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In an effort to support the declining honey bee population and to educate community members about the importance of pollinators, the Evanston Ecology Center has installed a new apiary that is home to an estimated 40,000 honey bees in Eggleston Park.
Four hives, each containing approximately 10,000 bees, were installed May 2 adjacent to the Ecology Center Farmette and the Edible Evanston Orchard, located just west of McCormick Boulevard and south of Bridge Street. Each hive is painted a different color so that bees can recognize their own hive.
The apiary will allow Ecology Center staff to provide educational programming about the biology, anatomy and behavior of honey bees, as well as to educate community members about threats to the honey bee population and what they can do to help. The honey bee population has declined steadily in recent years due to pesticides, disease and other factors.
In addition to providing educational opportunities, the apiary will also benefit Evanston gardens. Honey bees provide critical pollination for many native plants and crops.
Excess honey collected by the bees will be harvested by Ecology Center staff in the coming years. The first harvest is not expected until at least the second year of the program.
Photos of the apiary installation can be found at https://goo.gl/photos/8gKNSDTt3V2YYYdo6.
For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.