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Supporting Bees

Preservation is a major part of any art museum’s mission—both of artistic tradition and the physical well-being of the paintings and sculptures.

Now, the Clark Museum is taking its preservation activities outside its doors and onto its 140-acre campus, which is an ideal habitat for many kinds of animals, birds and insects. Responding to the decreasing numbers of bees in our environment, the museum plans to launch a beekeeping program to help increase their numbers in Berkshire County.

Loss of habitat has been identified as one cause for the disappearance of bees in the United States. As more and more acreage is placed under agricultural cultivation and as forests reclaim large tracts of meadow, the flowers bees feed upon are disappearing.

Recently seven species of bees in the United States have been identified as endangered. Honeybees are primary pollinators of the world’s food and of our region’s trees, shrubs and flowers. Without pollination, crops do not thrive.

The Clark plans to create a bee colony at least 40,000 bees and to plant more than 1,000 crocus bulbs to provide a critical early spring nutrition source.

The bulbs were donated by Clark Trustee Dena Hardymon and her husband, Felda. Local beekeeper David Thayer will assist the Clark in establishing its bee program and will supervise its growth.

The Clark BUZZ project will provide the funding needed to create and care for the bees. A Kickstarter campaign, which runs through the first day of Spring, March 20th, is attempting to raise $8,000 for the program. Kickstarter projects are not funded if the target goal is not met. For more information or to donate, visit the link below.

Special rewards are offered to engage project backers, ranging from car decals to special behind-the-scenes tours of the Clark’s sustainability programs.

“The relationship between art and nature is central to the Clark’s mission and is always foremost in our thoughts,” said Olivier Meslay, Felda and Dena Hardymon director of the Clark. “We take our responsibility as stewards of our lands very seriously.”

Clark Art Institute, located at 225 South Street, Williamstown MA, opened in 1955 and houses European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver and early photography. Galleries are open Tuesday-Sunday, 10AM-5PM. Further information, visit the website or call 413-458-2303.