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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
United States


Washington Youth Garden

Bees in trouble

April Martin

It’s been a roller coaster winter and spring for DC bee lovers.

First we celebrated when DC passed the Sustainable DC Act, officially legalizing beekeeping in the District. (You can read here, starting on page 14.)


Then we mourned as many of the hives across our city were struck by colony collapse, a disorder that is not completely understood but is devastating hives across the nation. At the Washington Youth Garden, we teach kids that bees are in trouble.  Unfortunately, this winter the trouble hit close to home.

Our hive was one of the approximately 40-50% of honeybee hives across the country that didn’t make it to spring. Nobody understands the full story about colony collapse, a malady that has killed off 30% of hives annually over recent years. However, you can read more about the environmental and agricultural concerns in this New York Times Article. You can also learn more on this recent episode of Science Friday.

We were looking forward to our 4th season with our hive: not only did they produce award-winning honey and pollinate our many flowering crops, they taught countless adult and child visitors that bees are our friends. We need them and they need our help.

Fortunately, we have great beekeeping friends who will help us procure a new hive and queen. So when you come out to visit us this season, be sure to pay a visit to our new friends. We’ll do our best to give them a good home and find ways to make our earth more friendly to our much-needed families of pollinators.