Maynard Honey Bee Meadow Concept
The Maynard Honey Bee Meadow is meant to be a wildflower meadow with paths, benches, educational posts, an arbor with a “window” to the beehive, a little free library with books about bees and how to help them, and an active top bar beehive. The wildflower meadow will be located in the back of the parking lot at Art Space. The meadow will be open to the community to visit and enjoy. The educational posts will have information on them about bees, hives, honey, and flowers. There will also be a post with thanks given to our donors. The arbor will have information about who lives in the hive – the queen, drones, and workers.
The little free library will be there for community members read and/or borrow books. There will be books about honey bees and how we can help them. There will also be some form of permanent binder with more information about the honey bees. One of our goals is to help educate the public about honey bees and other pollinators. There will also be a training hive on site so that we can have classes with kids and/or adults to teach them about top bar beekeeping and the life of the bees inside the hive.
We are looking to involve the community as much as we can in the completion of the project and the use of the space. There are high school students painting a mural on the wall at the back of the field. We are working with local companies to create the paths. We have found a local woman to build the little library for us and we are looking into having a local man build the benches that will be on the paths. Assabet Valley Technical School has been contacted about possibly building the arbor and creating some sculptures to put in the garden. We will be asking the artists at Art Space if they would like to paint the posts that will be on the paths. We are also looking to our community to help fund the project.
We want the community to be a large part of the process and we want the community to benefit from the finished product. The space will be educational, but it will also be beautiful and engaging for the senses. It will be a place to sit and relax, to enjoy nature. We hope that the artists at Art Space will use the meadow for inspiration or anyone else who wants to capture it’s beauty.
To make this meadow a reality, we will need to overhaul the soil. What is there now is very unhealthy soil that has been neglected. We will bring in healthy soil and add to the health of it by adding minerals to it. We hope to also be able to show people how important it is to take care of the soil and the benefits of doing so. Once the soil is in place and the minerals are added we can begin adding plants, seeds and decor to the meadow. It will be best to have everything in place before we add the bees to the beehive.
Once the meadow is completed and the bees are installed the maintenance will be minimal. The meadow is to be wild, so once the plants are established they won’t need much care. The beehive will be maintained on a regular basis. While the bees are being checked on the other parts of the meadow will also be checked for any need of repair or attention.
As I stated earlier, we are looking to the community to help fund this project. We have been out to Farmer’s Market with an information booth where we asked for donations and people were very generous. We will be out there again with information and requests for donations. The Maynard Community Gardeners has given us a donation to help with the cost of plants and ColorWorks has donated all of the paint for the mural that is being done. We are looking into applying for a Commonwealth Places grant and a grant through the Cultural Council. There has also been contact with Whole Foods about a grant for honey bees.
In order to get the community interested and involved we want to start by educating them. We are hoping to have a movie screening about honey bees with a Q&A afterward. For the Q&A section, we are looking into inviting beekeepers experienced in top bar and natural beekeeping. We are also looking at other ways to get the word out about the project. Like I said, we will be at Farmer’s Market trying to raise awareness and educate the people. We are also looking into bringing awareness through an Art Space show in September.