Photos of the hive that Karen Pence keeps at the vice president’s mansion draw attention to how important bees are

karen pence beehive bees one observatory circle vp residence

Second Lady Karen Pence has been keeping some unexpected guests at the vice president’s official residence.
In 2017, the first beehive was installed at One Observatory Circle as part of the second lady’s commitment to the environmental benefits of thriving bee communities.
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One Observatory Circle is the lesser-known official residence that has housed every vice president since 1974.

National Honey Bee Day 2019 marks just over two years after some unexpected guests moved into the official address, courtesy of second lady Karen Pence. Pence’s spokeswoman told INSIDER the second lady would not participate in this article.

Pence has touted the environmental benefits of successful beehives before. See how the buzzy creatures have made the vice president’s residence their home.

SEE ALSO: Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the often overlooked but stunning vice president’s residence where the Pences live

Welcome to Number One Observatory Circle, the vice president’s residence located a 15-minute drive from the White House in D.C.

Read more: Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the often overlooked but stunning vice president’s residence where the Pences live

Sitting on roughly 13 acres, the grounds have ample room to house many flowering plants — and the bees to pollinate them.

In June 2017, Pence announced the arrival of the hives, which would house approximately 20,000 bees.

Source: USDA

Pence said it “was important for us to do what we could” to support bees. “All types of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats, are critical to providing our nation’s food, fiber, fuel and medicine,” she said.

Source: USDA

She previously kept bees at the Indiana governor’s residence, unveiling a hive there in 2014.

Source: The Associated Press

“One of the reasons that we wanted to bring a beehive to the vice president’s residence was because we wanted to help our bee population and we do have colony collapse disorder,” Pence told CNN.

Source: CNN

Colony collapse disorder is one of the biggest threats facing bees today. It’s what happens when worker bees leave the hive, and the queen is left with too few bees to keep the hive thriving. Habitat destruction, pesticide poisoning, and diseases affecting bees are all contributing to CCD.

Source: EPA

Honeybee populations have been on a decline, facing threats from parasites, pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change. In the 1940s, there were an estimated 6 million honeybee hives in the US, compared to 2.5 million today.

Source: USDA

“Our beekeepers have been losing colonies for many years,” Pence said. “This presents a serious challenge to our ability to produce many of the agricultural products that we enjoy today.”

Source: USDA

The bees at the residence are housed in triple-deep “Langstroth” beehives, which are made up of stacked, wooden boxes with frames inside that the bees can build honeycomb on and the beekeepers can easily remove.

Sources: USDA, Bee Built

Pence said the tens of thousands of bees would provide the added benefit of pollinating the residence’s vegetable and flower gardens.

Bees help pollinate a third of the crops Americans eat, including almonds, apples, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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