As part of Vincentian’s ongoing commitment to environmental wellness and sustainability, the Vincentian Villa campus will soon be home to a honeybee hive!
With some expert care, we expect this beehive to grow into Vincentian’s second beehive apiary. Our Beekeeper (And Manager of Maintenance and Environmental Services) Rich Batson established the first one at Vincentian Marian Manor in 2020. That apiary now has 19 hives with approximately 500,000 bees pollinating flowers and trees and gathering nectar for honey. Since the bees arrived at Vincentian Marian Manor, various plants and trees have begun to bear fruit for the first time.
Rich is an adept Beekeeper, a topic he is passionate about.
“Everyone’s heard of the buzzing honey bee hive full of hard workers, but the truth is that not every member of the colony works constantly. During the light of the day, female worker bees work extremely hard, as they fly back and forth collecting nectar and pollen to make honey and feed the young,” Rich explains. “In the evening, honeybees typically retire to their nests. They stop gathering pollen and nectar and rest in preparation for the next day’s work. The cooler temperatures keep the bees in the hive or clustered around it until the next day.”
Rich said that most honeybees are harmless to humans unless they are provoked or bothered.
The new hive is arriving at Vincentian Villa soon, but residents and visitors likely won’t notice it at all. It will be situated near the retention pond at the lower end of the property. This location was chosen because it is away from where our residents regularly walk or congregate.
Facilities and groundskeeping staff have already started taking steps to make the environment more friendly for bees and mother nature. We will no longer use pesticides to prevent weeds on the property and we will plant more wildflowers, shrubs and trees that will provide food to help the bees pollinate.
Once the hive is established, we could start harvesting and selling honey next year. Proceeds will be used to maintain the beehives and support programs for Vincentian. The Culinary Team is already making plans to use the honey in some of its meals and desserts.