Apiopolis is a nonprofit urban bee sanctuary in Raleigh, North Carolina, founded and managed by Alice Hinman. Apiopolis’ mission is to promote natural and sustainable beekeeping practices with a focus on conservation, education and research. Apiopolis partners with the City of Raleigh, local businesses, farmers, gardeners, universities and schools, beekeeping organizations, nonprofits, the arts community and individuals to support their work and the work of protecting and helping honeybees and other pollinators. We also work to raise awareness about the harmful impacts of common chemical herbicides and pesticides on pollinators and working to minimize their use.
The first 20 sanctuary hives are being installed at sites throughout Raleigh this summer. This fall, Apiopolis’ focus will be planning and planting dedicated pollinator gardens on vacant spaces within the natural foraging range of all the hives. Social programs will be added to the sanctuary’s agenda in the winter and will include collaboration with organizations working on food security and employment issues by offering natural beekeeping training to their existing programs and joining forces with the Combatting Hunger Project in North Carolina’s Department of Corrections to include a prison beekeeping training certification with their horticultural program.
A message from Alice :
As the founder of Apiopolis, and a longtime natural beekeeper, I believe honeybees and other pollinators are indicator species for environmental health. I currently care for about sixty colonies. The longer I keep bees and the more I learn and unlearn, the more fascinated I am with these amazing creatures — and the more aware I am of the urgencies they face. The longer I walk on the earth, the more compelled and obligated I feel to make a difference in some small way.
In 2014, I began studying Sustainable Biodynamic Beekeeping with Gunther Hauk at Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in Virginia to learn more about how to best care for the bees in the face of current and future stressors. Spikenard is a magical place with robust hives, dedicated organic and biodynamic pollinator gardens and fields planted with bee forage. I decided I would translate the philosophies and methodologies Spikenard employs in its idyllic rural setting to Raleigh’s urban environment to help the bees and to use that work to also help others. And so the idea for Apiopolis was born.