US Army brings bees to base in Germany

There’s a real buzz around the base here these days. And the talk is about bees.

A group of veterans, spouses and civilians based at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach opened three beehives at Soldier Lake, near Army Airfield Ansbach, on Friday. The Ansbach beekeeping club is taking care of what they call the Bee Haus, which is home to as many as 30,000 bees.

“We are a group of American and German volunteers who care for the bees,” said Daniel Woernlein, an environmental protection specialist on base.

The club decided to build the beehives primarily for the ecological benefits of having honey bees in the area.

“Having more bees in the environment gives more pollinators to the plants and flowers,” Woernlein said.

The group also planted this summer drought-resistance wildflowers throughout the Army recreational area to give the bees more pollen.

“We wanted plants that could go a long time without rain and bring more life into the area,” Woernlein said.

The bees are already making honey, and the group expects to harvest it next year. It will give the club additional income for projects around base, like school field trips.

The hives are open to the public, and the club expects the base schools to make quick field trips to them, to learn about bees and the environment.

Beekeeping, especially urban beekeeping, has gained popularity as a recreational activity in recent years, with beehives popping up on top apartment buildings, offices and landmarks around the world.

This past year, for example, beehives have been installed at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.

The Ansbach beekeeping group says is looking for more active-duty soldiers to join up and help take care of their new 30,000 friends. For more information or to learn about how to set up hives at other bases, please contact the group at the base Facebook page.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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