Turning Solar Sites Into Pollinator-Friendly Habitats Is The Sweetest Idea


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A married couple in Minnesota found a genius use for the swaths of land occupied by solar systems—coupling them as pollinator-friendly habitats.

Travis and Chiara Bolton of St. Paul-based Bolton Bees partner with solar companies to host commercial bee operations. So far, the Boltons have established hives at Connexus Energy, the largest customer-owned power company in Minnesota, and at solar facilities in Farmington and Scandia owned by NRG Energy.

About 3,600 pounds of the first “Solar Honey” harvest has already been extracted from the three sites, Modern Farmer reported, with more honey to come in October. Bolton Bees is also looking into opening apiaries at solar sites in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.

The couple even trademarked the name “Solar Honey” and license it to other beekeepers, food producers and energy companies that agree to follow certain production standards.

“We hope that this model can be replicated throughout the nation,” Travis Bolton told Modern Farmer.

The worldwide boom in solar energy has occurred simultaneously with the alarming rate of honeybee deaths. U.S. beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016.

But this initiative from Bolton Bees is a win-win for both the environment and our precious pollinators alike.

“We have been humbled with all of the interest in the work that we have been doing,” the company wrote on Facebook over the weekend. “We strongly believe in this collaboration. It is utilizing the land underneath solar panels—instead of just having gravel or cheap turf grass. Solar Energy is cheap, and being installed rapidly throughout the nation. The land should be used to plant healthy habitat for pollinators.”

Lorraine Chow is a reporter for EcoWatch.

This article was republished from EcoWatch.

See also:
Wild Bees Can Help Honey Bees—How Your Yard Can Support Them
Chefs Speak Out: No Bees, No Food

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December 13, 2019

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December 2019

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
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Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
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Cost: $25 per class

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Heart and Soul Holistic Healing Center
130 Massapoag Avenue
Sharon, MA  02067
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Telephone: 781-258-9942
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Cost: $20

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Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
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What is a vigorous yoga practice, and who can benefit from it? With Marissa McAleer and Julie Rost This workshop will explore a more physical practice of yoga and how it can be used to...

Cost: $45

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
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Cost: $20 (Drop-ins are welcome)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman St
#108B
Westborough, MA
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Sponsor: 01581
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
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Cost: $15

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Awaken Holistic Counseling Services
2 Liberty St., Unit 2L
Newburyport, MA  01950
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Sponsor: Awaken Holistic Counseling Services, LLC
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The nights of December fall dark and early. Homes are filled with warm firelight and flickering candle glow. As the year draws to a close, pause under the peaceful light of December’s Full...

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A Touch of Magick
195 S Main Street
Uxbridge, MA
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Telephone: (508) 779-7386
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Cost: $25

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Moth & Moon Studio
173 South River Rd
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Bedford, NH  03110
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Cost: Free, or $5-$15

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Lincoln, MA  01773-4107


Sponsor: Lincoln Area Wellness Collaborative
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur

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This is a class that will teach you how to make your own wire-wrapped gemstone pendant! Don’t be discouraged—it is simpler than you think, and you’ll have great fun in crafting...

Cost: $40 per person or $35 more than one, includes supplies

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The Healing Power of Flowers — Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
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Cost: 5/$50

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Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
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Telephone: 508-331-3564
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