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Scott Witte, superintendent at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, Illinois, started beekeeping at his course in 2010 after a suggestion from a friend. Scott felt it would fit in perfectly with his involvement in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, and has become very passionate about the project. [Photo by Dan White]

Scott Witte and

Beekeeping at Cantigny Golf “Beekeeping is incredibly important because honey bees need all the help they can get! The continued rapid decline of bees internationally is alarming. The current rate of decline is simply not sustainable. For this reason, I created The Bee Barometer Project. Since honey bees are so intimately connected to the ecosystem, they help to provide a ‘barometer for the health of the environment’. If superintendents can do everything in their power to foster healthy environments throughout their golf courses, we will be doing the bees, and the world, a favor. I am striving to create a movement all across America and beyond to encourage superintendents to start keeping bees. I also encourage garden clubs, homeowners, and other superintendents to create wild flower gardens, or, ‘Honey Bee Happy Zones’ rich with nectar and pollen for bees. Sustaining the game of golf must involve the cultivation of diverse and rich ecosystems with less and less mono-stands of turfgrass. We must retrain the modern golfer’s vision of what true beauty is on golf courses. By this I mean that patches of clover and dandelion in certain areas of the golf course should be celebrated, not forbidden. I sell local raw honey, two varieties of beeswax lip balm, and bee’s wax candles. These have been tremendously successful at helping us fund our environmental programs at Cantigny Golf. I have also begun a campaign to raise money for The Great Pollinator Project and other worthy environmental causes. Golf course superintendents have a real opportunity to ‘bee’ a part of the solution, not the problem! The ball is in our court on several fronts, and we cannot afford to drop it! ‘Bee’ proactive in protecting pollinators at every opportunity.”

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Profile for Audubon International

Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 4 | Fall 2014  

Stewardship News | Volume 17, Issue 4 | Fall 2014  

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