Founding Farmers and GWU Launch “largest restaurant-owned urban apiary” in DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user annejuliet

From a press release:

Founding Farmers, the greenest restaurant in Washington, D.C., is partnering with The George Washington University to establish the largest known restaurant-owned urban apiary in the country. The restaurant installed six beehives on the roof of Lisner Hall, an academic building on the GW campus that sits just two blocks away from the restaurant.

In its first year, the Founding Farmers’ apiary may produce 10 pounds of honey per hive, but by the end of the second year, in 2012, each hive may produce between 20 and 120 pounds of honey which Founding Farmers will use on the menu at the restaurant and for small-production bottling.

In addition to creating the apiary, Founding Farmers also established a $5,000 scholarship that will be awarded to an undergraduate GW biology student who will oversee the apiary for the next year. The scholarship is the second that Founding Farmers has created for the university. Earlier this year, the restaurant awarded the first annual $5,000 Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality, which is awarded to a student attending the GW School of Business.

21 Comment

  • Awesome!

    I built an observation hive back in high school for a class project. We mounted it in a school window and we could watch the hive activities from the inside.

    Bees are cool!

  • Bees! Bees! Bees in the car! Bees everywhere! God, they’re huge and they’re sting crazy! They’re ripping my flesh off! Run away, your firearms are useless against them!

    GW – Something Happens Here

  • Even more important than the honey will be the extra pollinators hanging out in the neighborhood. I’m jealous… hopefully this can be done on other buildings as well around town.

  • cos there are so many flowers in foggy bottom?

  • I’d be interested in volunteering/helping out with this. I don’t have any knowledge but I’m excited about the project and open to learning. Any suggestions on the best way to get in touch with someone involved in the project?

    • claire

      Count me in as interested as well! I actually took a beekeeping class a couple years ago so I can bring at least a little knowledge to the table.

  • WOW! This is amazing! Urban sustainability on the rise, literally, the high-rise. Just finished reading Farm City (Novella Carpenter) and it detailed how she was squat gardening, raising bees, chickens for eggs, rabbits, turkeys, and ducks for meat, and lastly two meat porkers! All in an Oakland ghetto. Great read; 5 stars!

  • I put a hive on my roof this spring ( the bees are awesome, I only got stung once when we set up the hive. When I open the hive now they are curious about me but are totally chill, no smoke, no mask, nothing. My bees are Russian 🙂 Also, my expert told me that it’s doubtful to get honey the first year. My bees build out the bottom hive and about 1/3 of the next one so far. Once those are all full you add a half-height hive on top of that which is “your” honey. THe bees eat the rest over the winter; it gives them energy to flap their wings and create heat to sustain the hive.

    • how often do you have to tend to them? once a week, once a day? and what does “tending” include? seriously interested.

  • I love Founding Farmers, but they are hardly the “greenest restaurant in DC.” Sounds like they are getting a little full of themselves.

  • Lindsay: Is that a shot at me?

    Gob: Probably.

    Lindsay: Because, for your information, I have a job.

    Michael: Really? What kind of job?

    Lindsay: Beads!

    Gob: Bees?!

    Lindsay: Beads.

    Gob: Beads?!

    Michael: Gob’s not on board.

  • Anyone seriously interested in urban beekeeping should check out Montgomery County Beekeepers. They’re a very knowledgeable and established local bee keeping organization, which includes among it’s members many urban dc beekeepers (including myself!). It’s too late to get started this year, but they do an awesome multi-week course every spring that teaches you everything you need to know.

  • Gross. The buildings that share a roof with Lisner have chemistry research labs with fume hoods that exhaust to the roof. All kinds of chemical residue gets shot up there.

    • Actually, most of the chemistry research labs are in Corcoran Hall, which doesn’t share a roof with Lisner at all.

  • claire

    So I see at least a couple people commenting here have their own hives set up – would any of you be interested in trading some honey for other food products? It’s so hard to find local honey around here! The garden’s not looking great this year but I’m hoping to have some herbs and hot peppers in a little bit, if that’s of interest, and I also love doing all sorts of cooking and could trade a jar of homemade nutella or raspberry vinegar syrup (this stuff is great in so many things – drinks, yogurt, or (my favorite) on an apple cheddar sandwich). Anyone?

  • Reminds me….Next bidness lunch will be at Founding Farmers!!!

  • I hope the kid who gets the scholarship does a good job!! As a GW Law student, I am not especially looking forward to having a bunch of angry bees on top of our building.

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