So, Eve from American University (check out her amazing blog Buzzing Green) contacted me about bees through my partner Leah a couple of weeks ago, expressing interest in communicating more about bees and looking for advice and other words of encouragement. I love talking to people about my new hobby, so needless to say, we kept in contact. About a week and a half ago she mentioned her order of bees got cancelled by the supplier, for some reason. Apparently, beekeepers across the Eastern seaboard have been having a really hard time getting bees to expand their hives for sale, and even the first shipment to the BANV was only half of the promised shipment.
We decided the shipment we were getting in from Rossman Apiaries on the 23rd was going to go to American University, to benefit their sustainability program. They are putting their hives on top of the School of International Service, already a LEED Gold certified building. American University is a recognized arboretum, as well, so this is a wonderful environment for bees to grow and explore.
Of course, there is a hilarious story to go along with this.
I arrive at Chelsie’s house, and there is no buzzing box of bees. She had been to the post office, and they had told her someone picked up her box already. Wondering if it was one of the housemates, we scanned the whole house. No bees. We called and talked to all the roommates. No bees. We called the post office, and we figured out Someone Else had also gotten a call from the post office that day and picked up “a box of bees”. Apparently it’s not necessary for the post office to check whether the person’s name is right, or even if they’re at the right post office. They had ordered a box of bees which had come to a Different post office nearby, but picked up the completely wrong one. Ten million phone calls and a perilous drive through the rain trying to get to the post office before it closed later, we exchange our box (3 pounds of bees with a queen) for the other person’s box (1.5 pounds of bees). Needless to say I could have gotten a lot more mad than I was, but I was on a schedule, and didn’t have time to explode.
Racing to DC, ignoring a fair amount of legal and social laws of conduct to get to AU, we find an ecstatic Eve and her friend, along with Leah, who is always excited about BEES. Eve had been shadowing another beekeeper in DC on how to install packages, so I let her do things her way, while, of course, giving unwanted advice about how to do one or another thing. I have found that there is not one beekeeper who agrees with another one on how to do things, so I have already grown to accept the differences. Everything went fantastic, and it was beautiful to see all those bees getting excited about their new home. It is a fantastic place for these animals, and I wish them and Eve the best with this program. It’s an ambitious project in an environment where people may not all be too excited about bees on their building. I hope the backlash will be minimal, because it is extremely important for small projects like this to teach the community about the value of these animals.
Check out Eve’s blog for pictures and further updates. I am very excited to get started on creating good beekeeper connections around this city.