The HBI mission is to:
Mason has a total of 37 hives under its care. The total population can range between 5,000 to 45,000 bees per hive, depending on the time of year.
No. Since they are vegetarians (unlike wasps who are meat eaters), honeybees are not aggressive by nature and only seek pollen and nectar sources. Honeybees only sting when protecting their hive or themselves from a threat. Occasionally, observers may encounter a swarm of bees looking for a new hive. These bees will gather on a tree limb or concealed space until scouts find a new home, usually within 12 to 36 hours. During swarming, the bees have nothing to defend, so they are unusually calm and not prone to sting.
Currently, the honey will be left in the hives to support the bees through the winter. As excess honey is produced, it may be available for distribution.
Generally, visits to the bees are reserved for Mason students currently enrolled in beekeeping classes. On occasion, we may be able to provide educational tours for small community groups. If you would like more information please call 703-993-2252.
Yes, this fall NCLC 395: Beekeeping and Sustainability is open to third and fourth year Mason students. Two companion courses will be offered in the following spring and summer. Some courses are cross-listed and geared to concurrently satisfy graduate level requirements.
At this time, we do not offer any beekeeping courses for the general public. We would encourage interested parties to contact their local beekeeping association. For Fairfax County, BANV (the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia, http://www.beekeepersnova.org/) can provide information on how to get involved with beekeeping. In Manassas and points west, contact the Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association (http://pwrbeekeepers.com/).
The HBI sends special thanks to our project supporters at the Sweet Virginia Foundation and Merrifield Garden Center.