We have 10,000 new library members at our Westbank location, including royalty! Queen Harper Bee and her thousands of BeeWeaver drones and workers are settling in to their new beehive home at the far end of the community garden. These bees (bred by a local company for their mite resistance, honey production, gentle behavior, and healthy population growth) will be working hard to support the pollination needs of any plants they might find within a three-mile radius.
Westbank is joining a growing number of libraries, schools, and people in the neighborhood who are raising bees both as an educational tool and a necessary environmental asset. We have taken appropriate safety precautions in line with Austin City Code.
Curious bees may occasionally land on a person, and if this happens to you, you can gently shoo them away by blowing on them. As wild creatures, a threatened bee may sting as a last resort (the sting will kill the bee). Anyone concerned about a possible allergic reaction to insect stings should always carry appropriate medication with them.
Librarian Alex Meyers is our apprentice beekeeper, whom you may see out in the garden with her smoker and protective gear, calming the bees so that she can check on them. She is happy to answer any questions you have. Also, check out our beekeeping resources and our Beehive FAQs!