PRESS RELEASE: Published January 11, 2016
Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 11am.
Oakland Park, Florida
In Florida, Broward County is leading the way to save the honeybee with the first honeybee micro apiary in Florida. The Discovery Farm and Gardens at Jaco Pastorius Park in the City of Oakland Park is the prototype site for the start of a countywide effort in honeybee management and rescues.
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony with state, county and local officials is being planned for Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 at 11:00am. The public, current, and future backyard beekeepers are welcome. Activities and the produce marketplace open at 10:00am.
The President calls for action to protect the Honeybee and its Habitat.
Scientists believe that paying attention to honeybees and their habitat is critical to sustaining Florida’s
crops, and the diversity of the state’s vegetation.
- On May 19th, 2014, the Obama administration announced the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees.
- The plan is to restore land and support efforts to preserve bee colonies across the country.
- The President emphasized the need for an “all hands on deck” approach, including the engagement of citizens and communities, and the forging of public-private partnerships.
Broward County Gets Involved in Saving the Honeybee
The Broward Bee Policy ad hoc committee answered the President’s call and began to develop a comprehensive Broward Honey Bee Policy. The committee recognized the stewardship, maintenance and nurturing of our public environment, including its wildlife, as a core responsibility of Broward County and its municipal governments.
The committee focused on the singular question of how to support more managed honeybee colonies in Broward County.
- Managed honeybee colonies are safer than feral (non-managed) honeybee colonies because
they create a natural barrier to the more aggressive Africanized colonies; and
- Managed hives also provide a convenient research platform, as well as a great source for local
natural honey and honeybee products.
The First Honeybee Micro Apiary1 in Florida
In October 2015, the idea of a micro apiary was presented to the Broward Bee Policy ad hoc committee as a way in which public property could be conveniently used to produce more managed honeybee colonies without adversely affecting the public use or purpose of the thousands of acres of public property in Broward County.
Two months later, Florida’s first micro apiary prototype was constructed with the financial support of the Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC) and the leadership from the Urban Farming Institute (UFI) along with its partnership with the City of Oakland Park.
- Located at The Discovery Farm and Gardens at Jaco Pastorius Park in the City of Oakland Park.
- It will establish important financial and operational baselines in construction, management and
maintainability for the future planning of micro apiaries throughout Broward County and Florida.
- Future honeybee micro apiaries are being planned throughout Broward County based on this prototype.
The Discovery Farm and Gardens and The Urban Farming Institute
The Discovery Farm and Gardens Apiary is part of the Urban Farming Institute (UFI), a non-profit
organization, located in Oakland Park, FL. The UFI serves as a regional education, demonstration, and
resource center for educators, health practitioners, gardeners, farmers, and producers interested in
growing food in an urban setting.
- It oversees the city of Oakland Parks’ weekly Farmers Market
- It has developed educational gardens in nearly 50 schools in Broward County to educate the students and teachers on how to grow their own food
- It offers weekly educational classes at the institute on various garden topics; and
- It operates a retail resource center where the public can purchase all their urban gardening supplies.
For more information on the Urban Farming Institute and its programs please contact Jon Albee or for more information on Florida’s First Honeybee micro apiary please contact its head Beekeeper John Coldwell. You can also check out the Urban Farming Institute’s Facebook page for more information.
Broward County Efforts to Save the Honeybee – Honeybee Micro Apiary
(1) An apiary or bee yard is a place where managed beehives of honeybees are kept. Under state law, all
apiaries in Florida are maintained by licensed Florida Beekeepers and regularly inspected by the Florida
Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division.