There truly is beauty in everything… even an old trash dumpsite. Last year, the SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex made the news for converting a portion of the complex to a solar installation. Now, the complex is in the news again, but this time it is for converting the old dump to a home for four honey bee hives. In all, the hives are expected to house about 80,000 bees.
Turning Trash into a Haven for Honey Bees
The new project is yet another exciting way that Georgia is jumping into the business of having our honey bees from extinction. The parent company of SeaPoint, Dulany Industries, stated the new hives will help pollinate plants throughout downtown Savannah. Eric VonOtteran, a local beekeeper, stated, “Bees forage up to five miles away. They forage in huge areas.”
Reed Dulany, the President and CEO of Dulany Industries, sounded very excited about the project. He stated, “The eight acres at the entrance to our site containing solar, indigenous wildflowers and bees are representative of the larger sustainable model that we are building on over 600 acres at SeaPoint. It is a great way to educate and welcome people to our site.” The hives will be managed by Kevin McCusker, who is the plant’s utilities manager. McCusker was trained by VanOtteran on how to care for the bees.
The hives are going to complement the new solar farm that is already on the grounds. There are now 4,000 solar panels that have a 1.2-megawatt capacity operating on the site. This is enough energy to supply power to about 240 local homes. If all goes well, there are hopes that another four hives will be put in place, doubling the current population of honey bees at the plant. With each hive producing about 60 pounds of honey per year, the former dump site could possibly be producing almost 500 pounds of honey!
According to VanOtteran, there are also plans to open a local meadery to make use of some of that honey. If all goes well, that will be launched sometime in 2020.
This is really exciting news and once again, we hope it provides an example to other cities on how land can be repurposed as well as an idea for how city officials and help jump in and address the plight of the honey bee. Solutions such as this, as you can see, not only help the bees and the local environment, but they also offer potential for a new small business.