The grounds outside of The Frederick News-Post will soon be buzzing. Literally.
Bee boxes, which house honey bees, will be put in the community garden outside of the News-Post offices by a group of Hood College students. During freshman orientation, students had the chance to decorate the bee boxes through Hood Environmental Action Team, known as HEAT.
HEAT is a student-run organization focused on raising awareness about the environment. They hold several events and activities for the college and the surrounding community, President Jordan Reed-Estes said in an email. The bee project was meant to raise awareness about the creatures and how to best protect them.
The group focused on bees this year because the insects face multiple threats to their hives and lives due to issues stemming from climate change and chemical issues. Bee pollination accounts for about a third of food humans consume, including almonds, Reed-Estes said.
“Bees are just really so important to our environment and our lives in general,” she said.
The bee boxes will come from Hood student Abe Olsson, who has been beekeeping for a number of years, he said.
The top of the boxes are where bees build out wax and fill it with nectar, which becomes honey. The queen bee lives in the center of a cluster, and the bottom of the boxes are for the eggs the queen lays, Olsson said.
The queen will lay eggs in the spring. The majority of a hive will consist of female bees — they do the majority of the pollination work. About 5 percent of the bees are males, called drones, but they get kicked out around October because they are essentially freeloaders, Olsson said. Drones’ main responsibility is to fertilize queen bees.
Olsson already keeps honey bees, specifically apis mellifera, or the Western honey bee. They produce pretty good honey, he said. He produces about 50-60 pounds of honey during a good year, he said.
He will sell his honey at local markets.
Olsson has five hives at his house, he said. He will be donating two hives for the Hood Class of 2023. The bees will replace the ones kept by David Muns, who manages the community garden, Reed-Estes said.
HEAT started seven years ago, she said. Along with the bee project, the organization helps with the Green Neighbor Festival, the Climate Change Banquet, the Mother Earth project and its Annual Earth Week Fundraiser.