is harvested, it'll be available to anyone who pledges to get a CSA share. No other food is as specific in flavor to where you live as honey. The hundreds of flower types that can make up a single bite of local honey are a unique fingerprint of our ecosystem. Some eat local honey to combat allergies. It's a remarkably different experience from grocery store honey.

All but ten CSA BASIC shares will be available in West Philadelphia for pickup only. The first ten pledges living outside the 191XX Philadelphia zip codes will have the CSA package shipped to them. Since CSA PLUS shares include fresh herbs that we'll harvest the day of the pickup, there is no option to have it shipped. Finally, all donations are tax deductible. If the project is successfully funded we'll send all pledges a letter confirming their donation.

** Be sure to check reward availability before making a pledge! **

Our community partners:

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    Get on the mailing list to track our progress, see photos

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    For this you'll receive the previous reward, plus you'll get a ticket to any of three Open Apiary Days group tours.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    CSA BASIC: You'll receive the previous rewards; plus a share in our Community Supported Apiary (CSA); which includes 1.5 pounds of honey and a packet of native, bee-friendly flowers.

    So the CSA BASIC includes: 1.5 pounds of honey;
    1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers;
    ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CSA PLUS includes a share of herbs from the Walnut Hill Community Farm with everything that comes with CSA BASIC. That's: Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey;
    1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers;
    ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    For this supply-limited award, we'll name a beehive after you and mail you a 4x6 photo of your hive! Plus, all of the previous rewards. That's: Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey; 1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flower; ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list.

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    Reward no longer available 8 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    For this reward, you'll receive a Seasonal Honey Taster Set! This will be available for pickup in late fall. And it includes 1.5 pounds of honey; 1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers; ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The previous rewards are all yours, plus a membership to the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild for one year. That's: PBG membership; Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey;
    1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers;
    ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    An afternoon of beekeeping lessons with a Penn State faculty member, plus the preceding rewards. That's: 1 afternoon with Penn State faculty; PBG membership; Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey; 1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers; ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    Get all of the previous rewards (except the beekeeping afternoon) and get a 1 hour gardening consultation from UC Green Executive Director Sue Pringle.

    That's: 1-hour gardening consultation; PBG membership; Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey;
    1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers;
    ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $875 or more About $875

    We'll take you on a swarm capture expedition!* So that makes: 1 swarm capture expedition; 1 afternoon with PSU faculty; 1 hour gardening consultation; PBG membership; Walnut Hill Community Farm herb share; 1.5 pounds of honey;
    1 packet of seeds for native, bee-friendly flowers;
    ticket to Open Apiary Days; mailing list. *Swarm capture requires that you can be reached and available at relatively short notice.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Everything is yours along with a lifetime share in the CSA!

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Funding period

- (34 days)