Above USDA Headquarters: Bees are Abuzzing May 16, 2014
The People's Garden Apiary located on the roof of the Jamie L. Whitten Building at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC is home to approximately 40,000 Italian honey bees. You can #USDABeeWatch any day of the week by tuning into our live bee cam.
This time of year our hive is bursting with activity! The worker bees that you see are all female and are busy collecting nectar and pollen to convert into honey. Spring time in the Nation's Capital is a major time for honey production by honey bee colonies.
The activities of a colony vary with the seasons. Join the conversation about bees and other pollinators by using hashtag #USDABeeWatch.
About The People's Garden Apiary
The first beehive was installed on Earth Day in 2010 and a second hive was later added in 2011. USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland helps keep these colonies of bees strong and healthy so they can pollinate crops growing in the Headquarters People's Garden and neighboring landscapes. An added bonus is the delicious honey, approximately 18 gallons worth, extracted from the hive since 2010.
The beehives consist of wooden box-like sections stacked on top of each other. Each box (or super) holds 8-10 wooden frames, each containing a thin sheet of wax foundation. The bees build their combs on these foundations.
Honey is stored in the combs in the upper parts of the hive. When the bees have filled the combs in the upper section with honey and covered them with wax caps, the beekeeper takes them away to extract the honey. You can take a virtual tour of the People's Garden Apiary for a look inside the hive and the fascinating world of beekeeping.