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Flowers for the Bees at Chatham Community Bee Hive

By Ed Barmakian

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 • 10:00am

CHATHAM, NJ - Stephen Kamionek III came before the Borough of Chatham Council on Monday night to ask permission to build flower beds and a kiosk for the Chatham Community Bee Garden on St. James Street.

The 17-year-old Kamionek, a Boy Scout from Troop 8, is seeking his final merit badge, which would earn him the rank of Eagle Scout.

Mayor Bruce Harris came up with idea for the bee garden that was constructed this year, noting the importance of bees and their declining population. Kamionek's plan is to build six raised flower beds for the purpose of keeping the bees from leaving the Chatham Community Bee Hive.

"I want to create a habitat for the honey bees so they can thrive and survive," Kamionek said. "Flowers will be in full bloom for the entire year, except for the winter. I believe this project is needed to sustain the honey bee population. Honey bees are in a major decline. Colony Collapse Disorder is happening all over the country. One third of the food on our tables is because of honey bees, which fuel our bodies and our economy. My project will stimulate the growth of honey bees and keep them from leaving the site."

Kamionek also proposes to build a kiosk and hang it on the fence outside the community bee hive location. That would allow visitors to learn about honey bees and their importance to our food supply, even if the site is closed.

The council plans to draw up a resolution to approve the project.

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