As much of the country is, Birmingham shares in the movement of teaching neighborhoods about food. Gardens are an essential part of communities, contributing to the neighborhoods and households lacking community of their own. Teaching how food grows, showing where food comes from and getting their hand's dirty are mantras of the community garden movement.
The truth is, you can't really have a community garden without honey bees. Bees prefer to fly less than 3 miles to forage for nectar, which is convenient. As the bees don't have to be on the same property as the garden, just within 3 miles. Wild or managed, there is likely a colony of honey bees close by. It does help to have them on the same property, not so much for pollination, but for education.
That's where we come in, we really enjoy teaching and sharing about how honey bees work. Community gardens love teaching about plants and food. Bees pollinate plants for food, badda bing badda boom.
We are partnering with the BEE Community Gardens in East Birmingham. The name is only a coincidence, it an acronym for Birmingham Eastside Eco-Garden. We inherited a hive last year at the gardens, but it was in a bad location. Small hive beetles destroyed that hive in fantastic order.
We are restarting this year and have chosen a more ideal location for the bees. The plan is to setup multiple hives, both the traditional Langstroth type hive and also a Top Bar Hive. We can use both to teach guests of the garden about bees and how honey bees improve our environment. It's going to be an exciting year.