HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 11, 2015 – Two new apiaries designed and built by High Point University students are creating a buzz in the Sculpture Garden on campus. Constructed by Taylor Daniel and Elizabeth Pruitt, the beehives have added about 30,000 honeybees to HPU’s campus with the hope of improving the dwindling population of one of nature’s most important pollinators.
The apiaries, a part of the Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, are both works of art and functional beehives. With the help of a Year of the Arts mini-grant, Pruitt and Daniel constructed the two hives out of cypress. Painted moonbeam yellow, quotes cover both apiaries. One even looks like a grandfather clock, a nod to High Point’s furniture heritage.
“We placed them on campus to provide something different to the Sculpture Garden while also bringing the bees in to help with pollinating the many flowering plants growing across campus,” says Pruitt.
Pruitt also conducted research about the beehives, which she presented at the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium at Campbell University. She was awarded first place in the art division.
Currently, Daniel and Pruitt are maintaining the hives but will be starting a beekeeping club in the fall to pass along their knowledge to those who are interested in caring for them.
“Our main goal is to spread the knowledge of beekeeping to others, including people who may have just the slightest interest or those who want to know more about honeybees to help and re-grow the honeybee population,” says Daniel.
“Having the presence of the apiaries on campus helps educate students and visitors to the gardens about the importance of bees and other pollinators,” says Jon Roethling, curator of the grounds at HPU. “Much of the world’s food supply is dependent on bees, directly or indirectly.”
In the future, the students plan to collect honey and provide it to HPU to use in dining locations as well as local markets.