Bronxville's Kim Eierman has developed a seminar called “Feed the Bees!” It is designed to educate gardeners about the best types of flowers to plant to keep bees healthy and productive. Here are the details from The Gold Standard PR.
Urban and suburban beekeeping is escalating dramatically in the U.S. as the locavore movement moves into a new phase of backyard and rooftop farming.
Are we ready? Recent reports of starving urban honey bees in London, the appearance of red honey in Brooklyn and then blue and green honey in France convinced Kim Eierman that we are not. Her response is an initiative she calls "Feed the Bees!" Eierman is an environmental horticulturist and founder of EcoBeneficial! She wants to raise awareness of the "bee forage deficit" and teach beekeepers and gardeners how to garden in ways designed to keep honey bees healthy and productive.
Eierman will be presenting to the New York City Beekeeping Association on April 2: Gardening for Urban Beekeepers and will teach a class at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Honey Bee Garden: Gardening for Urban Beekeepers, on Sunday, April 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 718- 623-7220 o r by registering online at www.bbg.org,
On June 2 Eierman will be teaching: Gardening for Beekeepers at Westchester Community College from 1pm to 3 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 914-606-6830 or online at www.sunywcc.edu/ce/registration.
Principles of organic garden design for rooftop containers, backyard beds and community gardens will be discussed, as well as bees' forage needs, including the best plant choices for nutrition and accessibility.
"Whether you have a small rooftop, a community garden or a suburban backyard, you can grow an appropriate selection of plants, timed to flower throughout the growing season to nourish honey bees," says Eierman. "Gardening to support honey bees provides better bee nutrition, resulting in healthier bees that produce safer, healthier honey for all of us to eat."
Eierman notes that even if you don't keep bees, you can still support your neighborhood honey bee colonies, as well as native bees, by using her "Feed the Be es!" techniques.
When their natural forage resources are hard to come by, honey bees will search out any sugary substance they can find in an effort to survive. Red honey was reported in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2010 when honey bee colonies went "dumpster diving" in a maraschino cherry factory. Blue and green honey was documented in 2012 in Alsace, France when honey bees raided an M & M factory.
The Secretary of the London Beekeepers Association, Angela Woods, recently cautioned that as beekeeping expands in London, there are not enough forage plants to go around. Without forage plants, honey bees starve. Honey bee starvation is now a growing concern in U.S. cities and suburban backyards, as beekeeping becomes a popular activity, but without a commensurate increase in nectar and pollen sources.
EcoBeneficial! is a horticulture consulting and communications company based in Bronxville, New York. Kim Eierman is a Certified Horticulturist with the American Society for Hort icultural Science, as well as a Master Gardener, a Master Naturalist and an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional. Eierman teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Rutgers Home Gardening School and the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College. She lectures on a number of ecological gardening topics for gardening clubs, beekeeping groups, urban and suburban farmers, Audubon Society chapters and other organizations interested in improving the environment.