Monday, June 08, 2015

Honeybees Find a Haven at the University of Maryland

Guest Blog by Daven Desai
Students and visitors of the University of Maryland (UMD) flagship campus at College Park, MD, will be pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful pollinator project, the “Honeybee Haven” placed right around Knight Hall just off Campus Drive. Sam Bahr, a horticulturalist who works for the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and Landscape Services at the university, gave me the grand tour last week. 

We walked through the many different plants that were put in place to attract more honeybees into the garden as beneficial pollinators. The project received a grant of $3,671 to help fund a garden that will consist of perennial plants,  as well as many shrubs and grasses that will be planted in order to create a unique pollinator garden for honeybees to flourish. According to Bahr, many of the plants will bloom in mid-July and into August and several varieties will also flower into the early fall season. 

The Arboretum Outreach Center is hard at work trying to get as many different types of pollinator plants in as possible. The landscape and location allows them to test different plants in the garden to see if they are able to thrive in such a high-traffic, urban landscape. Bahr says that they do experiment with certain plants to see if they will actually endure the landscape conditions and they are usually happy to find that they are indeed growing.

One pleasant side-effect of the new garden is the fragrances that will greet the students, faculty, and visitors on warm, breezy days when the scents travel to the nearby walking paths and seating areas.  Knight Hall, also known as Philip Merrill College of Journalism, will be fortunate enough to be the center of the pollinator haven as it will make up the entirety of it’s outdoor landscape.

Bahr and the rest of his colleagues and volunteers have put in a lot of effort into creating an aesthetically pleasing garden that will capture any passerby's attention. With honeybee populations decreasing across the nation, Honeybee Haven hopes to increase local honeybee populations as well. The garden will be in full swing by the time students return in the fall and until then, the Arboretum/Botanical Gardens and Landscape services center will be tending to their slowly growing, but prospering Honeybee Haven. 

About the Author
Daven Desai is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a broadcast journalism student at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. This summer, he is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great, well-worded article that not only highlights the unfortunate trend of pollinator decline, but also highlights the unique skill set of UMD students and staff who dedicate themselves to this project. It seems that the UMD author has a skill set of his own as well! :)