Durham, NC – 2017 Annual Report

Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat

Durham was certified a Bee City USA affiliate in June 2016. We are organized as a coalition of individuals, businesses, nonprofits and community groups. There is always a lot of buzz in the Bull City and 2107 was no exception.

Keep Durham Beautiful is a 501(c)3 nonprofit supported by the City of Durham who is dedicated to litter reduction and healthy habitat. In 2017, KDB hosted a wide variety of citywide events, As part of an ongoing,citywide effort to replant our aging tree canopy, KDB had multiple tree giveaways, encouraging residents to plant native and pollinator friendly trees. By the end of 2017, KBD has helped citizens plant over 1000 trees in Durham.

During Pollinator week, KDB hosted the first annual Pollinator Garden Tour. Also during pollinator week, KDB hosted Bees and Brews at a local brewery.  Over 3 dozen participants learned how to build bee hotels while tasting local bee friendly brews. In August, KDB hosted a Pop Up Pollinator plant give away at the Durham Farmers market. KDB is beginning a Pollinator Grow Out Program with Durham Schools. Students and residents will start seedlings of native pollinator friendly plants and then a city wide plant swap will share the seedlings. In May, KDB employees traveled to Asheville to train as Certified Pollinator Advocates and met others from around North Carolina who are also advocating for pollinators.  Keep Durham Beautiful continues to work closely with the community doing litter cleanups, tree plantings and gardening.

The City of Durham’s Parks and Recreation department maintains Sandy Creek Park a certified Monarch Waystation, a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat and a NC native plant habitat. In October, Keep Durham Beautiful and other groups hosted the Monarch festival at Sandy Creek Park in October and over 600 attendees learned about the monarch migration and the importance of healthy habitat for monarchs.

The Durham County Agricultural Extension continues their work at the Briggs Avenue Community Garden. Pollinator friendly plants and trees surround the gardens and the Ag Extension partnered with Keep Durham Beautiful in adding some interpretive signs about Bees.

Extraterrestrial continued with their work at Prairie Island, an native prairie at the trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail. Community groups continue to add native grasses, milkweed, and perennial flowers to the garden.

In February of 2017 The Triangle Land Conservancy conducted a prescribed burn of 30 acres at Horton Grove Nature Preserve to maintain the Piedmont prairie habitat critical to pollinators and other species in the area. TLC had Pollinator Week environmental education programs with first through sixth grade students via Durham Public Schools summer camp and continued their environmental education with other students throughout the summer at 3 different camps

Milkweed patch
Briggs Avenue Community Gardens welcomes bees!
Pollinator meadow aglow with echinacea

Policies & Practices

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Durham Beekeepers Chapter shares observation beehive at festival

Education & Outreach

HoneyGirl Meadery hosted a Wild Berry Mead making event during Pollinator Week and their tasting room is open every weekend for people to try their delicious local mead as well as learn about honeybees! During Pollinator Week,

Burt’s Bees hosted tours of founder Burt Shavitz’s coop where he lived in Maine and which is now located on the grounds of the company’s Durham headquarters. Burt’s Bees has an observation hive installed outside of their office allowing passers by to see honey bees at work.

The Museum of Life and Science held Pollinator Week activities with educational tables for their 2000 plus weekly guests.

Bee Downtown is an exciting young start up that continues to grow and educate businesses and residents about the importance of honeybees. In 2017, in addition to installing and maintaining hives for their business partners, Bee Down led Apiary tours with school and community groups, educating the next generation of beekeepers.During Pollinator Week 2017, Bee Downtown also hosted “The Bee Bash”, a fun and educational event at the Durham Hotel, where bee organizations had tables and attendees could enjoy specialty bee themed cocktails.

The Durham County Beekeepers Association had an active calendar in 2017. They captured a swarm of bees in the spring and relocated them to the Briggs Avenue Community Garden which is maintained by the Durham Agricultural Extension. DCBA hosted monthly hive Inspections at the Duke Farm apiary and also hosted a Swarm and Bait Hives workshop with over 20 attendees.

DCBA bee class expanded in 2017 and increased space meant they could hold larger classes and there was a waiting list. They set aside space in the class each year for non-profits and gov’t organizations. DCBA participated in the NC State Fair and had an educational table at the annual Festival for the Eno.

Honeygirl Meadery hives overwintering
Bee Downtown hives
Bees are fun!

Local Website & Contact Information

Website: DurhamBeeCIty.org 

City of Durham Sustainability plan: GreenerDurham.net