Project Description:The UW farm has built a fenced off area near the new pollinator hedge rows with the purpose of maintaining an active, educational bee hive. The enclosure is complete and all that is left is to set up an apiary for the bees to live in. We are asking for $337.70 dollars to buy a complete apiary and bee keeping kit from a local vendor in order to house our hive.
Environmental Impact: Honey bee populations are currently in steep decline. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, 44% of beehives were struck with colony collapse. There are a number of environmental factors that contributor to colony collapse such as the use of harmful pesticides on neighboring crops. As an educational farm that serves the larger UW community and interacts with thousands of students each year, the UW farm has the ability to inform students of this affliction. Moreover the UW farm has begun to provide educational opportunities to the greater Seattle community and has the ability to inform a large group of people a out bee-safe practices and hobby beekeeping.
Student Leadership & Involvement: The UW farm currently holds student leadership roles for each operational aspect of the farm. For instance, there is a student in charge of mushrooms on the farm, a student in charge of chicken acquisition and so on. The addition of a bee keeping program on the farm would open a new leadership role on the farm of the "bee manager." This student would be in charge of coordinating care for the bees and maintaining their population on the farm. The bee manager would also be responsible for making sure the hive was available for educational purposes such as field/class trips.
Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change: The UW farm hosts class trips for a number of UW classes, as well as volunteer and student leadership positions. The addition of a bee hive at the farm would provide the opportunity to inform these students about one of the most serious environmental issues of our time first hand, bee population decline. Having giving students hand-on interactions with these insects helps to alleviate fears regarding bees and increase the understanding their incredible importance in the field of agriculture and beyond.
Feasibility, Accountability, & Sustainability: This project is being backed by professor Evan Sugdan of the biology department. Prof. Sugdan is an entomologist who has been teaching and practicing beekeeping for many years. Prof Sugdan has offered to supply students who he has personally trained in beekeeping to teach UW farm workers how it is done. Prof Sugdan will also be utilizing the UW farm hive in his bee keeping classes, and will therefore be helping to maintain it. As mentioned before, the secured area and enclosure for the hive has already been built. If this grant money is received, there will be no follow up expenses, this is a one-time request for the funds to buy an apiary. As soon as funds are acquired, the UW farm will purchase and pick up the apiary from the Ballard bee company in Seattle, WA.
Basic Beginner Kit – Ballard Bee Company - $307
Sales Tax – Washington State – $30.7