Our garden hosts the largest community beeyard in the State of Maryland. Our honeybees pollinate a 3-mile radius around our garden covering most of Curtis Bay, Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Park.
In addition, we rehome swarms and established honeybee hives throughout Baltimore.
Our Master Beekeeper takes accepts apprentices each year to assist in the beeyard and learn the art of apiculture.
Native Bat Project
Maryland is home to 10 species of bats. All 10 species of bats occurring in Maryland are considered to be Species of Greatest Conservation Need. In Maryland, all of our bat species fall into the Microchiroptera group and eat insects such as mosquitoes, stinkbugs, moths, and more. Our state's bats can be subdivided our into tree bats and cave bats. In general, tree bats either migrate or spend the winter in tree cavities, under bark, or even under leaf litter. Cave bats tend to hibernate in caves or tunnels.
We provide bat houses for hundreds of urban bats. Bats are extremely important in reducing pest insects to include mosquitoes that spread the Zika and West Nile viruses.
There are few refuges for urban wildlife around Baltimore. This has resulted in wildlife migrating into vacant and overgrown properties. Mammals such as bats, woodchucks, possum, and fox make their homes in our garden. Majestic birds such as condors, red-tailed hawks, and great horned owls can often be found resting in our garden.
Currently, our garden hosts eight hens. These include Black Australorps, New Hampshire Reds, a Buff Orpington, and a Rhode Island Red. We do not keep roosters due to noise concerns for our neighbors. The hens produce a dozen eggs every two days. Our chickens free range each day gobbling up pests such as hornworms, ticks, wax moths, and cucumber beetles.
Currently we have four ducks - all females. Male ducks are called 'drakes'. We keep ducks to reduce garden pests, education, and eggs. Nutritionally, duck eggs are superior to chicken eggs. Our ducks include Zelda the Ancona, Matilda the Rouan, Duck Marie the Cayuga, and Psyduck the Blue Swedish.
We have two young Pilgrim Geese - Filbert (white) and his mate Nutmeg (gray). Our geese provide protection to the waterfowl flock by running off predators. They do lay eggs, but are seasonal layers only laying in spring.
The European Honeybee (apis mellifera) is an important pillar for agriculture. More than 30% of our fruits & vegetables depend on pollinators while 90% of native plants worldwide require pollinators. Both honeybees and native pollinators are faced with tremendous challenges to include foreign parasites, habitat destruction, diseases, and some byproducts in pesticides.
In addition to their contributions from pollination, we harvest surplus honey and beeswax each year.