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
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
-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! **
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