In lieu of the Conservancy’s initiative to restore native species, we have started beekeeping! The presence of prolific wildlife near the canal is an excellent biological monitor for a healthy habitat. Honey bees are essential in pollinating a variety of plants, further propagating native species we’ve installed in our gardens.

Honey contains pollen grains collected by the bees within its foraging area (a roughly 2 mile radius); this food source, which also includes nectar, thus reflects the health of the local environment. We plan to test our honey for any presence of heavy metals, which we could then postulate is also present in the plants and soils of the watershed.

The Conservancy is lucky to partner with Emily Vaughn, our resident beekeeper:

Just last week, she received and placed our newly arrived Italian honey bees, Apis mellifera ligustica, in their new fluorescent green homes (more on its creation here), which sit in our berm garden.

Prime canal-side views:

We’ll keep a close eye on our new bee friends–more updates to come!

Edit: Emily will lead a hive inspection this weekend, on Sunday, May 5th from 11am to shortly after noon. Please RSVP at rebecca@gowanuscanalconservancy.org, as space is limited!

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