Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apiforestation Experiment Conducted at U.S. Mine Reclamation Sites

Irish Documentarians Film EKU Beekeeping Initiative
The buzz about EKU’s beekeeping initiative has reached the shores of Ireland.
EKUpdate, 11/17/2008

Irish filmmakers Ross McDonnell and Carter Gunn shot footage on the EKU campus and at the Thunder Ridge surface mining site in Leslie County for possible inclusion in their documentary, “Colony.”

Earlier this summer, McDonnell and Gunn approached Tammy Horn, researcher/apiculturalist with EKU’s Eastern Kentucky Environmental Research Institute, at a meeting of the Eastern Apiculture Society. Horn, an author and widely recognized expert on beekeeping, is spearheading an innovative effort to promote beekeeping on mine reclamation sites in Eastern Kentucky for both economic development and environmental reasons…

A film crew is scheduled to meet with Horn on Nov. 25 at one of the four mine reclamation sites in southeastern Kentucky where bee hives have been established.

Recently, Horn received a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees to conduct an experiment in apiforestation, a term that describes a new form of reclamation focused on the planting of pollinator-friendly flowers and trees. Specifically, Horn is looking at the benefits of sourwood, which “makes one of the finest honeys in the United States…

The funds from the Foundation will provide for MegaBee pollen supplement for the 40 sentinel hives already established at the four mine sites, organic flower seeds to be provided by earthlygoods.com, a honey extractor, replacement queens, and travel expenses.

Horn’s first book was “Bees in America: How the Honeybee Shaped a Nation.” Her second book, to be published in 2009 or 2010, will be entitled “Piping Up: A History of Women and Bees.”

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