May 3, 2017

About the Initiative

The Fairfax Campus Apiaries were established in 2012 with a Patriot Green Fund grant from Mason’s Office of Sustainability. The Honey Bee Initiative has since expanded to 50 apiaries across Northern Virginia.

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Goals

Inspired by Mason’s vision to be “the best university for the world,” Mason’s Honey Bee Initiative contributes to growing efforts related to honey bee sustainability in the region through:

  • Applied research to combat colony collapse
  • Hands-on teaching about sustainable beekeeping practices and social entrepreneurship
  • Collaborative partnerships to improve the security and sustainability of the Northern Virginia ecosystem

Accomplishments

  • Two teaching apiaries serve as demonstration stations for students of all majors, alumni, and the community.
  • We collaborated with communities in the Colombian Andes and Peruvian Amazon to develop social entrepreneurial bee keeping programs preserving the self-sustaining livelihood of several indigenous groups.
  • The City of Fairfax used our apiary as a model to set a beekeeping standard for the city.
  • We partnered with Fairfax County to install apiaries and wildflower fields at the I-95 landfill which will beautify the landfill, improve water quality, and create a natural bee habitat.