The Beehive Project was started by the Hunt Garden Club in September, 2014 with the goal of supporting a healthy honey bee habitat in the Hunt community. The project was formed with six club members. The club purchased hive boxes, frames, tools, bee feeders and protective clothing to be worn when working with the hive. Members of the club worked with a local beekeeper as a mentor to become more knowledgeable about bees, their behavior and their habits through hands on experience with our hive.
Project members have shared their knowledge of the bees with the Hunt community by classroom lessons given to the Hunt School 4th and 5th grade students on the importance of pollinators. We have also had events at the club’s monthly meetings to emphasize the importance of honey bees to human nutrition and the need for building and maintaining the dwindling population of honey bees.
Our project now numbers 12 members who suit up to check our bee hives. A normal visit to the hive starts with gathering all of the tools needed to inspect the hive. We collect materials to use in our smoker. When bees sense danger they release a pheromone to alert the other bees of an impending attack. The smoke masks the pheromone and allows the hive to be worked. Once suited up, we head to the hive and smoke the bees. We then lift the top off of the hive and begin to take out frames. We inspect the frame to assess the condition of the bees – is there honey present, are there eggs and larva, can we find the queen and is there any sign of pests.
Some years are more successful than others but the Hunt Garden Club remains committed to promoting the importance of pollinators in our community.