University Research Park has, once again, paired up with a local bee keeper to welcome two small bee hives to the Park’s prairie. The hives are located on the back side of the 505 S. Rosa Road (MGE Innovation Center) building.
Unfortunately, the overall butterfly and bee populations are dwindling. There are several reasons why they are in decline but one of the biggest reasons is that they are lacking in food. All too often, prairies and open fields are eliminated in favor of crops that don’t provide food for the pollinators. In addition, ditches are often mowed and and sprayed for “weeds,” removing plants that are undesirable for us but are a major food source for pollinators.
A bee can typically forage around 2 miles from their hive for food. In some areas of the country, that entire ground could be covered by crops that don’t provide food for them (corn and soybeans) and they starve. University Research Park maintains almost 20 acres of restored prairie that is bursting with flowers and nectar producing plants that require bees to flourish. Adding bees to this restored prairie will be useful and provide ample food that will easily support the 100,000 bee population this summer.
While the bees may produce excess honey that can be harvested, the main goal is to strengthen the prairie and the help the bee population. The two Warre-style hives that are installed this year are designed for simplicity and efficiency…something that bees are very good at!
Click Here for more information about the bees and the Park’s other green efforts!