How We've Done It At Apes Hill Barbados
Here at Apes Hill, we are showing how golfing and sustainability can exist alongside one another in a mutually-beneficial relationship. One of the first things we wanted to do when we moved in this new direction of golf course maintenance was to see how we could support the bee community in Barbados.
With a huge increase in education surrounding bees and a number of very talented people on the island, our bee initiative programme has flourished. We’ve created a home for 30 beehives, with the aim to have 100 in a years’ time.
Pollinators require flowers as their source of nutrition, and the masses of greenery that golf courses provide to plant flowers around is the perfect environment for bees to do so. Bees can also increase the yields of fruit production, which is perfect for the hundreds of trees planted around Apes Hill. The yield of a coconut tree can be increased by 30% with the help of bees alone! This process also shrinks the footprint of the turf managed for play and therefore reduces the need for irrigation, fertilisation, and other applications of those areas, another step toward better environmental welfare. Obviously, there are wild bees native to the environment, but by adding hives, pollination can flourish and our farm-to-fork efforts rapidly increase. And this only makes our golfing environments look even more beautiful too!
As our golf course was designed around the existing Bajan wildlife, rather than removing it, part of our efforts includes removing the wild hives already living on the course and moving them to safer areas. 90% of the hives are on the Farmland on the East Coast by holes 13 and 14, as bees are more prone to fly east to collect more nectar. There’s also the added bonus that these hives are positioned far away from our golfers, behind tees or lakes. There’s no need to worry about being stung, or that a buzzing friend will interrupt your game.
When it comes to beekeeping, the process can be very relaxed with some beekeepers who maintain their hives only every six months. But here at Apes Hill we tend to them weekly, with inspections to ensure the laying patterns are correct, the bees are fed sufficiently and that enough pollen is being collected.
We’re far from finished, but we’re one step ahead. Find out more here about our sustainable golf course design.