Beekeeping at CLC

The CLC Apiary

Apiary means a human-built beehive. Like a stable for horses or a barn for cows, it’s the shelter for creatures who are part of our intentional environment.

For eons, humans cared for bees as part of our agriculture. The bees pollinate crop plants, and we harvest honey from the hives.

Today, we shelter bees for their role in all environments, agricultural, suburban, ornamental and wild. Pollinators matter to the health and biodiversity of our planet. CLC began this work in 2016; now, it’s part of our campus maintenance and our curriculum. Students learn how to take care of bees, collect honey and monitor pollination.

In warmer months, you’ll see the honeybees, native bees and other pollinators in action among the plants. You can enjoy CLC-harvested honey at Café Willow or take some home from a LancerZone store.

Every time you enjoy a local strawberry or apple, remember your visit to the apiary and thank a pollinator.

Benefits of Beekeeping at CLC

At CLC: Growing our own food

Students in the sustainable agriculture program take care of the beehives and harvest gallons of honey. They learn how to manage the hive to be healthier, more productive and more resilient in the face of pesticides, untimely frosts, predators, storms and all the other hazards a hive faces.

In addition to honey, the bees and pollinators help our campus farm—something you may be able to appreciate at our farm market every summer.

In Lake County: Keeping our plants healthy

You need bees and other local pollinators for a healthy landscape, whether you are raising flowers or admiring blooming trees along the street. Yet, our pollinators are in distress. Hives have collapsed (we’re still trying to understand why) and populations have fallen.

You can help support pollinators in many ways:

  • Avoid pesticides
  • Plant native species (like wild geranium, bergamot, milkweed and New England Aster)
  • Buy local food (maybe some honey at the LancerZone?)

Around the world: Doubling the food harvest

Bees are so important to farming across the globe that international aid groups provide apiaries and beekeeper training to impoverished communities.

The introduction of a single colony of bees can double local fruit and vegetable yields. This allows families to grow enough food to both feed themselves and sell the surplus.