by Diana Nelson Jones/May 15
Pittsburgh is getting its first bee farm, thanks to the advocacy of Burgh Bees, a group that has trained 110 beekepers in its two-year existence.
The organization cut a ribbon yesterday to "open" the Community Apiary in the 6900 block of Susquehanna in Homewood.
What was once a vacant half-acre is already planted with flowers and is home to about a dozen hives. People can learn how to tend bees and beekeepers who don't have their own space can keep their hives there. Native plants will serve as a pollinator garden for the bees, and anyone in Pittsburgh can come out and visit.
Burgh Bees is doing this with help from the city, Penn State Cooperative Extension and Homewood's Operation Better Block.
Meredith Meyer Grelli of Burgh Bees said the city granted the land to the partnership on a five-year lease.
Christie Berger, the mayor's community outreach coordinator, said the city, with so many sites (vacant lots) is eager to work with other groups that have environmentally beneficial projects.