Community Apiary at Awbury Arboretum

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PressExposure) October 28, 2011 -- Green Sanctuary Earth Institute of Pennsylvania, a non-profit green consulting business, and Awbury Arboretum, a 55 acre inner city green space, have partnered to bring Green Sanctuary Community Apiary at Awbury Arboretum to life. Beekeeping classes will be open for registration in November of 2011. Classes will begin in February of 2012.

Awbury Arboretum, once the summer compound of prominent Quaker businessmen and their families, was used as a haven during the Yellow Fever outbreak when Philadelphia was the nation's capital. Home to an extensive collection of native horticultural species, the Arboretum is developing a profile as an urban agricultural village. Weaver's Way Co-op, a thriving co-op, operates its produce farm on the property.

The Green Sanctuary Community Apiary will be sited on the Thomas Cope house side of the property in the Secret Garden. With its old growth Basswood, Linden, Black Locust, Oak and Maple trees, dense vegetation, iron fences and field stone stone walls, the Arboretum is an historic treasure, as well as a green haven in summer. The apiary will host three hives its first year -- one Langstroth hive and two top bar hives.

The apiary educational program is inter-generational. Philadelphia County 4-H will host a youth beekeeping club. Meetings will start in January of 2012. In February and March 2012, the Beginners beekeeping class will meet weekly. Once bee packages arrive at the end of March, the class schedule will be stepped up to familiarize new beekeepers with management tasks associated with early spring nectar flow and establishing strong hives. Once the hives are established, class will meet less frequently to coincide with local conditions in terms of harvesting honey. Intermediate and advanced classes will be offered as a cluster of half-day or full-day workshops in preparation for overwintering first year hives and swarm prevention in second year hives.

Science classes from local schools will come to the Arboretum to learn about the life cycle of honey bees and will have access to a demonstration hive. A team of bee stewards from various classes will maintain the hives year round.

Social entrepreneur, Anaiis Salles, founder of Green Sanctuary Earth Institute of Pennsylvania, is an urban farmer and a novice beekeeper. "I'm thrilled that my organization and Awbury Arboretum have formed a partnership to support urban beekeeping and essential education about the plight of the honey bee. Understanding the value of honey bee pollination is critical to the human food supply. Bees kept in urban hives may be less exposed to pesticides than bees in surrounding suburbs where lawns are larger and status symbols. The Arboretum is not sprayed so there is no toxic residue to harm the honey bees as they forage on Arboretum grounds. The community apiary will truly be a green sanctuary for our hived colonies."

Salles' consulting firm designs, implements and manages unique green projects for non-profits seeking to enhance their green profile or reduce their carbon footprint without taxing existing organizational capacity. "The urban farming movement is exploding in Philadelphia, along with a growing portfolio of city community gardens. I hope the Green Sanctuary Community Apiary will become a premier resource for city beekeepers and gardeners, alike. We would love to become an additional activity site for the annual Philadelphia Honey Festival. We look forward to collaborating with the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild and experienced and aspiring area beekeepers."

Our Community Apiary at Awbury Arboretum has formed an after school 4 – H Club. We have two age groups for the club, both meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. The first Club meeting is scheduled for January 10th, 2012. Meeting time for ages 8-12 is 3:30-4:30 pm. Meeting time for ages 13-18 is 4:45- 6:00 pm.

Our instructor, Lorraine Bush, is staff from Philadelphia County’s Penn State Extension Service. In addition to being a beekeeper, Lorraine is a master gardener and a former teacher. Our goal is to prepare youth in the club to become honey bee stewards/beekeepers and to take the beginner beekeeping course for youth in March of 2012 with the arrival of our apiary bee packages.

Cost for joining the club is $15, plus $1 for insurance for each youth member. This cost includes a materials fee. Beekeeping classes are not included in the $15 club membership.

To register your child for this 4-H Club, contact: Anaiis Salles
Green Sanctuary Community Apiary:

Location: Awbury Arboretum
Thomas Cope House
1 Awbury Road
Philadelphia, PA 19138

Press Release Submitted On: October 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm
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