My name is Maura Ashley and I'm in my Junior year of studying Biology with a concentration in conservation. When I learned that a teaching apiary program would be developed at the college, I was excited to get involved. Growing up on a farm in my home state of Vermont gave me an early appreciation for the ways plants and pollinators interact. Although I had limited beekeeping experience when I signed on to the Apiary project, I had been studying plant biology and working in landscaping and agriculture for several summers. I was excited for the opportunity to learn more about the ways bees are involved in our ecosystem.
One of my favorite things about our research project has been getting to work outside on the bee yard and surrounding pollinator garden. The plot that we chose for the Apiary was known as the college "dump," but with a little bit of care we watched it burst into life. I am excited to see how our efforts are rewarded this spring when our plantings (hopefully) resurface.
I am excited to bring my love of plants to the project as we identify the existing flora, combat invasive species on the plot, and continue to develop our pollinator garden to sustain season-long nutrition for our bees.