- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Opens New State Apiary During Massachusetts Pollinator Week
Danvers — June 21, 2017 – Today in conjunction with Massachusetts Pollinator Week, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton celebrated the opening of the second state apiary at Essex Technical High School, a collection of beehives which will be used for education and academic research. During the event at the state apiary, Secretary Beaton also announced $50,000 in funding to plant pollinator-friendly gardens at Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) facilities.
“Massachusetts Pollinator Week is an opportunity to highlight the important role pollinators and their beekeepers play in ensuring a healthy and diverse ecosystem that farmers rely on for crop pollination and food production,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The new state apiary and this new funding for pollinator-friendly gardens will help educate the public about pollinators and to support the Commonwealth’s vitally important pollinator populations.”
Pollinators include bees, birds, bats, butterflies and other species, and over 45 percent of agricultural commodities in Massachusetts rely on pollinator species for crop pollination and food production. There are approximately 4,500 honey beekeepers managing approximately 45,000 hives across the Commonwealth. Pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems, and produce valuable products including honey, propolis, royal jelly and wax.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to partner with Essex Technical High School on this second apiary location, which will provide hands on learning and knowledge on pollinator health for students and faculty,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We look forward to continuing to invest in pollinator education and pollinator-friendly gardens, and working with local beekeepers across the Commonwealth.”
The state apiary at Essex Technical High School will serve as a vessel for education, outreach demonstrations and research related to agricultural sustainability, pollination, honey bee health and hive management. This apiary will complement MDAR’s first apiary, which opened last June and is located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.
The new apiary will consist of six honey bee hives located within a 30 foot by 100 foot plot on the campus of Essex Technical High School. The apiary was funded by appropriated FY17 funds for the DAR Apiary Program designated for projects that provide research, education and general support to benefit Massachusetts honey bees.
“The opening of the second Apiary site fits in with the Apiary Program’s mission of promoting and sustaining apiculture by providing support to all involved stakeholders in the beekeeping industry” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We are proud to have such knowledgeable staff in the Apiary Program that provide a wide range of services such as hive inspections, technical assistance, education and outreach.”
“Pollinators are essential for the life of our ecosystem, and so much depends on their well-being that we need to intensify our efforts to sustain them,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Expanding those efforts at Essex Technical High School will not only capitalize on the expertise of the school, it will also engage the students in what needs to be a continuous process.”
“I’m thrilled to see the Baker-Polito Administration keeping their commitment to apiary education, Essex County and our local agricultural businesses will be well served by this state apiary,” said State Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich).
“I thank the administration for continuing to provide opportunities for study, research and ways to promote pollinator health,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “I am sure this second apiary will provide necessary information that will help to sustain our pollinators.”
“I’m proud that the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School has been chosen as the second site for an apiary habitat and program,” said State Representative Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers). “This program will provide the students with another tool to become even more familiar with the world of bees and their importance to our ecosystem.”
For more information on MDAR’s Apiary Program, visit their website.