Hey DC: Can you host a beekeeper this year?
The DC Beekeepers Alliance wants to know: can you host some bees this year?
Below, Toni Burnham from the Alliance explains.
Dear DC Gardening Community:
About 50 households will soon participate in our 2016 beginning beekeeping class, which focuses on responsible urban apiculture, but many do not have a space to keep bees. Beehives in the MidAtlantic are usually established from early April until mid-June in order to ensure winter survival, so we need to get busy finding homes. Would you be willing to host one of our UDC Extension Certificate-bearing graduates, or experienced mentors, on your property this year?
We think what follows is pretty new in urban beekeeping: there’s a sign up page here
so that we can hear from fellow DC community members who are interested in making a place for bees. With your site information and location, we can try to match you with a nearby beekeeper in need. Signing up creates no obligation: we have no sense of whether we have enough beekeepers to meet demand, or whether this will be of no interest to you at all. It’s all new.
We are open to private, commercial, or public locations that are safe for bees and beekeepers. Sometimes the best location may not be on the ground: many of our most healthful bees fly from rooftops and balconies.
The DC government agency which regulates beekeeping, DOEE, is willing to inspect potential apiary sites and give helpful feedback about whether they meet legal requirements, or how they could be modified to meet them.
The DC Beekeepers Alliance will only suggest new beekeepers who have completed our course and have a mentor, or beekeepers with equivalent local experience. We will only match DC sites with DC beekeepers (in order not to go insane), and we ask that beekeepers retain ownership of bees and equipment, and take all responsibility for registration and management. We also suggest that each party sign, in advance, an agreement with expectations about emergency contacts, sharing honey, times/means of site access, parking, on site storage (or not), notice of termination, and other practical details. We have samples.
And I would appreciate your feedback. We are likely to learn a lot while attempting this, and your questions will help us inform and interact more effectively!