Beekeeping is happy and productive in prison

June 2, 2021

By Lori Pin, Adult Basic Education and Veterinary Lecturer, Centrelia College & and Ion Brumfield, Public Information Officer at the Washington Correctional Center

The queen is sometimes difficult to identify. She appears at the top left of the frame. (Photo by Washington Correctional Center)

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Editor’s note: The Covenant-19 epidemic has temporarily halted much of its sustainability in prison project programs. According to Kelly Bush, co-director, such as indoor plants, butterfly breeding, peer-to-peer education and some apiculture programs, such as a few outdoor programs (covered only to a certain extent and socially excluded from participants). Sustainability in the Prisoner Project.

However, with warmer climates and some COVID-19 restrictions easing, many institutions have begun to soften their apiculture programs. Many utilities have received new hives. Imprisoned beekeepers continue to care for the new hives. The Washington State Beekeeping Association’s beekeeping certification courses have also been temporarily suspended. However, DCOS and program partners will continue to monitor COVID-19 infection rates in institutions and resume courses when safe.

The following:

Honeycombs are amazing animals and are found all over the world. They are the best pollen on the planet, and most of the food we eat is based on their hard work. The world without beehives is incomprehensible because their extinction has a profound effect on our economy and our food resources.

From: Facts About Bees – The Beekeeper Bible.

Shilton – The Washington Correctional Center (WCC) has four new hives. The bees are bringing in a variety of pollen grains, indicating that they are feeding on a variety of flowering plants. The diversity of food sources is as good as ours. When caring for hives, Lori Pine, a teacher of horticultural and adult basic skills, and a group of imprisoned beekeepers take some time to see where they are flying. Many bees were flying to the R4 room, while others were flying to the greenhouse area and beyond the backyard.

They could see one of the four queens, but they did not want to disturb the colony by seeing eggs in all the hives. WCC beekeepers, as well as nicknamed bee whispers, have done a great job, Pin said. The two beekeepers working through the hives were very new to manual testing and were very calm and loved their time to be immersed in hives.

Many people know that pollen, food production, and floral beauty are all around us. However, pollen has another hidden gift – changing the lives of prisoners.

“I want to change the life of these tiny, endless insects,” says Pine. I see it over and over again in the area of ​​corrections. Imprisoned beekeepers describe the joy, peace, and deep-rooted bees that work with bees and their responsibility to help care for and maintain them.

WCC Plant Manager Andy Williams, with the help of imprisoned beekeepers, set up some yellow jacket traps near the hive. According to beekeepers, yellow jacket wasps are invading honey bees. If left unchecked, yellow jackets can invade bee hives and destroy entire bee colonies.

Hives everywhere

Pin was a beekeeper nine years ago. As president of the Olympian Beekeepers Association, PNP staff invited Pine to talk about bees at the Stafford Creek Detention Center. SPP provides opportunities for inmates to lead science and environmental sustainability programs in state prisons. Pine is currently a College of Veterinary and Basic Skills at Central College and teaches basic adult skills at WCC.

Many other resources also invite her to speak. Each time she visited, Pine said she had a strong desire to be a beekeeper in prison and testified.

The WCC is not the only correctional facility in the state to have hives. There are more than 60 beehives out of 12 regional prisons. There are also a couple of beehives on McNeil Island. The apiculture project is one of a number of ongoing projects in collaboration with the Prisoners’ Project, Everegan State College, the Department of Corrections and the Correctional Industry.

Beekeepers from the Cedar Creek Crisis Center (CCCC) guide professional beekeepers from local communities to keep hives on Macnell Island. Macnil Islands, which was planted three years ago, is rare because it is an insect-free island. Pin says it is especially good for bees because they are not susceptible to toxins.

“He is very supportive, and beekeepers have returned to the CCC in the same hives and have become ambassadors for pollen and bees on their own initiative,” said Pine. The same is true for WCC beekeepers! ”

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