The City of Deerfield Beach always strives to be a role model for the community. The City’s newest endeavor, in partnership with the Urban Beekeepers, is the DFBee Apiary.
The DFBee Apiary is a collaborative urban beekeeping effort, joining a series of educational micro apiaries in Broward County as part of the Micro-Apiary on Public Lands (MAP) platform. The first apiary to open as part of MAPs was in 2016 at the Discovery Farm and Gardens at Jaco Pastorious Park in Oakland Park, developed and operated by the Urban Farming Institute.
Insects like honeybees pollinate 90%of the world’s flowering plants and are responsible for pollinating about one-third of the food we eat. Unfortunately, honeybee populations are recently facing a significant decline for a variety of reasons. Urban beekeeping and community apiary programs have grown increasingly in metropolitan areas as one way to help counteract this issue.
The DFBee Apiary is located at Central City Campus, a hub for all things sustainable in Deerfield Beach. The City is focused on sustainable actions which urge the importance of coastal resilience, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.
Through this program, the City looks to promote environmental stewardship and bee-keeping education. The City aims to encourage the community to bee inspired by the local efforts and educational opportunities.
You don’t have to keep bees to help protect them. Check out these tips for ways to help them:
Plant a Bee Garden
One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat corridor with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants — gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flower pots, and planters. You can also get involved with local organizations and governments to find opportunities to enrich public and shared spaces.
Go Chemical-Free for Bees
Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive systems. Avoid treating your garden and green spaces with synthetics. Instead, use organic products and natural solutions such compost to aid soil health and adding beneficial insects that keep pests away like ladybugs and praying mantises.
Become a Citizen Scientist
Join a global movement to collect data on our favorite pollinators! Gather photos and other information about native bees and upload them to the iNaturalist app. Make it a group activity for friends by hosting a BeeBlitz event! Together, we can learn about the bees in various sites and cities and identify opportunities for nurturing them.
Provide Trees for Bees
Did you know that bees get most of their nectar from trees? When a tree blooms, it provides hundreds — if not thousands — of blossoms to feed from. Trees are not only a great food source for bees but also an essential habitat. Tree leaves and resin provide nesting material for bees, while natural wood cavities make excellent shelters. With deforestation and development on the rise, you can help bolster bee habitats by caring for trees and joining tree-planting parties in your area.
Create a Bee Bath
Bees work up quite a thirst foraging and collecting nectar. Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Bees will land on the stones and pebbles to take a long, refreshing drink.
Build Homes for Native Bees
Did you know that, except for honeybees, most bees are solitary creatures? 70% of solitary bees live underground, while 30% live in holes inside of trees or hollow stems. Species like bumble bees build their nests in undisturbed land, and you can provide safe haven for them by leaving an untouched plot of land for them in your garden! “Bee condos” — which have small tube “apartments” — allow species like mason bees to take up residence. They’re easy to make or purchase.
Interested in getting an inside look? Schedule a visit to the DFBee Apiary located at Central City Campus, 401 SW 4th St, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.
Did You Know:
- A worker bee gathers in her entire life 1/12 tsp of honey.
- It requires 10000 worker bees to gather a pound of honey.
- Bees fly the equivalent of more than twice around the world to gather a pound of honey.
- To make one pound of honey, a bee must tap two million flowers.
- A hive of bees flies over 55,000 miles to bring one pound of honey.
- A bee has five eyes: two with compound lenses and three light sensors on top of her head.
- A honey bee visits 50-100 flowers during one collection trip.