University of Maryland Extension

Beekeeping

The plight of the honeybees has been a frequent topic in gardening and nature publications in the recent past, reaching front-page status in 2007 when populations of honeybees in North America dropped so precipitously that the decline was dubbed by beekeepers and scientists “colony collapse disorder.”  During the year spanning April 2017 to April 2018, the Bee Informed Partnership reported that Maryland lost 64% of its honeybee colonies, versus 40% nationwide.  Much needs to be done to understand the myriad of contributing causes and what can be done to reverse this trend.

The Anne Arundel County Master Gardener Beekeeping Project provides a window into the world of these fascinating creatures and gives the project members a unique opportunity to educate the public, including children, about the life and decline of the honeybees and what they can do to help. The Beekeeping Project began in 2009 with the establishment of one hive at Hancock's Resolution in Pasadena and expanded in 2010 with the addition of a second hive at Hancock’s Resolution.  In 2013 the Master Gardeners installed a hive at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Hancock's Resolution is a historic stone farm house on a 15-acre farm at 2795 Bayside Beach Road in Pasadena.  It is open on Sundays from early April to late October, usually from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Visitors can tour the grounds and learn many aspects of the history of this and other colonial farms. They can also see the work in progress as the Friends of Hancock's Resolution restore this property. Once a month, the AA Master Gardeners set up a “Honeybees—Up Close” table with information about honeybees and pollinators and an “observation hive” that provides a view of the inner workings of an active beehive.  Information can be found on the Hancock’s Resolution website. 

Quiet Waters Park is a 340-acre Anne Arundel Regional Park between the South River and HarnessCreek with a variety of activities including hiking, boating, ice skating, and picnicking.  Master Gardener volunteers will run a Pollinators Corners at the QWP Earth Day Expo on 4/27/19 – complete with information on pollinators and an “observation hive” with honeybee brood and attendant bees.  And, they will conduct Pollinators Corners prior to concerts during select evenings at the QWP concert series (7/20, 7/27, 8/3, 8/24).  More information can be found on the Friends of Quiet Waters Park website.

Master Gardener Beekeeping Project volunteers educate the public about honeybees and pollinators, maintain the hives, and feed the bees as necessary during the winter months. In addition, the Project is often called upon to provide presentations and demonstrations for schools, garden clubs, and other organizations.

Master Gardener and interns may contact Pam McFarland or Mary Yee to volunteer. For additional information, please contact the University of Maryland Extension at 410-222-3900.

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