Bravo Founding Farmers and GW

A shout-out to our neighboring school, George Washington University! Their news which impresses me is that through a partnership with Founding Farmers, there are 6 beehives now on the roof of the Listner Auditorium in downtown DC.

Founding Farmers and The George Washington University Establish Largest Restaurant-Owned Urban Apiary

Six Bee Hives Housed at GW will Supply Honey for D.C. Restaurant and Local Patrons

WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2011 Founding Farmers, the greenest restaurant in Washington, D.C., is partnering with The George Washington University to establish the largest known restaurant-owned urban apiary in the country. The restaurant installed six beehives on the roof of Lisner Hall, an academic building on the GW campus that sits just two blocks away from the restaurant.

“This urban apiary is a natural extension of Founding Farmers’ mission to minimize its impact on the environment through sustainable practices,” said Dan Simons, Principal of VSAG, the restaurant consulting and management firm for Founding Farmers. “Not only do we love being able to harvest our own honey to supplement our restaurant’s usage, but we are proud to partner with GW — a powerhouse in the world of education — on a project like this.”

Although there are other urban apiaries within the D.C. area, including some owned by restaurants, the Founding Farmers’ apiary at GW is the largest in the Washington metropolitan region. The six hives atop Lisner Hall will join four other GW-owned hives. While the hives won’t yield honey immediately, there will be culinary uses for the bees and hives. GW’s biology department will use the hives for research, specifically analyzing the pollen the bees bring back and tracking the exact flowers the bees visit: further underscoring both Founding Farmers — and the Founding Farmers Bees’ — commitment to local eating.

Researchers will also study the parasites of honeybees and develop a bee behavior lab module for an introductory biology course for majors.

”We are pleased to partner with Founding Farmers in this exciting new endeavor,” said Peg Barratt, dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. “This venture provides an opportunity to not only further expand the university’s research goals and enhance our students’ educational experiences, but play an active role in encouraging local sustainability and green living.”

In its first year, the Founding Farmers’ apiary may produce 10 pounds of honey per hive, but by the end of the second year, in 2012, each hive may produce between 20 and 120 pounds of honey which Founding Farmers will use on the menu at the restaurant and for small-production bottling.

In addition to creating the apiary, Founding Farmers also established a $5,000 scholarship that will be awarded to an undergraduate GW biology student who will oversee the apiary for the next year. The scholarship is the second that Founding Farmers has created for the university. Earlier this year, the restaurant awarded the first annual $5,000 Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality, which is awarded to a student attending the GW School of Business.

Visit the Founding Farmers website for honeybee updates and follow the bees on Twitter @FFbees.