The City of Raleigh is a-buzz with honey, hives, and honeybees, thanks in part to the dedication of Alice Hinman and her non-profit, Apiopolis. (You may recognize her from the cover of your Walter Magazine a few months ago.)
In Alliance's continuing efforts to be good stewards of our environment and our land in urban Raleigh, we added two bee hives to our pollinator garden and Community Garden earlier this year.
When Alice learned of Alliance's interest in beekeeping, she immediately signed on to support our efforts.
"I was very impressed with the work Alliance does to promote health and wellness, not only by providing healthcare for uninsured working adults, but by planting a community garden on site to be able to offer their clients with hyper locally grown fresh produce to support a healthy lifestyle."
When Alice started Apiopolis, she sought to make a difference to honeybee health as well as the ecological health and well-being of Raleigh and all the organisms and people that live here. "I strive to do so in the most inclusive, joyful and artful way possible."
Alice is a firm believer in community participation and activism. In addition to keeping the hives of her clients, she also volunteers as the beekeeper at Passage Home's Community Garden.
"There are so many great organizations doing vital work in Raleigh. By collaborating and forming partnerships, innovative or obvious, we can support each other’s efforts and make our community stronger and healthier. Creating a truly sustainable local food system by necessity includes pollinators as well as all members of our community."
Honeybees are critical to the health of our community, but in recent years have been in decline in the face of numerous stressors.
"Honeybees are fascinating, beautiful creatures. There is never an end to learning about them, their inter-relationships with other species and kingdoms, and how best to care for them. I think accepting responsibility for the well being of something you love is the first step toward changing things for the better."
According to Alice, a honeybee colony is a superorganism where every individual works together for the best good of the whole. This includes microorganisms present in the hive, the comb and the shelter that houses it.
"I often think this is such an apt metaphor for human society, that if we regard our selves and our world as one big, functional, precious entity, we’ll work together to build the strongest, healthiest, most abundant and beautiful world possible for everyone and everything."
In Alliance's first harvest, our hives produced 1.25 gallons (about 15 pounds) of honey for our patients!
We anticipate having another harvest in the summer 2018. Thank you, thank you, to Alice and Apiopolis for lending her beekeeping expertise to our hives!