Honeybees are arguably the most important pollinators in our food system, and due to several environmental and social factors, their populations have been in significant decline in the last decade. Monitoring honeybees is critical, yet there is no comprehensive method by which to do so. This project addresses the need to better understand the decline of the honeybee population and how evidence based design can offer sustainable solutions.
The interdisciplinary research team from the CU Program in Environmental Design (ENVD) and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO) is partnering with Growing Gardens to develop a remote beehive monitoring system that will inform honeybee management practices, educate the local community on pollinator health and habitat, and further research into the effectiveness of planting strategies for organic food production.
Our project is a synthesis and expansion of currently existing programs and relationships between EBIO, ENVD, CU Facilities Management, CU Environmental Center, and Growing Gardens. The Program in Environmental Design (ENVD) supports research and development of ecologically driven design projects that can be fabricated in ENVD's Creative Labs in the Center for Innovation and Creativity (CINC) located on CU-Boulder's east campus.
Growing Gardens is a Boulder-based non-profit organization established in 1998 whose mission is to enrich the lives of our community through sustainable urban agriculture. Growing Gardens envisions people experiencing a direct and deep connection with plants, the land and each other. The project will address the current need for a healthy pollinator population at Growing Gardens, assist in the development of their new orchard microforage planting strategy and improve the success rate for the wintering of their bees. Growing Gardens teaches a hands-on 8 month long Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping class where they walk students through their first year of keeping bees. Community members and students from CU and Growing Gardens will have multiple points of entry into the project during project development, implementation, and evaluation. This valuable community resource provides CU students with a experiential learning opportunities and expertise in food system design and management practices.
Our project is located at Growing Gardens and runs throughout the year with seasonal changes as the bees and plants develop and grow.
This is a public program.
For more information, please visit the program website.