Bee Sanctuary in Hacienda La Esperanza

The wrath of Hurricane Maria in 2017 practically wiped out the honey bees with the destruction of 80 percent of the island’s bee population. In response to the natural disaster, Isabelle Ramseyer, a student at Saint John’s School in San Juan, Puerto Rico, created a student-led initiative called Be a Bee to raise awareness of the plight of the island’s bees and educate people about their importance.  

Para la Naturaleza joined this initiative providing 2.6 acres of land in Hacienda la Esperanza Natural Protected Area in Manatí for the construction of a bee sanctuary that would restore and preserve the bee population in Puerto Rico. This project was established thanks to the support of Dixie Vodka, The Bee Cause Project and Fundación Ángel Ramos.

Since June 2018 the students at St John’s School, through their organization Be a Bee, started volunteering at the apiary. Among their tasks are the maintenance of the bee hives and its surrounding habitat that will provide pollen for the bees of this apiary. Para la Naturaleza staff, together with volunteers, have planted over 10,000 trees on the perimeter of the apiary for pollination.  

The apiary has: eight showcases with their queens, female workers, nursing bees and male drones, where you can see the hives working; 24 observation stations and boxes where more than 2 million bees live; a learning laboratory on the value and importance of bees in the archipelago of Puerto Rico; a picnic area (for changing clothes, handing out instructions or tasks, and eating food safely); and signage that supports the educational process with QR codes that lead to the apiary’s website.