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APIOPOLIS: Apiary at Aldridge Gardens

Thanks to the generous support of Dr. Jim and Mrs. Diane Boogaerts, we have a beautiful apiary here at Aldridge Gardens. "What is an apiary?" you might ask. Well, it is a collection of honey bee hives, providing both pollination and honey production. Located behind the Aldridge House near the nature trail, the apiary is close to our lake which provides the bees with a consistent water source. A split rail outer fence surrounds it, limiting approach too close to the hives.

Our apiary is named Apiopolis, a combination of the Greek words apis (bee) and polis (city). (In Athens, the Acropolis sits high above the city and is the site of the Parthenon.) The distinctive architecture of this apiary, with its hives topped by pitched roofs covered with copper and finished with a verdigris patina, references classic Greek architecture. However, instead of being a temple to Athena like the Parthenon, these structures are temples for Apis mellifera: honey bees.

Two Arbequina olive trees are located in the rear of the apiary and a Brown Turkey fig tree is planted in the back. Variegated Pink and Meyer Improved lemon trees in large containers are situated in the left foreground. During the winter, these citrus plants are moved indoors to protect from freezing. In the spring and summer, bees forage nectar and pollen from their white flowers. By late fall, they yield fruit.

The photos below give an idea of what you can see at the Gardens. To obtain more extensive information on what’s going on inside the hives of Apiopolis at Aldridge Gardens and to learn more about the fascinating world of honey bees, see the *honeybee* page on the website.

For practical information on beekeeping, including how to get started with your own apiary, see these websites:
- Jefferson County Beekeepers Association
- Foxhound Bee Company

To learn more or to book a school field trip, please contact us at
or 205.739.6558.

Get additional information on beekeeping from the following online resources. Click on the bold names and their respective websites will open in a new tab.