Middleton Place is proud to announce the opening of a new Honeybee Sanctuary on Saturday, October 17th from 2-4 pm. The Sanctuary is located adjacent to the Middleton Place Organic Farm on the North side of the property. The public is invited to attend. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:15 followed by focus tours with experts.
Middleton Place Foundation President Charles Duell noted that the Honeybee Sanctuary is consistent with the overall mission of Middleton Place to preserve and protect the natural history of this area of the Lowcountry, while educating visitors and school children about the important role of the honeybees in American culture.
“Almost half of America’s honeybee colonies have been lost in the past seventy years,” noted Duell. “The Honeybee Sanctuary at Middleton Place will give these bees a protected, non-toxic environment in which to thrive.”
Duell’s daughter, June Waterman, is a Middleton Place Foundation trustee with a long held interest in bees. Waterman is heading up the Honeybee Sanctuary project at Middleton Place. With support from Tami Enright, executive director of the Bee Cause, a non-profit honeybee educational and advocacy group, and a grant from the National Coffee Association (NCA), the Sanctuary was hatched last spring. In addition to the grant, the NCA devoted their Day of Service, boasting 120 hard working volunteers, to creating Enright and Waterman’s vision, complete with an Outdoor Observation Hive, a Honeybee Stage, and a Pollinator-Friendly Garden.
Waterman said that the Honeybee Sanctuary really came together over the summer with collaborative efforts from Middleton Place employees. “The sanctuary is tucked in amongst fruit trees and flowerbeds and has become a seamless addition to the organic farm.” With the completion of a multi-purpose, outdoor classroom, the setting is perfect for visitors and school groups to spend time getting to know the bees’ story, learning about organic farming, and reconnecting with the natural world.