Waste Management News: Locals Work to Save the Bees

Broward Beekeepers Association/Community Apiaries Project train and treat the hives at Waste Management’s Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park

Bees, particularly honeybees, have been around for millions of years and are responsible for pollinating more than a third of the world’s food supply. However, one of the biggest threats to the honeybee population is mites.

That has led Broward Beekeepers Association/Community Apiaries Project (BBA/CAP) to provide ongoing training for members on how to inspect and treat beehives for small mites that can infect the bees and kill the hive.

“Mites are one of the worst enemies of honeybees which are so important to our food supply necessitating that we maintain healthy bees,” said Dr. Leo Gosser, who founded the Broward Beekeepers Association and has been working with Waste Management over the last few years on bee removal at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.

BBA/CAP members recently participated in a workshop at the Waste Management site to learn how to open and inspect the hives, sample the bees for mites, get the mite counts in each hive and add a solution to the hive.

“We have to know the condition of a hive and how many mites there are in a hive if we want to do a good job of maintaining the bees,” said Gosser. “Waste Management was kind enough to allow us to establish an apiary here and conduct our training.”

This apiary has 11 hives and was established in fall 2019 at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park with its plentiful wildflowers and ability for the bees to live undisturbed.

“Waste Management is really pleased to partner with the local beekeepers of Broward County to have an apiary here at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park and to accommodate this training,” said Dawn McCormick, director of communications for Waste Management.

“Honeybees are so important to everything we do and eat, and they play a vital role in the food on our table every day.”

The Waste Management site also serves as a community resource following hurricanes and by providing electricity to power nearly 10,000 homes per day in Broward County through its landfill gas-to-energy plant.