Meet the Beekeepers
Will Olson is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Biomedical Engineering. Will helped start the beekeeping project at the Garden when he was a freshman living in the Greenhouse Learning Community in Leopold Residence Hall. With the Garden being near by, it was a perfect place to start a hive, and Will was excited to be a part of the project. Beginning with only a little knowledge but a lot of determination and interest, he's learned so much since. Will wants to use what he's learned to teach fellow students and members of the surrounding community about the importance of native pollinators and honey bees.
Grace Hayes is a sophomore at UW-Madison, and started beekeeping at the Garden when she was a freshman living in the Greenhouse Learning Community in Leopold Residence Hall. Grace is grateful that, as a freshman, the Garden was her backyard. She spent many cloudy afternoons roaming around among the flowers. She loves cloudy days because the vivid colors of the garden pop against the dreary sky, enhancing the experiene. The Garden is such a special place to Grace, and the perfect environment for busy bees.
How did the program start?
In early 2016, we continued to hear about the need to protect and support pollinators. We were driven to find a way to learn more, and we were especially interested in sharing what we learned with others. The Allen Centennial Garden, a pollinator oasis on the UW-Madison campus, became the host site of a new honeybee hive.
What’s happened so far?
We learned a lot in our first season of bee keeping. We had a healthy hive and, with the help of UW-Madison faculty and students, harvested almost four gallons of honey! A Honey Harvest Celebration in fall 2016 featured local bee keepers and vendors who shared their experiences and helped raise awareness for the importance of pollinators.
Plans for the future:
With the knowledge gained from our first season, we plan to host hands-on workshops for the community and provide information for Garden visitors and students to learn more about bee keeping. We also plan to add an additional hive in 2017. We hope to use our experiences to teach others about the importance of pollinators and what they can do to help support and nurture these important creatures.