UMMC Welcomes First Bee Colonies to Support Local Ecosystem
To support our sustainability mission - to protect and preserve the earth's resources – The University of Maryland Medical Center has placed two beehives at the Downtown Campus and one hive at the Midtown Campus. The University of Maryland is now home to at least 4,000 honey bees.
The beehives were placed in June 2021 and a local beekeeper maintains the hives to ensure the bees are healthy. "Bees are incredibly important to the health and wellbeing of life," said Kai Abelkis, UMMC Sustainability Manager. "We believe a healthy environment supports a healthy community, and these beautiful creatures are worthy of our unconditional support."
The Importance of Bees:
Bees are very valuable to us and our planet. Bees can travel several miles from their hives to collect pollen and nectar. While their hives produce honey and beeswax, bees have an even more important role when it comes to agriculture: pollination. Bees are primary pollinators and are responsible for the growth of many types of plants and flowers. When a bee lands on a flower, pollen from the flower sticks to its body and transfers that pollen to the next plant. Bee colonies help support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants surrounding our campus, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small.
How You Can Help
Plant A Bee Garden
The garden can range anywhere from a full sized garden to a window box, to a flower pot. By planting a bee garden, it creates a safe habitat for bees to be able to live and find food sources. When selecting which plants to choose for your garden, try to include a diversity of native plants that vary in sizes, shapes, and colors.
Stop Using Harmful Pesticides
Pesticides are very harmful to bees and other insects. Try to use organic and natural products. There are also many great and effective homemade natural alternatives that you can find online.
Support your local beekeepers and farmers markets. Store bought honey is usually highly processed which removes all of the nutritious value of honey such as vitamins and antioxidants and often has added sugars or sweeteners.