CLICK HERE to view the photo album "Oh Honey!"
Our story begins more than 100 years ago at the University of Minnesota. In 1913, the Division of Bee Culture (now the U of Minnesota Bee Lab) was established on the St. Paul campus. One of its original researcher scientists was Father Francis Jager.
Over time the Bee Lab and Bee Squad have developed an international following for their research on native (Minnesotan) and honey bees.
The Bee Squad helps people help bees. Through mentoring, outreach, and collaboration, they inspire the public to do their part to keep bees healthy. The Bee Squad brings beekeepers up to date with best management practices and participates in international beekeeper knowledge exchanges.
One of the Bee Squad programs is Hive to Bottle, where Bee Squad staff work with people and organizations to start and manage beehives. Pax Christi starting working with the Bee Squad in the Fall of 2016 to plan for bee hives on Pax Christi grounds in 2017.
The two beehives arrived in May 2017 and were placed on a quiet spot near the pond. The bees quickly took to their new home and over the course of the season, built a healthy bee colony and delivered about nine gallons of honey.
In early November, members of the Arts, Campus, and Gardens Ministry packaged 156 jars of Pax Holy Honey for sale and donation.
If you can envision Pax Christi bees buzzing around in their new home, they are now in winter mode — still buzzing, but much slower in order to conserve energy and stay warm over the winter. They consume some of the honey they made during the spring and summer, and should be ready to begin a new season in April of 2018.
Would you like to learn more?
On their website, www.beelab.umn.edu, you can learn about bee-friendly flowers, how to provide nesting habitat, keeping flowers clean of things that harm bees, and how to become a volunteer for the Bee Squad.
You can also learn about more Bee Squad programs like the Bee Veterans and Mentoring Apiary, as well as how you can support future Bee Squad work in our community.
Written by Steven Olinger, Arts, Campus, Gardens Council