St. Paul has taken the first step to what it hopes will eventually be a pioneering initiative on city parkland, after establishing its first apiary in collaboration with the University of Minnesota.
The City's Parks and Recreation Department, at the urging of Mayor Chris Coleman, has entered into a partnership with the U's respected "Bee Lab" to open the first such installation of honeybees on parkland in St. Paul– at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
It is the latest in a growing number of efforts in Minnesota to boost bee populations at a time of dramatic decline, sparking concerns over future food supplies without bees around for pollination.
You can find out more about the St. Paul project by watching this video.
The hive will be a resource for anybody visiting the nature sanctuary who wants to learn more about the honeybee and bee conservation.
St. Paul and the U have even greater ambitions for the initiative, hoping to expand it in the future to become what they claim would be the first "Community Apiary" on public parkland in the United States.
This would see local beekeepers given a plot of land on which to keep their own hives, working in a similar way to community gardens.
The Bee Squad's Ana Heck told BringMeTheNews the only community apiary she knows of on public land is in Chicago, where one was set up on public works land – but this would be the first on public parkland.
Those leading the project at Bruce Vento are in the process of looking into how a community apiary could work at the nature sanctuary.