Honey bees have fallen on hard times in recent years. A mysterious phenomenon known as “colony collapse disorder,” where worker bees that maintain a hive suddenly disappear, has beekeepers on edge. Bees are also susceptible to all kinds of viruses and mites, not to mention pesticides. But as bee populations have decreased, the demand for locally produced honey has increased. Luckily, a growing group of Philly-based beekeepers is taking care of our local bees.
You can get a look inside the work of these beekeepers this Sunday at the Woodlands Cemetery as part of “Open Apiary Day,” a series of events across the city aimed at familiarizing folks with urban beekeeping.
In West Philly, beekeeper Daniel Duffy will discuss beekeeping at the working hives on the cemetery grounds from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Beekeeping has been intertwined with Philadelphia history since the 18th century. L.L. Langstroth, who is considered the father of modern beekeeping, was a Philadelphia native.
Open Apiary Day events are also taking place in Fairmount/Brewerytown and Mount Airy. The West Philly event includes a tour of the cemetery and arboretum.
Organizers are asking people to RSVP for the free event by calling 215-386-2181 or e-mailing info [at] woodlandsphila.org.
Later this month The Rotunda is hosting a June 23 screening of Queen of the Sun, a film about the disappearance of bees worldwide. The film starts at 7 p.m. and is a fundraiser for the Mariposa Food Co-op expansion.