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.
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
- 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.