AUGUSTA — The Viles Arboretum will become the Kennebec Bee Keepers Association’s new home base for meetings as well as collaborative efforts with the Arboretum. Preliminary discussions have focused on establishing a community apiary, joint educational programs and even a harvest festival focused on all products associated with honey bees, according to a news release from the Arboretum.

“Our whole goal is to educate people on bee keeping and to promote bee keeping and how beneficial bees are to the environment. We are excited about this new partnership with the Viles arboretum both because it is a beautiful place to hold meeting and we see many joint efforts ahead,” Jaye Cummings, president of the Kennebec Bee Keepers Association (A chapter of the Maine State Bee Keepers Association) said in the release.

“This is a perfect fit for the Arboretum and our educational pursuits. We always welcome like-minded organizations to the Arboretum and I can see many efforts that we can present jointly that add another reason for visitors to come and visit the Viles Arboretum. I’m especially excited about having teaching hives on site, an observation hive in our visitors center and a bee products harvest festival this fall,” Mark P. DesMeules, the Arboretum’s executive director said in the release,

The Viles Arboretum, centrally located in Augusta on 224 acres of fields, forests, wetlands and botanical collections offers an ever-changing selection of programs for the general public and for schools. The organization focuses on interactive, creative and hands-on teaching with a focus on natural history and unlocking everyone’s natural ability to understand the nature of our world through your own eyes and by using your own intellect.

For more information, visit www.vilesarboretum.org or call 626-7989.