Bees and Trees | Trees and Shrubs | Resources | Activities
During the coming year, we’ll gather ideas of what people can do in Philadelphia and in the wider region.
Who: Beekeepers, tree-people, and everyone interested in helping out.
This program of the Philadelphia Dept of Parks & Recreation helps people get trees planted in the street, and distributes trees directly to people for off-street planting.
Philadelphia Orchard Project
A community-based initiative to establish local orchards in the city — owned, maintained, and harvested by the neighbors.
Plant One Million
This campaign extends to include 13 counties in the broad region of southern NJ, southeastern Pennsylvania, and all three counties of Delaware.
Our general approach intends to get us beyond the individual initiative that might be the default — i.e., to go out and buy plants for your own yard, etc. (Many of us have been doing that already!) But the Guild and Philadelphia tree groups can help people who do want to do it themselves. We can develop resources and share ideas.
Practically speaking, trees (and shrubs) are a fairly easy way to build sustainable forage for honey bees as well as habitat for other species. However, it may not always be necessary to go out and buy potted plants from commercial nurseries. Know-how and tools are one set of resources that can help those who want to try growing their own — either from seed or by rooting cuttings, or grafting, or …
Arboretums and …
What other organizations in the area can help with this project. Philadelphia is well endowed with a large number of arboretums and gardens. The Guild has a good working relationship with places such as the Wagner Free Institute of Science, a partner in the annual Honey Fest. We’d like to know who in the area can help with this project. Universities? Museums?
Someone can organize this. Lots of online apps for sharing pictures and inspiring others with visual documentation of what we do.
The main point of this project is to get trees and shrubs into the ground. But this is also an opportunity to get to know one another and learn what else is going on in the wider community.
… and the world
Obviously, Philadelphia and the surrounding region is not the only place for a ‘Bees and Trees’ project. We can try things out here, and we ought to share what we learn with people elsewhere who may want to do something similar. And vice versa. Why re-invent the wheel when other people are already doing something along the same lines? E.g., Bee City USA. E.g., street trees in other cities. What else is happening out there?
The Guild’s ‘Bees and Trees’ Committee
Several of us in the Philadelphia Beekeepers’ Guild have started this project as a Guild committee. We are interested in exploring ways of coordinating and strategizing these tree-planting activities. Anyone interested, who is not actually (or currently) a beekeeper, is encouraged to get in touch and help us think about how to work together.
Focusing on trees and shrubs is basically a strategic decision. The reasons for this can be explained, but we don’t mean to rule out other sorts of plants, which can contribute substantially to a pollinator-friendly habitat. We’re in a good position to learn about all the different approach, and to develop standards that can help all of us to evaluate them over time.
Here’s a page of some of the ‘leftovers’ from our first handout, with comments about other directions that are relevant in building up the forage for the honey bees in Philadelphia.